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Texas WR/TE Passing Offense Talk


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2 hours ago, Spider2YBanana said:

Is Wiley still alive? You'd think he's dead since Herman is so dead set on playing useless ass Brewer. 


Yeah, His B-Day was yesterday (Nov. 2nd) and he's tweeted today...  


N_7E1au__normal.jpgInside Texas  @InsideTexas
Nov 2
Big Happy Birthday to Texas TE Jared Wiley !!!!! #HookEm
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Herman: Bye week emphasis on passing helped 'both sides of ball'

By FUCK CHIP BROWN           18 hours ago

Texas head coach Tom Herman said Monday the team went through plenty of ones versus ones in practice last week as quarterback Sam Ehlinger and the offense worked on the passing game, which also gave the team’s cornerbacks a chance to work on playing the ball in the air (which has been a struggle this season).  “In our Tuesday and Thursday practices, I saw guys getting better on both sides of the ball,” Herman said. “I thought our corners were playing the deep ball better, and I thought our receivers were fighting for footballs better. I thought the quarterback was putting balls where he needed to put balls.”

Herman on Monday announced the bad news coming out the ones-versus-ones work in last Thursday’s practice - injuries to UT’s top two tight ends - Cade Brewer (chest contusion) and Jared Wiley (shoulder). Their status for Saturday’s game at Kansas is unknown, but it didn’t sound promising when Herman questioned if the Longhorns would even be able to run any two-tight-end packages also known as “12 personnel.”   “We’re still an enormous work in progress, where that’s concerned, especially when you don’t have your full complement of receivers out there. And certainly, after Thursday we didn’t have our full complement of tight ends either. But we felt like we made significant improvements in that area - on both sides of the ball.”

Texas fans are probably hoping Herman making the passing game “a point of emphasis” during the Longhorns’ bye last week has the same result as when Herman made the running game a priority during UT’s previous bye week — four games into the season.  After opening 2-2, and abandoning the run in various points of losses to TCU and Oklahoma, Texas emerged from that bye week by averaging 41 carries for an average of 152 yards (3.7 yards per carry) in victories over Baylor, Oklahoma State and West Virginia. More than anything, a new commitment to the running game helped a beleaguered defense gradually improve by not getting worn down from staying on the field too long. Texas’ average time of possession improved from an average of 24:33 in losses to TCU and OU to 29:20 in UT’s current three-game winning streak.

In UT’s victories over Oklahoma State and West Virginia, Ehlinger completed just 58 percent of his passes, including just 48.4 percent (18 of 34) in UT’s 17-14 win over the Mountaineers. Ehlinger has battled through a quadriceps contusion suffered against Texas Tech on Sept. 26 as well as a left calf contusion and right foot injury suffered against Baylor on Oct. 24. Those injuries limited Ehlinger in practice the following weeks while Texas prepared for TCU and Oklahoma State.

But Herman said repeatedly on Monday that Ehlinger is healthy.  “He’s healthy. He’s healthy,” Herman said. “He practiced every rep of every practice. He feels better now than he’s felt in many, many months. So he’s taken every rep and feels really good.”


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2020 TEXAS QB Passing Grade...

Really illustrates how poorly Sam has thrown the ball during the 2020 CFB Season...


Among the many Big 12 quarterbacks to take a big step back is Sam Ehlinger, whose passing grade has gone from 81.2 in 2018 to 86.9 in 2019 to 73.5 in 2020. There are way too many instances where he scrambles when he shouldn’t, forcing a bad throw off structure. On those plays this season, Ehlinger ranks fourth-to-last in passing grade among FBS qualifiers.

Ehlinger's accuracy this year has been spotty, too. He has the 11th-worst rate of uncatchable balls thrown over 10 yards downfield (46%). And he hasn't fared any better when throwing into a tight window, completing just eight of 54 such throws this season.


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Thx to @satyanash

(Scipio Tex) 2020 Iowa State Postmortem: Offense

Texas averaged nearly 7 yards per play, hit multiple big plays in the passing game, had only one turnover (a Tarik Black fumble), enjoyed reasonable field position, rolled up 448 yards of offense, and managed...20 points? What's the disconnect?

Look to 4 of 13 conversions (30.8%) on money downs and a staff that couldn't match Cyclone defensive adjustments in the 2nd and 4th quarters (Texas scored 0 points combined) after owning the Cyclones in the early parts of each half (20 points total in the 1st and 3rd quarters). Let's get into it:


Deep Passing Game.

The Texas Longhorns were able to scheme up multiple deep single coverage shots against ISU's Drop 8 coverages for Sam Ehlinger and the Texas wide receivers - most effectively to Eagles - but unfortunately, there wasn't enough flesh on the rest of the game plan to keep moving the chains when the deep shots didn't connect and Texas found itself in 2nd and 10 or 3rd and 3. That written, Texas still averaged over 10 yards per pass attempt and a spry Ehlinger threw with more ease and accuracy on deep posts, fades, and go routes than we've seen since UTEP. That Texas was able to scheme up multiple single shot looks against coverage heavy looks is a credit to the early game plan, as Texas staff clearly saw something in Heacock's defense that could be exploited. Unfortunately, Texas didn't execute well enough elsewhere.

Some Running Game. Texas ran outside zone effectively at times. I guess that's what they worked on for three weeks after seeing so much success with gap/man blocking schemes against West Virginia. Ha ha. This staff certainly sees the game in interesting ways. At least early, Texas ran it effectively. Frankly, I fault Heacock here for deploying in a light 3 man front with the ISU LBs at depth so that Texas OL didn't have to make pass off decisions - the OL had clear drive blocks at the point of attack, which they won, and could then leak on to the second level. When ISU started bringing LB stunts and walking guys up into gaps, you see saw the tackles for loss and the predictable exploitation of Hand's teaching of that concept. A shame as Texas is just a few coaching points away from being a rather effective running team. Ehlinger was very effective in the QB run game, averaging over 6 yards per carry after you take out sacks, and the 2nd and 14 18 yard power QB sweep touchdown that put Texas up 10-0 was a fine call.

No bueno:

Tom Herman's late game management. As originator and chief documentarian of the Turtle Tom sobriquet (you'll find my complete papers in the LBJ library once they're declassified), I expected Herman to fall back into some of his old bad habits, but he really didn't. He oversteered in the other direction, like a drunk on black ice. It's still coaching from fear, but this time it manifested itself as desperation, instead of turtling. in a game where simply coaching by the numbers would have greatly increased the chances of a Texas victory, Herman chose poorly. He had two big picture head coaching calls that really hurt Texas chances to win.

Fake Punt. Up 20-13, late in the 3rd quarter, Tom Herman dialed up a fake punt from the ISU 48 yard line on 4th and 8.

Four thoughts: 1. Anytime you're punting inside an opponent's territory and it's a doable distance, their fake punt awareness is greatly heightened. 2. Fake punts need to be built on an observed tendency in the punt rush/return deployment, not just randomly called because you prepped it. 3. If it's a throw, it needs to be very easy and the recipient needs to be a guy who can make one man miss. The throw was easy, if telegraphed, but it was schemed to Cade Brewer. 4. Finally, game context. Why risk a short field to an opponent that hasn't been putting points on the board, but has shown they can move it between the 20s? Iowa State got a cheap 3 points out of that exchange (effectively a Texas turnover) and those points came back to haunt Texas just moments later...

Foregoing the FG. With 8:25 left in the game, with Texas up 4 points, Herman opted to go for it, 4th and 2 on the ISU 13. Consider the percentages: A lay up field goal gives Texas a full touchdown lead with each team likely getting one or two more possessions. If there are no more scores, Texas wins. If Texas matches ISU scoring, Texas wins. Any additional Texas score - touchdown or field goal - wins the game. Iowa State would need to score multiple times to win. Effectively, that FG gives Texas a good probability of winning, a solid probability of tying for a potential OT, and a somewhat negligible chance of losing in regulation. As for going for it: if Texas converts, it's 1st and 10 inside the ISU 10, but there no guarantee of a touchdown. Texas finished the game with a 50% success rate on touchdowns in the red zone. So coin flip there.

This all points in one direction: take 3 if you want to improve Longhorn chances to win and maximize NOT LOSING in regulation. Unless the staff has an amazing play in its back pocket or you've been utterly dominating at the line of scrimmage, a fairly simple probability exercise combined with game context says kick the field goal.

Personnel Deployment. We already covered the fake punt. And Brewer got the lion's share of snaps at TE. However, late game puzzled me a bit. With 1:20 on the clock, 2 timeouts, and a ISU 3 point lead to surmount, Texas featured personnel packages that included a split out Cade Brewer, Schooler, Marcus Washington, and a motioned out RoJo to make the 5th wide. I'd want Eagles, Smith, Moore, Whittington forming my core four with probably Schooler as #5 if I want to go empty. Similarly, if there's a TE on the field in win-the-game hurry up, shouldn't he be the best receiving threat? Or the best extra pass blocker to help Christian Jones with JaQuan Bailey lined up in a sprinter's stance?

Herman's issues aren't just big picture Xs and Os, it's deploying the Jimmys and Joes.



Ehlinger finished 17 of 29 for 298 yards and 1 passing touchdown along with a hard fought 65 yards rushing on 15 carries and another touchdown. Over ten yards per attempt, 17.5 yards per completion, no turnovers, 363 total yards, and a big value add in the running game is what you want from your senior QB. If you watched 59:50 of that game.

Sam didn't turn it over against a defense that had forced 11 turnovers in its last four games and he made some money throws deep and hit some hard intermediate out routes to the opposite hash. The only deep ball he really struggled with was the late breaking post corner-ish route that he couldn't connect with to Smith, Whittington, or Schooler. That's a very hard throw for any QB, particularly in how our guys were running it, and Sam doesn't excel at it. I'm honestly not sure why we persisted with it. He was pretty damn accurate throwing fades and deep posts with good OL protection.

Unfortunately, the late 3rd down sack with seconds left on the clock in Q4 was bad QB play and simply not allowable in that game context. It can't be pinned on the OL. No open receivers? Turf it somewhere in the vicinity of a Texas receiver and give Dicker a better shot. Unfortunately, on the replay, you can see that Sam took his eyes down to see the pressure and couldn't throw it up blindly without risking an INT. Can't drop your eyes there. Nor can you take a sack in that situation. Maybe Dicker makes it from 53 instead of 57 or 58.


Hard running from Bijan as he accumulated 15-54. Only one catch for 3 yards. Good effort, but unfortunately not enough run game diversity once ISU adjusted. RoJo really played terrific football. The break was good for him. 48 yards on only 6 touches in the running and passing game. Maximized several runs and his heady decision to get out of bounds after picking up a first down at midfield on the final drive was smart play.


Brennan Eagles had his most effective game of the season. The offensive coaches repeatedly got him matched up in single coverage on inferior athletes (ISU's lesser cover guys had no chance) and he made them pay with multiple deep balls. 5-142 and a long catch of 59 yards. Joshua Moore drew a PI on a sideline deep route and caught another ball for 11 yards. Jake Smith didn't get involved until late in the game, but notched 2 catches for 47 yards. With Texas having success throwing it deep, I'm a bit surprised we didn't work in some complementary WR screen game or more underneath chain movers to the RBs.

Tarik Black had a very poor game in not many snaps. He fumbled a money Ehlinger throw on a deep post and then drew a critical holding penalty. Jordan Whittington caught three balls for 26 yards. Would have liked to have seen him more involved, but there's a lot I'd like to see that I don't get.

Cade Brewer got most of the snaps at TE and had a few solid blocks, but those faded over the course of the game when ISU forced more big on big. 2-14 receiving, one of those catches on the fake punt. Wiley had a red zone score in the back corner of the end zone, but was lightly used overall. I wonder if he and Liebrock watched the ISU TEs murder us in the seams with envy.


They played well for extended periods, but started leaking pressures and tackles for loss or getting jammed up when the Cyclones made some adjustments and we didn't respond.

ISU's pure 3 man rush, or 3 man rush with a delay spy/blitzer has been able to get decent pressure on several Big 12 offenses, but Texas dominated in those situations on most snaps. Sam Cosmi notably had several big late pick ups on late-coming ISU defenders. Unit performance slipped when Texas had to drive for the winning score in a predictable passing situation, but JaQuan Bailey is a good player and we gave Christian Jones no help. On that drive, Jones surrendered a holding call and two pressures.

Sam effectively self-sacked on the 2nd to last play of the game. The other sack surrendered was on the bull**** slide sprint protection on 3rd and 6 at 4:45 in the 2nd quarter, which I've been bemoaning all year. We can't coach it, but insist on calling it. I've never seen a single protection fail more consistently. When it gives up a predictable sack or big hit on Sam - typically from a no-name space filler just taking the free gap for a hit on the QB - the coaches remember that we can't execute it and kibosh it for a quarter before calling it again.

A little food for thought. Against West Virginia and Iowa State, the Texas OL has won quite convincingly for long stretches early in the game against the two best fronts in the league (not named Texas), both run blocking and pass protecting, but then falls off as adjustments come to bear against an offense that lacks counterpunches (the lack of an adjustment to the predictable defensive adjustment) with some idiotic protection calls that mirror the ineptitude of Hand's Longhorn outside zone teaching rules.

Yet the dominant belief amongst the Texas fanbase is that the OL must lack "talent." No, this OL is just a microcosm of this program.



Edited by LTtxfan
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Scipio:  "Cade Brewer got most of the snaps at TE and had a few solid blocks, but those faded over the course of the game when ISU forced more big on big. 2-14 receiving, one of those catches on the fake punt. Wiley had a red zone score in the back corner of the end zone, but was lightly used overall. I wonder if he and Liebrock watched the ISU TEs murder us in the seams with envy."

WTF... Need to do this to Mensa & Yurcich!!!


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