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(Scipio Tex)  2020 Texas-Colorado Alamo Bowl Postmortem: Offense

QB

Sam hurt his shoulder in the mid to late 2nd quarter, gutted it out for an indeterminate number of snaps, and then passed the reins to Casey Thompson, who proceeded to look like a gunslinging mini-Mahomes crossed with Russell Wilson. Ehlinger's 1st half 10/16 for 160 yards and a touchdown stat line was nothing to sneer at and he'd certainly like to have played one of his sacks differently, but Casey absolutely went off. Thompson threw for four touchdowns in only 8 completions while going 8 of 10 for 170 yards. He was throwing strikes all over the field as Colorado opted for single coverage outside to clamp down on Bijan Robinson. To the offensive staff's credit, they let him sling it around didn't do the "Oh no, he's a backup, let's quit running the offense" fetal retreat. He also did this:

#8 shakes an unblocked pass rusher, and actually gets BACK INTO THE POCKET instead of bailing. Then the under control perfect reset. Look at how he's holding the ball as he squares his shoulders and keeps his eyes downfield. Then a pinpoint Level 10 difficulty throw. Holy cow. In the interest of full disclosure, I will also point out that he felt his oats a little too much and threw a ball right off of the freshman CU's CBs hands, but what's one bad throw among friends?

Thompson looked terrific and the Hudson Card coronation may want to hold off on the tinsel and ribbons orders. We've got a Spring fight brewing. Walk-on Ben Ballard's late 7 yard QB draw demonstrated that he deserves a goal line package at minimum. Lamar Jackson-esque

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I like Card, obviously, but Thompson has eye popping game film against a P5 defense working in his favor. I saw something about Card vacationing with his family during the offseason while I don't think Thompson took a break. I believe he worked a couple camps with his dad immediately after the Alamo Bowl. Maybe something. Maybe nothing. 

I do think Thompson has a burning desire to beat his father and older brother's team. For once, Texas will have a QB with a chip on their shoulder. 

 

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7 minutes ago, billfromlaketravis said:

I like Card, obviously, but Thompson has eye popping game film against a P5 defense working in his favor. I saw something about Card vacationing with his family during the offseason while I don't think Thompson took a break. I believe he worked a couple camps with his dad immediately after the Alamo Bowl. Maybe something. Maybe nothing. 

I do think Thompson has a burning desire to beat his father and older brother's team. For once, Texas will have a QB with a chip on their shoulder. 

 

Sam had a huge chip on his shoulder, at least through the Sugar Bowl. Dude took being seen as the consolation prize of that QB class quite personally.

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2 minutes ago, texifornia said:

Sam had a huge chip on his shoulder, at least through the Sugar Bowl. Dude took being seen as the consolation prize of that QB class quite personally.

Wha? 

https://247sports.com/Season/2017-Football/CompositeRecruitRankings/?InstitutionGroup=HighSchool&Position=DUAL

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That's true game situation type of training right there. Wonder how many "no delete that lets do it again" happened?

Nagger had awesome kicks on YouTube and transfered to smu.

He may turn out to be the next Drew brees. But let's not get excited over some workout where they cherry pick throws.
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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Casey Thompson vs. Hudson Card: Which Longhorn QB Candidate Has The Edge?

BY TOMER BARAZANI , UPDATED: FEB 9, 2021 

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With Sam Ehlinger entering the NFL draft, Texas will now have a quarterback battle between Casey Thompson and Hudson Card.
 

“I feel pretty good [about quarterbacks] at this point,” said new head coach Steve Sarkisian.

Following an impressive summer camp performance, the previous coaching staff favored that Card will be Texas’s future starting quarterback. At the same time, Thompson showed glimpses of greatness during the Alamo Bowl.

Thompson came off the bench for the injured Ehlinger. After taking the field, he threw for 170 yards on 8-of-10 with four touchdowns in the Longhorns' 55-23 victory over Colorado.

 

Here are Sarkisian's thoughts on choosing a starting quarterback:

“I mean I haven’t seen them live, which is concerning for me, considering I’m the quarterback guy," Sarkisian said. "But I do like the maturity of [Thompson]. I like what he brought in the [Alamo Bowl] game. You got a pretty good feel. We’ve obviously dug into a lot of practice tape. I like the skill set of Hudson Card. I think he’s a really talented player, and you see that when you dig into the practice tape.”

"I think we’ve got two kind-of frontline guys to start the process, and then bringing Charles (Wright) here," Sarkisian continued. "And then we’ll see what we end up doing moving forward in the ’22 and ’23 class.”

Thompson appears to be the frontrunner for the starting job for several reasons, namely his experience and familiarity with the program. His contributions during the Alamo Bowl show that he is capable of carrying the load and being the face of the Longhorns. 

Card, on the other hand, was regarded highly by Texas’s previous coaching staff, he simply hasn’t had enough of an opportunity to prove himself. That said, the talent and tools are there.

Nevertheless, Sarkisian should and will hold a fair battle between the two quarterbacks and assess what he sees from there.

 

 

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https://insidetexas.com/what-does-a-steve-sarkisian-qb-battle-look-like-were-about-to-find-out/

(Joe Cook) What does a Steve Sarkisian QB battle look like? We’re about to find out

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Steve Sarkisian understood there were new challenges awaiting him when he took over the Longhorns, but learning how to be a head coach was not one of them. Sarkisian led programs like Washington and USC, and Alabama head coach Nick Saban tapped Sarkisian to lead the Crimson Tide for one game in 2020.

But even with six-plus years of head coaching experience, Sarkisian still lacks a track record in, of all areas, something related to the quarterback position.

The only time Sarkisian has overseen a true pre-season quarterback battle was as a position coach or coordinator. While leading Washington and USC, Sarkisian either inherited an incumbent starter or selected the obvious heir apparent with little controversy.

Sarkisian will eventually need to choose a starter between sophomore Casey Thompson and freshman Hudson Card. No one will be able to outrank him in determining the winner of a true quarterback battle for the first time in his career.

The next time Sarkisian sees Card or Thompson throw a football live will be the first, he admitted on February 3rd. However, he has closely studied both candidates vying to succeed Sam Ehlinger.

“I do like the maturity of Casey,” Sarkisian said. “I like what he brought in the (Alamo Bowl). You got a pretty good feel. We’ve obviously dug into a lot of practice tape.”

He continued, “I like the skillset of Hudson Card. I think that he is a really talented player, and you see that when you dig into the practice. I think we’ve got two frontline guys to start the process, and then (we’re) bringing in Charles (Wright) here.”

One of the reasons Sarkisian was drawn to Texas was what he saw in the quarterback room. Sarkisian told The Athletic he “probably wouldn’t take a job that didn’t have a quarterback on the roster.”

With Thompson, Sarkisian further detailed to The Athletic what he saw the Oklahoma native do in the second half of the Alamo Bowl.

“I was like, ‘jeez, Texas is in pretty good hands here,’” he said. “’They’ve got a pretty good guy.’”

He was also familiar with Card after doing an “extensive eval.” He could also rely on information from assistant coach Jeff Banks, who saw Card live while recruiting for the Crimson Tide.

“We’ve got two young men right now on our current roster that can play,” Sarkisian told The Athletic.

But at some point, he’ll have to determine who will play the most.

As quarterbacks coach at USC, Sarkisian provided invaluable input to offensive coordinator Norm Chow and head coach Pete Carroll when it was time to replace Carson Palmer, the 2002 Heisman Trophy winner.

And though Leinart would eventually win the Heisman himself, he was not the obvious choice to take over for the Trojans.

“There was a lot of uncertainty about that,” Sarkisian told USA Today in 2007. “Leinart hadn’t exactly set the world on fire in practice.”

John David Booty, who graduated high school early in an effort to succeed Palmer, competed with Leinart for the role. As spring practices were winding down in 2003, the offensive staff settled on Leinart because they felt the need to pick someone.

Leinart eventually flourished. Booty ended up missing the 2004 season and was Leinart’s backup in 2005. Once Leinart departed for the NFL, Booty received another chance at becoming USC’s starting quarterback in 2006.

Booty patiently waited behind not two, but three eventual NFL players if Matt Cassel is included. Rather than transfer, Booty stuck around and took over the starting role.

“Leave this?” Booty told USA Today. “Heck, everybody wants to be a part of this.”

A bygone era, according to Sarkisian. He believes the days of having a position room with players like Leinart, Booty, and five-star Mark Sanchez all in one place are over.

“I’ve got to wrap my brain around this isn’t six or seven years ago when you had four or five guys on your roster at that position,” Sarkisian said February 3. “They just don’t stick around. You’ve got to be ready to work with two or three.”

When Sarkisian chose Booty in 2006, he again had two coaches above him in the decision-making hierarchy with Carroll and Lane Kiffin.

In 2008, Sarkisian helped Carroll decide between Sanchez and Arkansas transfer Mitch Mustain, choosing Sanchez as spring practices were ending. That would be the last true quarterback battle he had a say in for over a decade.

For his first head coaching gig at Washington, Sarkisian entered a program with Jake Locker as the quarterback. Locker eventually was selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft after two seasons with Sarkisian.

Locker’s replacement was Keith Price, who was the No. 2 Husky quarterback during Locker’s senior year in 2010. Sarkisian named Price the starter as 2011’s spring practices were concluding, and Price held that role for the rest of Sarkisian’s stay in Seattle.

At USC, Sarkisian inherited Cody Kessler from his friend Kiffin. Kessler threw for 2968 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2013. In 2014, his first season under Sarkisian, Kessler threw for 3826 yards and 39 touchdowns. Kessler was also the starter for Sarkisian’s truncated 2015 season.

Upon his full-time return to the college game in 2019, Sarkisian entered a quarterback room topped by Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama. Following one season with the No. 5 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Sarkisian and Saban needed to select who would follow Tagovailoa between junior Mac Jones and true freshman Bryce Young.

Jones had a leg up on the race after stepping in for an injured Tagovailoa in late 2019, and eventually won Saban’s final blessing. The decision proved to be the right one as Jones led an offense considered among the best in college football history.

Sarkisian’s preferences in quarterback battles assuredly carried weight, especially with defensive head coaches. But in his new role at Texas, no former NFL head coach, or anyone else, can overrule Sarkisian when it comes to determining the Longhorns’ 2021 quarterback.

Across a career already 20 years in length, there still can be a first time for everything. That includes a battle for the first-string role ahead of Sarkisian’s first season in Austin.

 

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It's interesting that he's never really had a tough qb decision/battle as a head coach. Whenever he had one as a coordinator the more experienced guy seemed to win out but it's impossible to know how much that was his influence versus Pete Carrol or Saban. Also it may just be a coincidence that the best guy always happened to be the older one. 

He touches on the qbs a bit here, pretty similar to the quotes above.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/texas-hc-steve-sarkisian-joins-show-on-national-signing/id884362991?i=1000507631297

I'll say when I was listening to him I got the sense that he thinks it ends up being Card. Not that it is decided or anything just that in his initial evals he has Card as the more talented player and a fresh start in the new system for both of them will end with Card coming out on top.

I'm very likely just projecting though. 

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how shitty does Colorado have to feel

it is 17-10 to start the half, a backup QB that has about 5 snaps under his belt comes in......you end up getting the shit kicked out of you 55-23.....and the coach still gets fired from the winning team.......kicking the shit out of Colorado by by 32 points was just a nothing burger in terms of a coach keeping their job even with a back up QB playing half the game (and the starter clearly off his game for a big part of the first half

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Thanks for this @Machinator

What do those who were on the inside think? The Athletic spoke to four members of Texas’ 2020 staff who were granted anonymity in return for offering a clear picture of what Sarkisian inherits on the Longhorns’ roster.

Quarterbacks with potential
Despite losing four-year starter Sam Ehlinger, the quarterback room is another source of optimism. Last week, Sarkisian told Stewart Mandel and me on The Audible Podcast that he probably wouldn’t take a head coaching job that didn’t have a (good) quarterback on the roster.

“I’ve been pretty fortunate in my career to be around some good players at that position who have the physical traits and the mental makeup to play really good at the position,” Sarkisian said. “It’s the most important position in sports. We’re fortunate that we have two young men right now on our roster that can play.”

Those two are freshman Hudson Card, the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the 2020 class, and sophomore Casey Thompson, who came into the Alamo Bowl at the start of the second half after Ehlinger left with an injury and torched Colorado, finishing 8 for 10 with four touchdown passes in a 55-23 rout.

“I had a chance to watch that game,” Sarkisian told us. “I got home from work right before the end of the first half and just happened to watch the second half and I thought, ‘Jeez, Texas is in pretty good hands here, they have a pretty good guy.’ But then I had to remind myself when I got into really looking at this job. I did a really extensive eval on Hudson Card, and then I got here and heard a lot of the same things you’ve been hearing (from the 2020 Texas staff). I feel like we’re in good hands.”

“Casey is a good player,” Coach Three said of Thompson. “Great personality. He’s probably only 5-11. OK arm strength. He throws a good catchable ball. He’s accurate. Has good touch. He’s fast, mobile. I think he’s a sub-4.5 guy. But I’d be shocked if Hudson’s not the quarterback.

“I love the guy. Love his accuracy. Hudson can really drive the football. His footwork and ability to throw from any platform. He’s a very intelligent kid. I think Aaron Rodgers is the most talented quarterback ever in terms of skill set. This kid reminds me a lot of Aaron Rodgers in how he can move within the pocket and throw from different arm angles and make off-platform throws, and he’s got really good agility. He’s like a 4.5 (40) guy. I’m not bullshitting you. He’s really that talented.”

Coach Two gushed about Card’s talent. “Hudson has got a chance to be special,” he said. “He is ridiculously good. He can really spin it. He makes good decisions. He has a lot of ‘It’ factor.”

“He’s gonna be really good,” Coach One said. “I think he can be one of the best players in the country.”

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On 1/26/2021 at 10:42 PM, Bigbend1812 said:

I want the best guy to play.  i want us to kick the shit out of others teams so the back up gets in the game a lot and has meaningful snaps. I want to win and win big. 

The backup QB is ALWAYS the best QB. Rarely makes dumb decisions from the bench.

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how shitty does Colorado have to feel
it is 17-10 to start the half, a backup QB that has about 5 snaps under his belt comes in......you end up getting the shit kicked out of you 55-23.....and the coach still gets fired from the winning team.......kicking the shit out of Colorado by by 32 points was just a nothing burger in terms of a coach keeping their job even with a back up QB playing half the game (and the starter clearly off his game for a big part of the first half
Smoked a bowl and went skiing. Oscar Fuchs.
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Is there any film of Card under duress in HS? I don't initially trust any QB that hasn't had the dogs on his ass.

I said the same thing when Squints was the GPOY. I never saw a defender near him on his HS tape.

Moving the pocket is great when there's a pocket. What happens when there is no pocket?

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2 hours ago, Snacks said:
On 2/9/2021 at 9:21 PM, ButtFumble said:
how shitty does Colorado have to feel
it is 17-10 to start the half, a backup QB that has about 5 snaps under his belt comes in......you end up getting the shit kicked out of you 55-23.....and the coach still gets fired from the winning team.......kicking the shit out of Colorado by by 32 points was just a nothing burger in terms of a coach keeping their job even with a back up QB playing half the game (and the starter clearly off his game for a big part of the first half

Smoked a bowl and went skiing. Oscar Fuchs.

I guess you only burn the futon for a win?

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On 2/11/2021 at 8:55 AM, Snacks said:

Is there any film of Card under duress in HS? I don't initially trust any QB that hasn't had the dogs on his ass.

I said the same thing when Squints was the GPOY. I never saw a defender near him on his HS tape.

Moving the pocket is great when there's a pocket. What happens when there is no pocket?

Our Chaps put a lot of pressure on him in 2017 & 2018. He is very fast and elusive, but he was sacked repeatably and threw INTs in both those games, which were losses for LT. He also was under a tremendous amount of pressure during their two playoff losses to North Shore. In the first game, he never was able to get going, as the game was a total beat-down. In the second, after falling into a really deep hole, he did an outstanding job of bringing the team back. His greatest performance by far was in a state championship loss his freshman or sophomore year vs Allen, in which he had to come into the game after the starter went down and after a rough start, managed to bring LT all the way back and nearly pull off an amazing victory. His scrambling ability vs North Shore and Allen kept LT in the games.

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On 2/9/2021 at 10:21 PM, ButtFumble said:

how shitty does Colorado have to feel

it is 17-10 to start the half, a backup QB that has about 5 snaps under his belt comes in......you end up getting the shit kicked out of you 55-23.....and the coach still gets fired from the winning team.......kicking the shit out of Colorado by by 32 points was just a nothing burger in terms of a coach keeping their job even with a back up QB playing half the game (and the starter clearly off his game for a big part of the first half

They probably feel bad Sam got hurt. If Sam plays the entire time that game is a 30-24 type affair that I'm not sure we win.

I hate bringing this up but I have to after seeing people here trash our OL. Sam had what was statistically one of the best OLs in CFB last year and somehow people think it was our OLs fault the offense sucked. People who watched the games saw Sam get plenty of time only to miss the wide open deep shots. Almost all of them. IDK if he had a bunch of injuries he never told anyone about but something was off with him this year. Tom Herman got fired because he was too chickenshit to bench the senior QB.

I trust the QB situation next season. They don't seem to be run first guys.

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On 2/10/2021 at 8:37 AM, LTtxfan said:

Casey is a good player,” Coach Three said of Thompson. “Great personality. He’s probably only 5-11. OK arm strength. He throws a good catchable ball. He’s accurate. Has good touch. He’s fast, mobile. I think he’s a sub-4.5 guy. But I’d be shocked if Hudson’s not the quarterback.

“I love the guy. Love his accuracy. Hudson can really drive the football. His footwork and ability to throw from any platform. He’s a very intelligent kid. I think Aaron Rodgers is the most talented quarterback ever in terms of skill set. This kid reminds me a lot of Aaron Rodgers in how he can move within the pocket and throw from different arm angles and make off-platform throws, and he’s got really good agility. He’s like a 4.5 (40) guy. I’m not bullshitting you. He’s really that talented.”

image.gif.5f30a7fdc284aa783612e103278269cd.gif

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1 hour ago, Burt Macklin said:

I’d love to see your statistics proving this. 

https://www.pff.com/news/college-football-ranking-all-127-fbs-offensive-lines-through-cfb-week-13

Its not exactly stats but PFF ranked Texas 26/127 in OL play for last year and had them as 13th best in P5. That was why I made my original statement. I know PFF has the specific stats to show why they're ranked this way but you have to pay for them. 

I looked for stats I could see and Football Outsiders does have some raw OL stats available for free but very few. One stat was included was our sack rate, ranking 65/127 which is mediocre. However sack rate isn't enough, the main stats I would be interested in is Average Time to Throw and pressures given up. I haven't found anyone giving those out for free.

My bad for claiming stats back up my statement, since I hadn't actually seen them. BUT given PFFs rankings I can reasonably assume that they do.

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6 minutes ago, Gigglebush said:

https://www.pff.com/news/college-football-ranking-all-127-fbs-offensive-lines-through-cfb-week-13

Its not exactly stats but PFF ranked Texas 26/127 in OL play for last year and had them as 13th best in P5. That was why I made my original statement. I know PFF has the specific stats to show why they're ranked this way but you have to pay for them. 

I looked for stats I could see and Football Outsiders does have some raw OL stats available for free but very few. One stat was included was our sack rate, ranking 65/127 which is mediocre. However sack rate isn't enough, the main stats I would be interested in is Average Time to Throw and pressures given up. I haven't found anyone giving those out for free.

My bad for claiming stats back up my statement, since I hadn't actually seen them. BUT given PFFs rankings I can reasonably assume that they do.

Football Outsiders has more stats than that and they show we were about average for D1. Our OL was nowhere near one of the best OLs in CFB, and watching the game showed that. 

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