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2022 Season Team News and Notes(Between Games Thread)


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Horns Up, Horns Neutral, Horns Down: Texas vs. Alabama

Eric Nahlin•18 minutes

Article written by:Eric Nahlin

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What a gratifying day to cover the Texas Longhorns. Despite the loss, I hope the day reminded you of why you’re such a big UT fan. All you can ask is the coaches put their players in position to make plays the players play hard. Check and check.

That was one of the grittier efforts I’ve seen in a long time. Think about how far they are from one year ago. Well done by the coaches to earn the player’s buy-in and well done by the players to trust their coaches and each other.

I mentioned to a source after the game “You know we can’t celebrate today. But you know we an be pleased with some data points.” You can’t celebrate it like it’s a win but you can celebrate and appreciate the effort.

Horns Up

— The will the team played with is why many fans remained to give a standing ovation as the players left the field. They battled through so much adversity and bad luck. Adversity in football often stems from self-inflicted wounds, but that wasn’t always the case in this game, and they certainly played cleaner than Alabama for long portions of the game. The injuries to Quinn Ewers and Hudson Card was bad luck. The negated safety was nonsensical. 

— Steve Sarkisian should have earned unwavering confidence in his ability to game plan opponents and scheme his players for success. He nearly knocked off his other legendary mentor as a large underdog. These guys are going to stop hiring him if he isn’t careful.

— That’s a joke because he’s a head coach plain and simple. What he’s done from a culture standpoint in such a short time is nothing short of phenomenal. My lasting impression of this game will be the effort the players exhibited through intense heat and other external factors.

— Horns up to the quarterbacks for different reasons. Quinn Ewers’ early game performance showed just how ready he was for the big moment. He was about to rip sh*t to use a technical @malaise term. Hudson Card played through a lot of pain and did well all things considered. He just has to see “it” a split second faster and be more decisive. Tough kid with terrible luck. This team didn’t flinch with the change in QBs. 

— I felt pretty good about the D-line’s chances to hold up against the Alabama O-line but the Texas O-line exceeded my expectations. They seemed oh-so-close to helping Bijan Robinson pop a long run. They were game from the start and actually got some movement at times. Horns up to both lines. 

— Team defense. I sat with @rodofdisaster and at one point in the third quarter (I think, might have been at the start of the third quarter) we looked up and Bama had six first downs. The previous week’s defensive effort was no mirage. They were telling us they were going to play hard, fast, and smart this year. The coaches deserve a ton of credit. In a year’s time they’ve replaced confusion with cohesion. Impressive.

— Bert Auburn, you stud. That 49-yarder was so close to making him a legend forever. Still a legend in my book, Bert. That was a big kick and should be a confidence booster going forward.

— Jaylan Ford personified the new mentality when he came back from the long touchdown run and started making plays. This team has a short memory. This team last year would have folded like a cheap suit given the adversity.

— Anthony Cook reminds us of a few things: Don’t give up on players prematurely; they’re not all boom or bust, sometimes highly rated players become solid college players; coaching and development matters; and, they need to be in their right fit. What a baller game from him. Jerrin Thompson too.

— It was miserably hot yet I didn’t see players cramping up. I also didn’t see players getting pushed around. This is just a mentally stronger and physically stronger group. Horns up to the S&C staff and also to Sark for having the awareness they needed to alter some things. 

— Horns all the way up for the fans in the stands. You’d be hard pressed to find a more raucous crowd for an 11:00 a.m. kick. 

— Horns up to Appalachian State.

Horns Neutral

— The points we’re celebrating coupled with the tough loss leave me personally feeling neutral about the result. Last year after the breakdown in the RRS I wrote I felt fine about it because I believed that game showed Sark was the man for Texas despite the heartbreaking loss. Yesterday gave me the same feeling. He has this program on the right path and he provided us with another glaring example of how bad of a dude he is when it comes to scheming opponents.

Horns Down

— Every point mattered in that game. The safety being negated was downright egregious. 

— I felt Sark should have used his timeouts before the end of the first half. That would have allowed them to put Bama in more run/pass conflict. Overall a great game from the head man. More importantly, it looks like it really was a great offseason.

— Horns down to the football gods. The external bad luck in that game is a hard pill to swallow. Texas played well enough to win. Many of us were just wanting it close in the fourth quarter but I left lamenting how they should have won. Bama had a narrow path to victory and they tight-roped it. Winning has become muscle memory for them while it hasn’t for Texas….yet.

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BobbyBurton

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Today at 8:50 AM

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#1

If you don’t read another article on this site all week, do yourself a favor and make sure you read/watch the one I link below.

It’s Joe Cook’s from yesterday afternoon. It’s a real treat for the true Longhorn fan.
 

Film room: The Texas defensive line showed out versus Alabama

Texas defensive linemen accounted for 14 of the team's 59 total tackles during Saturday's 20-19 loss to Alabama, but they had a drastic effect on the game.

 www.on3.com


**

So maybe that’s what good team defense looks like.

It starts with a defensive front capable of playing hard and causing disruption. Their play then allows for linebackers - one that leads the team in tackles with 10 - to become more effective and produces a secondary that doesn’t have to hold on for dear life.

It all starts up front. That maxim never proved more true than against Alabama last Saturday.

And great work by Joe showing just how that happened.

**

The two biggest questions I’m seeing on the board this week are:

1. Who is the starting QB going to be on Saturday?

2. Can/will Texas give the same sort of effort on both sides of the ball each and every week to produce a turn-around season? In essence, was the performance against Bama a one-hit wonder?

Well, we don’t know for sure on the QB. That decision likely won’t come until closer to the end of the week when Hudson Card’s ankle injury has had more time to heal.

Charles Wright is the next man up otherwise. Wright’s primarily a move-the-chains type of QB, and is particularly accurate on the short stuff and uses his legs well. Others have remarked about his ability to throw the deep ball.

But no one will mistake him for Quinn Ewers. Yet don’t underestimate him either.

As for the overall performance of the team, sure, the guys could suffer a letdown, especially if there are some bad breaks, like poor turnovers or coverage busts that are then compounded by outstanding plays by opponents at crucial times.

But I don’t think we’ll see a dramatic turn because of a lack of effort or focus. This team seems fairly dialed in. And they seem that way on every level of the defense, where letdowns tend to hurt you the most.

A team doesn’t play Alabama toe-to-toe for four quarters without the capacity to focus and perform at a high level consistently.

In other words, the game against Bama was no charade.

If there’s one area of the Texas team I want to see continue its improvement, it’s the offensive line. To no one’s surprise, the Texas run game did not do much against Bama. But Texas will want to get its run game going against UTSA, and much of that will depend on the Horns’ OL.

I’m quite sure UTSA will sell out to stop the run and attempt to make Texas pass to beat them. If the Texas OL can meet that challenge, both as run blockers and pass protectors, this becomes an offense that should be able to meet the challenge of UTSA overall.

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Charles Wright is the next man up otherwise. Wright’s primarily a move-the-chains type of QB, and is particularly accurate on the short stuff and uses his legs well. Others have remarked about his ability to throw the deep ball.
 

memebot no Twitter: "interdasting #TheMemebot #interdasting #Funny #Meme  https://t.co/o9dJY5G4sz https://t.co/AWJW8MpLmJ" / Twitter

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11 hours ago, TexMexBuddha said:

Saw Hayden Conner on a scooter at MLK and Trinity as I was walking toward the Moody for Iron Maiden.

Yelled "Hey Connor, y'all played a helluva game!"

He smiled, but I get that was intrusive of me. Flashed a Hook'em.

That is all. emoji869.png

That poor scooter

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12 hours ago, TexMexBuddha said:

Saw Hayden Conner on a scooter at MLK and Trinity as I was walking toward the Moody for Iron Maiden.

Yelled "Hey Connor, y'all played a helluva game!"

He smiled, but I get that was intrusive of me. Flashed a Hook'em.

That is all. emoji869.png

You should have told him to stay the fuck off scooters.

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Among the biggest and best things the Bama game did for us was to prove to all of us - fans, coaches, and most importantly, the players - all understand that it's no longer mere faith, it's FACT: we DO belong on the field with the cream of college football.

My take on that game is that we beat those fuckers. We know it and they know it. Errbody know it, including a lot say they don't... deep down, they know.

Doesn't mean we can't do stupid shit and drop games we should win, but we're better than that, and now we know.

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13 hours ago, Tex Long said:

Among the biggest and best things the Bama game did for us was to prove to all of us - fans, coaches, and most importantly, the players - all understand that it's no longer mere faith, it's FACT: we DO belong on the field with the cream of college football.

My take on that game is that we beat those fuckers. We know it and they know it. Errbody know it, including a lot say they don't... deep down, they know.

Doesn't mean we can't do stupid shit and drop games we should win, but we're better than that, and now we know.

Yeah, that's the life of 18-22 kids. 

But come on, it should be obvious the issues that really fucked us last year (the terrible OL, the horrible personnel we had on defense, the growing pains of PK's scheme and compatibility with assistants, Casey Thompson) don't exist anymore. 

We got a talent infusion of young OL ready to play, and another year of maturity and offseason S&C, we relegated some of our worst defensive players to the portal or third string, we brought in QE and our defensive scheme was coherent and well planned. 

There will still be pains with a young team and a hobbled QB room for a few weeks, but god damn, this team is going to belong and be really good.  

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1 minute ago, Js1 said:

But come on, it should be obvious the issues that really fucked us last year (the terrible OL, the horrible personnel we had on defense,

Seeing stuff like this cracks me up. Our OL wasn’t terrible last year. The line yard stats bear that out. They were a significantly better run blocking unit than what we have this year. 
 

And for all the people clamoring about lack of talent on defense last year, 10 of the 11 starters on our defense were on the team last year. It wasn’t really a lack of talent on D last year as it was poor coaching. We had terrible personnel decisions and poor scheme. If you look at our two deep on the DL, our starting LBs and secondary, it’s all guys who were on the team last year. Watts is really the only new guy who’s playing much. 

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Seeing stuff like this cracks me up. Our OL wasn’t terrible last year. The line yard stats bear that out. They were a significantly better run blocking unit than what we have this year. 
 
And for all the people clamoring about lack of talent on defense last year, 10 of the 11 starters on our defense were on the team last year. It wasn’t really a lack of talent on D last year as it was poor coaching. We had terrible personnel decisions and poor scheme. If you look at our two deep on the DL, our starting LBs and secondary, it’s all guys who were on the team last year. Watts is really the only new guy who’s playing much. 

The OL was pretty goddamn bad in pass protection last year. It’s safe to say that’s been fixed, between personnel and some conscious choices with scheme/play calling. They’ve basically flipped the script, the run blocking has not been good this year. I’m willing to give a bit of a pass because the ULM gameplan was very vanilla (it’s not like they ran the ball poorly, but ULM sucks) and I didn’t expect them to move Bama’s DL.

I’m really curious to see how the run blocking looks against UTSA and into the first couple games of Big 12 play. These are opponents that they should be able to run on, but will also be focused on stopping the run first given the QB situation. If they continue to struggle with run blocking, that’s going to cause problems when the better defenses on the schedule know they can contain the run with light boxes.
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