Manhandled is a Verb

Manhandled is a Verb

Walking out of the stadium after Maryland’s last touchdown that made the score 51-34 with 2:08 remaining in the game, I was thinking of several glib observations I could write for this column.  I won’t go through them all but $8,700 lockers and million dollar salaries for defensive coordinators were at the top of the list. But before I was thinking of glib observations, my first reaction to the game was, this program has devolved into a total farce.

Now, six days later, I’ve recalibrated my position on the 2017 Tom Hermans.  Herman was not forthcoming or likeable during his appearance post-game press conference when he miscategorized the word manhandled as an adjective (it’s a verb, Tom) or his weekly Monday press conference when he still didn’t shoulder any blame for the Maryland defeat, but I’m still betting that he will lead Texas to at least seven regular season wins this year and ultimately to a string of 10 win or better seasons.

Here are the reasons why.

  1. Herman hasn’t become stupid since he arrived in Austin. His success as a coach has been well documented and is real. Perhaps he became preoccupied with the music being played in the stadium during games, a water bottle being left in a meeting room by P.J. Locke, and the color of players’ peepee.  After the Maryland humiliation maybe he’ll refocus on football.
  1. Despite what some fans and sports analysts think, Texas’s current roster has enough good players to have a winning season this year. In predicting eight regular season wins, I expected Texas to lay an egg at some point and lose a game when they were the favorite. Maybe Maryland was that game.
  2. Texas receivers caught 34 passes against Maryland. They didn’t drop a single one. Their sure-handedness bodes well for the offense. Reggie Hemphill-Mapps is a budding star.
  3. Speaking of Hemphill-Mapps, he looks like a gamebreaker on punt returns.
  4. It’s so predictable that many fans will blame the quarterback after a disappointing loss no matter what actually happened. Buechele is a good quarterback. He didn’t display the accuracy he did last year in missing on five or six attempts of more than 40 yards but he threw touchdown passes of 33 and 32 yards and completed several other intermediate range passes. If the offensive and defensive lines had played as well as Buechele, Texas would have won. When Buechele gets healthy Herman and offensive coordinator Tim Beck need to produce game plans more suited to his skill set.
  5. It’s a football cliché that teams improve the most  from game one to game two but with a new coaching staff it’s quite reasonable to believe Texas will greatly improve after the Maryland debacle.

Greg Bowers observations and a little inside information

Greg called me Sunday afternoon with information about Texas’ kickoff strategy and observations on the Texas defense.  He assured me that Josh Rowland is capable of kicking the ball deep into the end zone but Josh told his dad who told Greg that the strategy against Maryland called for his kicks to go into the corner on the one yard line which he executed perfectly.  Going forward I hope Tom Herman lets Josh kick it into the end zone and rely less on his shaky kickoff coverage.

Most interesting to me was Greg’s observation on the Texas defense.  He told me that defensive coordinator Todd Orlando used the same tactics he used at Houston but the Texas players looked big and slow compared to Houston’s.  This week Herman said players were thinking too much about not making mistakes which made them a step slow versus Maryland.  Players echoed this critique. Let’s hope over-thinking was the reason the defense looked big and slow not that they actually are big and slow.

Hook ‘eM.


Maryland Over/Under Results

The bloodbath last Saturday in Royal Memorial Stadium overflowed into the Over/Under contest.  The average number of correct answers was 3.2.  Not surprisingly, no contestant predicted a Maryland victory.

Greg Swan, Clayton Frink, and D.R. Flower tied for first with five correct answers. All three picked Alabama over Florida State and UCLA over A&M which took it down to their predictions on the Alabama-Florida State final score.  The three were still very close with Greg Swan finally prevailing by predicting the Alabama win by a score of 35-21 and coming closest to the final margin of victory.

San Jose State Over/Under

  • Tiebreaker: Predict Winners. Scores aren't required

    Oklahoma at Ohio St.
  • Houston @ Arizona

2 Comments to “Manhandled is a Verb”

  1. You left early?!?1 Did you not get the parking spot your were looking for? For shame.

  2. My concern is the stubborn nature of, not just these coaches, but most. Herman and Beck are trying to run an offense that requires a running QB threat. Texas does not have same, save for Heard, and the “Wild Horn” becomes quite predictable. I want to see a lot of hand offs to running backs this week, and if the Horns can’t run on San Jose State (among the very worst against the run last year and so far this year), the rest of the season will look quite bleak, indeed. Meanwhile, Orlando insists on a three-man defensive line, leaving O-linemen an easy path to Horn linebackers who can’t get off blocks to save their lives. Result — easy, gashing runs up the middle and off tackle. If that doesn’t change this week, again, the rest of the season looks even bleaker, if that’s possible. We’ll know a lot by about 4:30 Saturday.

What Say You?