Texas Tech Pre Game

Decisions, Decisions

Swoopes the Tailback

Charlie Strong said this week that Tyrone Swoopes will continue in his new role – debuted against Baylor — as the slowest tailback in the history of college football.  The slowest tailback reference is mine, not Strong’s but I wonder if that notion has entered his mind?  Anyway, of course, Strong will continue this new wrinkle because it worked so well against Baylor.  For the record, Swoopes rushed for seven yards on seven carries in the Baylor game.  I’ll let you do the arithmetic.  Yes, some of those carries were out of the 18-Wheeler package but I’m just sayin’.

If you sense that I’m not enthusiastic about Swoopes the tailback I can tell you that I felt better about after reading in the Statesman that D’Onta Foreman was coaching him up.  “I’m definitely trying to talk to him about certain things,” Foreman said. “Driving his hips, trying to stay low and move his feet.  It’s different from when we’re in the 18-Wheeler package and when you’re at running back.  You don’t have many blockers going to one side for you.  You’ve got to try to create holes sometimes that aren’t there.”   It’s good to know that our number two running back is being coached up by somebody.  What’s Strong’s overall won-loss record at UT again?

Inside the Ten

Speaking of Swoopes, I don’t understand when Texas has the ball inside the 10-yard line Strong and Gilbert make the offense less diverse — it is the age of diversity right — by bringing in the 18-Wheeler package.  On Texas’ first possession of the second half against Baylor, they smartly moved the ball from their own 25-yard line to Baylor’s 10-yard line.  Then Swoopes replaced Buechele at quarterback.  With no threat of a pass, Baylor held Foreman to two yards on successive carries forcing the Horns to settle for a field goal.  Decisions like replacing Buechele with Swoopes in this situation are what will likely cost Strong his job.

Hold Card

Sterlin Gilbert was asked this week why there haven’t been any passes or surprises from the 18-Wheeler package. “We’ve got stuff that’s ready.  We’ll use it when the need arises” he answered.  When the need arises?  Hey, Gilbert, you’re 4-4 and your boss is about to get fired.  The need has arisen.

Game Management

Before Trent Dominque’s game-winning field goal against Baylor, Texas had a third and two at the Baylor 18.  Swoopes replaced Buechele and lost four yards running to the right.  I don’t get it.  Adding to my confusion, Swoopes took the snap with :22 left on the play clock instead of running it down and leaving Baylor with less time for a game-winning drive.  Were Strong and Gilbert even trying to make the first down or were they settling for a field goal attempt?  Either way Strong and Gilbert completely botched the situation and they and Texas are lucky that the shaky Dominque made the kick.

Trent Domingue

I did not expect Trent Domingue to make that 39-yard game-winning field goal.  Thank god he did.  You know what?  Strong keeping his job may hinge on Domingue converting another game winner over the next few weeks.  Uh, oh Charlie.

Strong is Not a Sympathetic Figure

I occasionally hear and read comments from people who think poor old Charlie Strong is being unfairly criticized and in danger of losing his job.  Fiddle-faddle.  Strong has made a dizzying array of bad decisions on and off the field since arriving in Austin — chronicled here and in other forums and media — that have put him on the hot seat.  He’s 1-8 in his last nine road games.  You can’t expect to keep your job at The University of Texas earning more than $5 million per year with that kind of road record no matter how decent a person you are.  It is totally reasonable that Strong’s team be required to beat Texas Tech and Kansas on the road and at least split the home games with West Virginia and TCU games to keep his job.  If he does that, Texas will be 7-5 on the season, 3-8 on the road in 2015 and 2016, and 18-19 overall (before a bowl game this season) since Strong took over.  To be honest, even that isn’t good enough for Strong to be retained, in my opinion.

Texas Tech

Texas can’t afford not to hold serve on offense tomorrow.  If Texas fails to score on two or three possessions in the first half they’ll probably lose the game.  So I’m wondering if the Texas offense is moving the ball and scoring early in the game with their regular offense, will Strong and Gilbert disrupt their rhythm with the 18-Wheeler package.

John Smoltz

I rarely watch baseball but I got caught up in the whole Cubs thing and watched parts of games 1-6 and most of game seven of the World Series.  During game one or two I was wondering, who is that analyst working with Joe Buck?  He’s pretty good.  Oh, John Smoltz, I know who he is.  By the middle of game seven, I decided that Smoltz is the best broadcast sports analyst that I have ever heard—period.   He was as amazing as game seven was.

Hook ‘Em,

W.E.

What Say You?