This One’s on the Coaches

After seven years of mediocrity there are no moral victories. Not in the world of Longhorn Football. The fact that Texas didn’t fold after falling behind by 20 points is no solace for me.  Sure, I was happy that the Horns made a game of it when it looked like it could be one of those 60 something -14 kind of Texas-OU games but Texas should never be been behind by 20, to anyone.

Texas was outgained 227 to 19 yards in the first quarter. Oklahoma was ready to play, Texas wasn’t. This is on the coaches.

The bare facts of the matter are, there is no excuse for 19 yards on 14 rushing attempts by running backs. I don’t care how many injuries you’ve had on the offensive line, your running backs, at minimum should be able to average more than three yards a carry. I didn’t see a single counter play or inside reverse. This is on the coaches.

Catastrophic breakdowns in the secondary allowed Oklahoma touchdown passes of 54 and 59 yards. Paul Wadlington—my go to writer on UT Xs and Os—explained that the latter, coming just three plays after Texas had taken its only lead of the game, was on Kris Boyd for playing man-to-man when he should have been playing zone coverage.  Boyd has busted the coverages numerous times this year. This is on the coaches.  They’re at least three games late in coming up with coverage schemes that their personnel can understand and execute and it may be time for them to give up on Boyd.  I just heard Tom Herman say that perhaps they need to simplify the coverage schemes. Uh, yeah.

I am as impressed with Sam Ehlinger as anyone, but he did not have a good game in terms of throwing accuracy or reading coverages. My seats were in the very top row of the upper deck on the 45-yard line giving me a press box like view of the game. Ehlinger didn’t see open receivers over the middle all game long which resulted in too many scrambles and throwaways.  He threw 10 yards wide and 10 feet high to a receiver in the corner of the end zone. If that pass hadn’t been ruled uncatchable, Texas would have drawn an interference call which would have put the ball inside the 10-yardline on a drive that resulted in a field goal.  Stating the obvious, Ehlinger is a very, very good runner and his presence and leadership on the field are unmistakable, but if he doesn’t get better at reading defenses, Texas is probably looking at close but no cigar against TCU and Oklahoma State.  This is mostly on the coaches.

It’s time to acknowledge that Texas has personnel that is talented enough and is playing hard enough to win the rest the games on the schedule.  It’s not about pixie dust. It’s about coaching. The time for feel-good moral victories is past.

You May Think You’re an Idiot but with all due respect….

During the OU pep rally in 1975, Darrell Royal said it seems like this game is always on a hot and sunny day and I like it that way. So do I and it was hot and sunny, to say the least, on Saturday.  For me, the sun and the heat wouldn’t have presented a problem had it not been for minor personal setback. As I mentioned, my seats were on the top row of the upper deck.  Sitting at the top of the stadium was such a unique experience for me that shortly after I got to my seat I decided to stand on my seat and look out over the back of the stadium at to see what the view was like. Did I mention that, accompanying the sun and the heat were gusty southwest winds?  Anyway, about two seconds after I got up on my seat to look, a gust of wind blew my Texas visor off my head. I stood there in a state of disbelief and despair as I watched my visor flutter down into the state fair masses below.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt like as big an idiot as I did at that moment. Did I mention that in addition to my seats being on the top row of the upper deck, they were also on the east side of the stadium so I was looking directly into the sun? So there I was, it’s 90 degrees, there’s not a cloud in the sky, looking directly into the sun, with no headgear with a three and a half hour game ahead of me.  Crap.  During one of the first television timeouts I set out looking for a hat vendor. Sure enough, I found one not too terribly far away in the stadium concourse behind the end zone, but all they had were hideously designed black and orange and camo colored visors and hats.  As many of you know, I have very high standards for menswear, especially UT menswear. Also I tend to be a bit on the—shall we say—frugal side.  I’m already paying $5 a beer so I’m not plunking down $20 for a hideous hat.   So as far as I was concerned, I was SOL.  Thanks to my seat mate Mark Stephan, who let me wear his hat for almost half the game, and the two applications of 50 SPF sunscreen I applied before heading to the stadium, I’m happy to report that unlike the Longhorns, I came out of the Cotton Bowl unscathed.

It’s usually hot, and due to the increased seating capacity of the Cotton Bowl (it was around 73k until the early 90s, now it’s 92K) the fair grounds are more congested than ever, parking is a hassle, you have to stand in long lines to get coupons, and then stand in long lines to get food and drink, and you have to risk watching 50,000 OU fans celebrating a victory over the Longhorns, but to this “Naturalized Texan,”  it’s the greatest sporting experience in the history of the world. If the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll go to Texas-OU again and again.

Hook ‘Em,

W.E.

Over/Under Results

John Scott—back from an unexplained absence—won this week against the largest field of the year with eight correct answers.  Mark Adams was second with seven. There was seven-way tie for third that included Reed Ramlow, Helen Frink, Andy Garrod, Steve Holstead, Wade Wallace, David Bergstrom, and Mark Stephan.  Add those seven to John and Mark and you have a Bill Frink—This is Your Life.

2 Comments to “This One’s on the Coaches”

  1. It’s possible that Ehlinger becomes Marty Akins lite, but his passing accuracy should already be “there.” That it’s not is a serious issue and I don’t see it getting a lot better this year, maybe ever. There’s a chance that the next outstanding UT quarterback still isn’t on campus. Meanwhile, Ehlinger is the man. The most important and beneficial “fix” required (this team’s biggest problem) is the secondary. The Horns would be 5-1 and in the top 20 with simply decent play from Boyd and Jones.

    OSU’s Rudolph is not as mobile as Mayfield (who is?), but it will take All American performance by the front 7 to stay in this weekend’s game. The secondary, newly “dumbed down,” will be reasonable if Poona, Malik and company play the game of their collective lives. If not, I see 38 – 30, OSU. Can’t wait to see the over- under yards question for James Washington.

  2. You are correct!!!!! This one is on the coaches!!!! They are a part of the team, too!!!!! They have to do a better job of preparing both themselves and the players!!! Sam is our quarterback, but he has a lot of work to do to reach his potential, and the good thing is that he knows it!!!! The receivers also need to learn how to get open when he’s scrambling!!! Yes, there is a lot of potential here, but enough is enough….we want results not just from the players, but from the coaches, too. Just my opinion!!!!

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