Archive for the ‘2020’ Category

TCU Over/Under Results

This week’s contest came down to photo-finish between Tom Yoxall and Wade Wallace who tied in regulation with seven correct answers.  They both went 1-1 in the pic ‘ems losing on Oklahoma and winning on Georgia. Both players predicted Alabama would blowout A&M. Tom’s margin was 34, Wade’s was 22. The actual margin was 28 so they were both six points off and still tied forcing the contest to go all the way to total points scored in the Alabama-A&M game. The actual point total was 76 on a score of 52-24. Wade’s prediction of 45-13 and 58 total points scored was nosed out by Tom’s 51-17 and 68 total points making Tom the winner. You follow?

Congratulations, Tom.

Wes Peoples, David Bergstrom, and Rick Mosher tied for third with six correct answers.

Over/Under Notes

  1. Seems like about once a year the staff formulates a flawed question and we got it out of the way early this year with #10: Which team scores the most points in the fourth quarter? If the teams scored the same number of points—always a distinct possibility—the question becomes invalid. Well, that’s what happened with both teams scoring 10 in the fourth.  Therefore, we threw out the question.
  2. Question #7 was: 6.5-point lead for Texas going into the 4th quarter.  16 of 18 players predicted over which was incorrect as Texas trailed at that point in the game.  Were the Longhorn fans’ expectations for the Horns too high?  Yes. As usual.
  3. With 18 players entering the TCU Over/Under, we scored the highest turnout thus far for the season and it was tied for the fourth highest turnout in history. 

Which contest had the highest turnout in history you ask? That would be the Texas-Oklahoma game in 2008 with 24 entrants.
Ah, those were the good old days.

W.E.

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TCU Pre Game

Jump Around

In honor of the House of Pain let’s Jump Around.

Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin

Fox Sports’ college football analyst Joel Klatt said this week on the Colin Cowherd Show that Oklahoma is getting antsy because they haven’t won a National Championship since 2000. That drought is their longest since the 18-year dry spell from 1956 to 1974.  The Longhorns current drought is only 14 years and counting, so there.

Speaking of championship dry spells, the Longhorns haven’t won the Big 12 since 2009. Oklahoma has won seven since 2009 including the last five and have qualified for CFP playoff four out the last five years. Texas has yet to qualify.  Ouch.

Klatt and Cowherd were plugging the Texas-TCU game which Fox is carrying and Klatt is calling. Cowherd asked Klatt if this was a must win game for the Horns and Tom Herman. Klatt said yes because Texas should be the best college football team in the state. The Horns lost to TCU and Baylor a year ago. Herman is 6-4 versus TCU, Baylor, and Texas Tech since he became the coach in 2017.

Klatt also said Sam Ehlinger is likely a second-round draft pick in 2021 and could sneak into the first round if he has a Joe Burrow type year.

 “I got the skills, come get your fill”

With all due respect to Devin Duvernay, I think Joshua Moore has a chance to be the best Longhorn receiver since Roy Williams. Going out on a limb, I think he could end up being the best Longhorn receiver ever. Moor has size, speed, and excellent ball skills. We’ll see.

Tom Herman and the coaching staff deserve credit for successfully bringing Moore back into the fold after his 2019 arrest for gun possession. Obviously, Moore also deserves credit for turning his situation around.

“Get up, stand up (c’mon!) see’mon throw your hands up”

The TCU game time is 11am. Texas is 5-5 in 11am starts in the Tom Herman era.

“I’m coming to get ya, I’m coming to get ya”

Not so much for the Longhorn pass rush. Alan Bowman threw 52 passes last week and nary a sack for the Horns.

“I’m the cream of the crop, I rise to the top”

I hope Bijan Robinson’s career at Texas turns out better than the Horns’ last two five-star running back recruits. Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray weren’t exactly busts but their careers at Texas didn’t reflect their five-star status. During August I kept reading how Robinson was an irresistible force in preseason workouts. Though Keaontay Ingram and Roschon Johnson are solid veteran performers, I was hoping Johnson would emerge as the lead back. Through two games he has 12 carries for 50 yards with a long run of 12 yards.

For comparison, in their first two games, Earl Campbell gained 139 yards on 23 carries and Ricky Williams ran 24 times for 165 yards. While researching this, a smile came to my face when I found that in Campbell’s first two games his teammate, wishbone halfback Graylon Wyatt, was the Texas’ leading rusher with 210 yards.

“I won’t ever slack up, punk you better back up”

I read this week that Texas Defensive Coordinator Chris Ash was insanely detail oriented. C’mon man, stop writing and reporting that this coach or that coach is detail oriented. I can’t think of a bigger sports cliché.

“I came to get down, I came to get down”

Getting down with my game prediction, in what I see as a theme for the 2020 season, the Horns will trail late in this game before coming back for another heart-stopping victory. Call it 35-31.

“So get out your seat and jump around!”                    

HooK ‘Em,

W.E.

TCU Over/Under

  • Tiebreaker: required

    Pick the winners against the line

    Oklahoma - 10.5 @ Iowa State
  • Auburn +6.5 @ Georgia
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Texas Tech Observations

  1. A blocked punt, a nearly blocked punt, a D’Shawn Jamison fumbled punt, an onside kick not recovered. So far, I’m not impressed with the much ballyhooed offseason hire of Special Teams  Jay Boulware.

  2. Tackling was once again an issue and one blogger wrote that it’s something that can be fixed quickly. Could be the dumbest thing written about UT Football so far in 2020 given that tackling has been an issue going on for—oh, I don’t know—a decade.
  3. Surprise, the catch-all excuse for college football coaches in 2020 is no spring practice.
  4. I admit that I wrote the game off when Texas Tech went up 56-41. Resigned to a loss and somewhat disgusted, I left the television for about three minutes doing grill prep for a Saturday night cookout. When I got back, Ehlinger was throwing a TD pass to Eagles to pull within eight points.
  5. I know the conventional wisdom in college football is to play defense first when you win the coin toss before overtime so you know when you get the ball if just a field goal wins the game. But I think Texas Tech coach Matt Wells made a big tactical error by letting Texas take the ball first in overtime when his defense was gassed and the Horns had all the momentum.  
  6. At times during the first half, I thought Texas varied the offense for the sake of varying the offense when they might have built an insurmountable lead if they had continued to do what was working. Overconfident maybe?
  7. I wrote last week: Alan Bowman is another in a seemingly endless supply of good passing Red Raider quarterbacks and I’m confident he will put up 300 plus yards passing versus what I believe are the overhyped individual talents in the Longhorn secondary. Told ya.
  8. Saturday evening, I wasn’t all that satisfied with the win but then I looked at Oklahoma and LSU. 2-0 is 2-0.

That’s all I got for now.

HooK ‘Em,

W.E.

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Texas Tech Over/Under Results

Texas Tech Over/Under Results

Andy Garrod and Helen Frink emerged from a large field of 17 players this week and tied for first place with eight correct answers.  Two strong performances in a week when the average score was a very average 5.7.

Andy and Helen both went 1-1 in the pick ‘ems. They both were wrong with TCU which was getting 2.5 points and lost by three. They both were right in picking Vanderbilt which was getting 29.5 and kept it close losing 17-12.

So, it came down to their predictions of the final score in our game. Neither one was very close but who foresaw anything close 63-56?  Andy Garrod wins at the gun by virtue of being closer in the point differential of Texas’ win with his 42-17 versus Helen’s 48-13.

Congrats to Andy and Helen.

David Bergstrom took third place by himself with seven correct answers.

Points of Interest

  1. Only two players guessed SaRodorick Thompson would go over 105.5 yards rushing. He ended up with 104 yards.
  2. Only five players guessed right on what Texas rusher would have the most carries. Roschon Johnson and Same Ehlinger were both correct answers with 16 carries. David Bergstrom was the only player who picked Ehlinger. Andy and Helen picked Johnson.

W.E.

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Texas Tech Pre-Game

Setting the Lubbock Record Straight

Since 2000, Texas is 8-2 versus Texas Tech in Lubbock. Texas’ last Lubbock loss was in 2008, a game I refuse to revisit or discuss.   Despite this success in Lubbock, and because of 2008 and a bad 3-5 stretch from 1974 through 1988, some Longhorn Football fans of my generation have an irrational fear of playing Texas Tech in Lubbock. Since I am a totally rational individual—especially when it comes to Texas Football—I have no such fear of Lubbock. I actually have very fond memories of Lubbock. But that’s another story for another time.

What does concern me about this year’s trip to Lubbock

1. Aside from some garbage time yards in the second half, the Texas offensive line’s inability to open holes for the running game against lowly UTEP.

2. The Texas defense’s inability to put consistent pressure on the UTEP quarterback. 

If Texas doesn’t improve on these two fronts, they may end up in a scoring fest of a shootout in Lubbock.

If the game does become high-scoring shootout, I’m confident in Texas’ offense to hold up its end of the bargain with or without an effective running game. An effective running game would be a bonus as it could shorten the game and earn the defense a valuable respite from chasing Tech receivers all over the field.

Texas Tech 35, Houston Baptist 33

Do we all agree that the Horns should not be overconfident because of Tech’s close call with FCS opponent Houston Baptist?  After all, Tech did lead 21-3 midway through the second quarter and they did amassed a kind of balanced 430 yards passing and 194 yards rushing.  

Alan Bowman is another in a seemingly endless supply of good passing Red Raider quarterbacks and I’m confident he will put up 300 plus yards passing versus what I believe are the overhyped individual talents in the Longhorn secondary.  Whether that translates into a close game depends on which team wins the turnover battle and the timing of the turnovers.

I’m calling it a close game into the fourth quarter with Texas finally pulling away for 48-34 win.

The Human Ace Bandage Award

A couple years back, I got quite a chuckle when my favorite sports commentator, Tony Kornheiser, called Sam Darnold the human ace bandage. I think the descriptor is so useful that I’ve decided to create an award for a Longhorn who is struggling because of injuries to get on the field.

Helen, Tony and Willie Earl

So, without judgement or derision, the first ever Longhorn Human Ace Bandage Award goes to Jordan Whittington. Whittington missed all but the first quarter of the opening game of the 2019 season when he reaggravated a sports hernia injury.  In the season opener this year against UTEP, Whittington suffered a torn meniscus and will be out three to four weeks.

Here’s to hoping he gets well soon and stays well.

Program Stability

After losing three out of four games late last season, Tom Herman seems to have righted the ship with wins against Texas Tech and Utah to finish last season followed up by another top 10 recruiting class in 2020.

Herman did overhaul his coaching staff after last season which is not usually the earmark of a stable program, but the waters seem calm and I can’t recall hearing any suggestions recently that Herman is on the hotseat. 

I do think Herman’s seat will get quite warm if he loses to Oklahoma and three other conference foes in 2020 like he did last year, and I don’t think another Alamo or Texas Bowl win would help him much.

Okay, call me Captain Obvious but early in this weird season I’m straining for brilliant insights.

RIP Gayle Sayers

Even though Gayle Sayers didn’t play for one of my teams, he was one of my boyhood heroes. When you first saw Sayers play you were seeing something you’d never seen before. When I heard the news of his death this week, I was reminded of a conversation I had with my father during a trip too Rehoboth Beach in the summer of 1968 comparing Sayers to Red Grange.

Bittersweet.

HooK “Em,
W.E.

Texas Tech Over/Under

  • Tiebreaker: required

    Pick the winners against the line

    Iowa St - 2.5 @ TCU
  • Vanderbilt +29.5 @ Texas A&M
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