Archive for the ‘2020’ Category

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.

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UTEP Over/Under Results

Most players showed their rust in the first week of the Over/Under competition for 2020.  In a large field, the average score was 4.9.

Rising above the carnage, Mike Frank posted 7 correct answers to win the UTEP Over/Under. Mark Adams, Dan Yoxall, Rick Mosher, and Mark Stephan tied for second with 6 correct answers.

On to Texas Tech.

W.E.

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The Ins and Outs of Longhorn Football 2020

First of all, Season’s Greetings to all from Willie Earl. Now on with the show.

Lots of changes going on over there in Longhorn Football land so I thought it might be useful to provide you with a guide to who and what is in and out as we get started on what we hope will be a 12-game season for the Longhorns when it’s all said and done.

In

Campbell-Williams Field.

I’ve always thought it was dumb to name a field inside of a stadium and naming the field for a guy because he gave a zillion dollars to UT was crass (even for UT) to boot.

Renaming the field after the Longhorns’ two Heisman Trophy winners was one of the best things to happen around here in 2020. It really is sublime.  Kudos to Dahr, Randall, and Rob Jamail, Joe Jamail’s three sons for requesting the change. If that’s what really happened.

Out

34% of UT’s season ticket holders have opted out of the 2020 season. I couldn’t find out how many season ticket holders there are, but I’m guessing the number is around 60,000. That would mean about 39,000 are still in. Only around 25,000 per game will be allowed in the stadium. Seemingly, that would mean some season ticket holders won’t be able to use their tickets game-to-game.  My guess is the attendance for the UTEP game will be closer to 15,000.

After attending more than 90 % of UT home games from 1974 – 2016 I have attending about two games a year since. If 2020 was Ordinary Time, UTEP would not be one of the two games I’d go to. Just for fun and to be able to say I was there, Helen and I might go Saturday night. “Call me irresponsible.”

In

Texas has two new coordinators. Chris Ash on defense and Mike Yurcich on offense.  I think it’s unusual for there to be such optimism surrounding a team when both its coordinators were fired at the end of the previous season.  I don’t expect the offense to look any different. Hopefully Chris Ash has closely studied the game film from the Alamo Bowl. Rinse and repeat.

Out

151 receptions for 1945 yards with the departure of Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson.

In

Joshua Moore returns after a yearlong suspension for a misdemeanors weapon charge. According to the arrest affidavit, Police monitoring downtown Austin on July 5, 2019 at the police department’s Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) noticed a man “remove a firearm from his waistband, walk in between two vehicles, appearing to chamber a round by pulling the slide of the gun to the rear, and then place the firearm back into his waistband.” When the police arrested Moore, they found a Glock 19 — 9mm pistol in his waistband with a 30-round magazine and a live round loaded into the chamber.

Hopefully, it’s onward and upward for Moore. He’s a talented deep-threat receiver with good size whose potential contribution could go a long way toward replacing the loss of Duvernay and Johnson.

Out

Brennan Eagles as a starting wide receiver. Eagles—for now—has been supplanted by graduate-transfer Tarik Black from Michigan. Bet he’s glad to be a Longhorn in 2020.

In

Receiver Jordan Whittington a 2019 Five-Star recruit is back after missing all but the first half of the Louisiana Tech in 2019. Five-Star recruits currently on the roster are Whittington, safety Caden Sterns, and freshman running back Bijan Robinson.

You might find this list of all time Texas five-star recruits interesting.

https://247sports.com/college/texas/Sport/Football/AllTimeRecruits/

Out

The Showband of the Southwest is out of Longhorn games for the foreseeable future.

In

“The Eyes of Texas” I guess they’ll play it over the PA system.

Out

Speaking of “The Eyes of Texas,” Caden Sterns, is opting out. There will probably be more Longhorns who will join him.

In

I’m all in on the strong possibility that by the end of the season San Ehlinger will join Vince Young and Colt McCoy on the list of 21st Century all-time great Longhorn Quarterbacks.  He does need to curb his tendency on occasion to abandon the pocket too early and run. I predict that he will have a better NFL career than McCoy and Young though that’s not a very high bar to clear.

Out

I’m out—for now—on the offensive line. Herman is pleased with depth that he has but outside of left tackle Sam Cosmi, that depth is comprised of journeyman Derek Kerstetter, who has been moved from right tackle to center this season, and a collection of unproven or undistinguished talents.

For this team to win a championship the offensive line has got to be better than it was in 2019.

In or Out?

Are you in on the expectation that in his fourth year it’s time for Tom Herman to deliver either a Big 12 Championship or a top five final ranking or both? Or is this a freebee season on expectations for Herman and all head coaches because of Covid 19?

HooK Em,

W.E.

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