Kansas State Pre Game

Offensive Angst

It’s already come to this. Four games into the Tom Herman era, Texas fans and the media—notably Kirk Bohls—are making personnel and play suggestions.  Bohls is calling for quick slants and curls to Collin Johnson.  Bohls should be embarrassed to be making play suggestions in print. That’s like saying Jordan Spieth needs to make more birdies. It reminds me of Richard Nixon calling Washington Redskins coach George Allen with a play suggestion before a playoff game in 1971 against the Francisco 49ers.  Bohls’ colleague Cedric Golden and a chorus of Texas fans are convinced that Sam Ehlinger will be better than Shane Buechele. A featured writer for Barking Carnival watched video and broke down every single Texas running play in the Iowa State game, and he has many suggestions about schemes and formations.  The writer has an advanced technical knowledge of football that I can’t come close to matching, but I will offer a critique of his analysis. You can’t scheme your way out of having an offensive line that is depleted by injury, forcing a backup right tackle to start at left tackle and true freshman to start at right tackle.

I’ll be patient and observe how Herman and his offensive staff deal with the bad hand they’ve been dealt by injuries for at least, oh, one more game before I offer any critique on their performance.   I’ll trust that they have better ideas than the fans, the media, and me.


In his weekly Monday press conference, Herman made one of the most useful comments I’ve heard from a Texas football coach in years when he observed that when a play is blocked for one yard, running backs Warren and Porter are getting one yard, not three or four. When a play is blocked for four yards, they’re getting four yards not seven or eight.  I think that means he thinks Warren and Porter are average. Following up on that point, Herman said Toeneil Carter will see more playing time in the coming weeks. Incidentally, when Herman said Carter had the most “twitch” of the Texas running backs, it was the first time I had heard that expression. Darrell Royal once said one of his running backs had some “spurt.” I’m kind of sentimental about spurt, but I do like twitch.

Maybe Kirk Bohls submitted his play-calling suggestions to his editors before Herman said on Monday that getting the ball to Collin Johnson more often was one of his personal projects this week.

Speaking of technical knowledge of football, the guys at Barking Carnival make many references to “11,” “10,” and “20” personnel packages on offense.  I knew that it didn’t mean a 10 featured only 10 players or a 20 lined up 20 players. I knew it meant something about formation but I didn’t know exactly what, so I asked Willie Earl’s resident technical football knowledge expert, Greg Bowers.  As Greg explained, the first number indicates the number of running backs in the formation. The second number indicates whether there is a tight end. So, a 10 package has one running back and no tight end. An 11 package has one running back and one tight end, a 00 is five wide receivers, and so on.

I’d love to see a 32, which was one of Darrell Royal’s favorites.


Since 2006, Texas is 2-7 against Kansas State.  Saturday will be the beginning of the end of that era.  Texas beats Kansas State 24-16.  Afterwards, Texas fans still complain about the offense.

Hook ‘eM,


1 Comment to “Kansas State Pre Game”

  1. The only things fans of this particular vintage of The Longhorns football team should bitch about are Kris Boyd after his weekly lapse , special teams being anything but and Gary Johnson not being on the field for at least 80 percent of the defensive snaps. The offense ought to be off limits, in as much the Horns have a crap O-Line, “average as everyday wash” (thanks, Darrell) running backs and two serviceable — at best — quarterbacks. Vince Young & Co. aren’t suiting up this year. Victories in 2017 will be mostly by a handful of points and may well be few. I’m personally hoping simply that the Horns become bowl eligible. They’ll be halfway there by about 9:30 tomorrow night.

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