Post New-Mexico Review

There really aren’t any real positives you can take from the Lobos game due to the lack of talent on the opposing team. However, there were some interesting things I saw in the game film that are worthy of mentioning:

Offense:

Ash & Offensive Line fail to recognize Pre-Snap Motion by defender 7 yards away from the ball and the upcoming blitz.

In this play, Ash has already decided before the snap to throw the pass to the receiver running the GO route who is being covered by 2 defenders. At the same time, the slot receiver beat his man and is wide open for a big gain.

This was an NFL level throw by Ash and an even better play by the NM DB to break the pass up.

Again, Ash and the OL fail to recognize the blitz with the defender 4 yards away from the LOS.

This was one of the really bad throws Ash had during the first half in which he missed a completely wide open receiver.

Again, Ash has decided before the snap who he is going to throw to. The defender realizes this and almost makes an interception on the play.

Brian Harsin was pretty pissed after the Texas TD by Mike Davis.

Brian Harsin was extremely frustrated by the poor first half by the Texas Offense.

Defense:

In this play, instead of exploding through the C gap to make a tackle for a loss (green arrow), Hicks hesitates and takes the D gap which allows the QB to gain some positive yards. Cobbs (green circle), does a fantastic job in covering the NM player assigned to him (blue circle) to ensure that he is ready to make a play if the QB tosses the ball.

Again, Cobbs (green circle) does a fantastic job in sticking to his run zone assignment and watches the NM back (blue circle). However, Edmonds takes the wrong gap and this results in positive yards for NM.

Edmonds takes on the lead blocker and forces the play the to the sidelines. Instead of his sticking to his assigned run zone and watching the NM back, Cobbs takes bait and heads into the center of action (red arrow) and this results in a huge gain for NM.

 

read more

Post Game Thoughts

Offense:

  • Espinosa remains the weakest link in this group. There were several instances where he was absolutely destroyed by the Wyoming tackle Purcell or got very little of push as a lead blocker on off tackle runs. The Offensive line also got away with a few false starts and holds. However, this will not be a hindrance during league play as Big 12 officials generally give a lot of leeway as opposed to other conferences. On the flipside, Walters and Hawkins both played great and gave ample time for Ash and created huge hole on any off-tackle runs where a majority of our rushing yards came from.
  • Joe Bergeron needs to run with more patience and vision. He had a tendency to go straight into the pile last year and that is still a trend that he carried on during the first game. However, when used in the second half, he practically ran over the Wyoming defenders as they were gassed by then. Texas must use him in this manner and let Malcolm Brown, who played phenomenally, have the majority of the first half carries.
  • The greatest beneficiary to Wylie’s offseason program has to be DJ Monroe. The guy was an absolute monster with his limited touches.

    Ash sends a shout-out to God.

  • The bullet TD Ash through to Jax shows the progress that has been made during the offseason, but Ash still needs a lot of work. Although the game plan was limited to mostly screen passes to build his confidence, this is the time where coaches need to take advantage of a weaker opponent and test Ash’s ability to complete intermediate routes and timing routes which will be needed when we play better opponents during league play. The receivers had to adjust to some of his throws which resulted in shorter gains than what would have occurred in a more accurate throw. Although he is more poised in the pocket, he needs to adjust his internal clock on when the pocket is going to collapse. I feel like he is still using last year as a time frame reference, and he bails from the pocket before it is necessary. Finally and of most importance, he needs to trust that his receivers will run their routes properly and throw the ball to the spot where the receiver should be as opposed to waiting for the receiver to get open.
  • Nick Jordan isn’t ready to kick FGs.

Defense:

  • The secondary had a terrible game yesterday. This is supposed to be the team’s greatest strength. They started to believe all the pre-season hype and then played extremely poorly yesterday. Let’s start with the confusion on who is covering the underneath routes versus what’s on top. There were several instances where the Texas safeties left their assigned zone and came up to try and make a play underneath and this left the defense vulnerable in the back. Wyoming’s first touchdown came as a result of this broken communication.
  • Although Kenny Vaccaro made a great interception, he was lucky that the ball was under-thrown. The Wyoming receiver is the furthest guy down the field and a properly thrown ball easily results in another Wyoming touchdown. Another thing that bother me about the secondary was the lack of press coverage, which will be extremely important when we play the likes of OU, OSU, Baylor, and WVU all of which have several timing based routes as part of their normal game plan.
  • The Texas defense definitely needs to play with more discipline. Players where constantly over-pursuing and this is a result of the players picking an A Gap or B Gap pre-snap before allowing the hole to develop. The player most guilty of this was Steve Edmond, who looked lost several time throughout the night and was consistently taking bad angles. Jordan Hicks was guilty of this well, but played better as the game progressed. The defense in general had some very sloppy tackling and poor form that definitely needs to be corrected in the coming weeks before our game against OSU. The soft spots in zone coverage at the edges were being exploited by Wyoming throughout the game and were part of the problem when it came to the sloppy tackling by the Texas defense as defenders had to recover from their pre-snap misalignment.

    Cobbs with the break down in coverage. Green is where he was supposed to go; Red is where he went.

read more

Football in the Fall

I can still picture it clearly. Fall in Atlanta, Georgia is an amazing experience. The air is crisp and cool. The autumn leaves have started to change their color. Eating healthy is pretty much out of the question as it is time for some real comfort food, especially deserts. The smell of a freshly baked pecan pie and peach cobbler literally tease your senses.   Friends and family gather to reflect on the past year’s occurrences and to create a sense of community and belonging that will continue on until the New Year. Most importantly, it was the culmination of America’s original past time, the World Series.

Midtown Atlanta

My father, a mathematician, naturally passed his obsession and love for baseball and its statistics onto my brother and myself. We three would get our neighbors and friends together to play catch, pick-up ball and create our own dramatic 3-2 full count situations that added to the passion we had for the game itself. To top it off, the Braves had sucked pretty much since their move to Atlanta until 1991, a season which would see them capture the hearts of its city in a spectacular run to the NL pennant, and create the culture we became engulfed by when we moved to the city in 1992. Led by the dominant pitching of Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and Steve Avery, the power of David Justice, the athleticism of Terry Pendleton and Deion Sanders (the one and only), the Braves would once again go on to win the 1992 NL pennant and with it my heart and what I would associate the fall season with until my freshman year in college.

Freshman year is an exciting time. New friends and people to meet, new places to go, new experiences to create, etc. The game that “had me at hello” was my first game at DKR stadium, a 65-0 blowout of UNT, in which Texas had over 500 yards rushing. The tailgates, the pageantry, Bevo, Smokey the Cannon, Big Bertha, the Showband of the Southwest, 80K people cheering, the smoothness of Vince Young, the power of Cedric Benson, & the post-game parties pretty much sowed the seed to the Saturdays I would look forward to with so much zealousness. It was the beginning of an era of Texas dominance, which would last all the way until 2009 and the way I would remember Texas football during my collegiate years.

It’s been a rough couple of years for us Texas folks. We’ve gotten rid of Greg Davis, a major catalyst behind our offensive ineptitude and fired several coaches who sat on their laurels after experiencing success. Last year was a transition year, with many underclassmen taking on major roles, for which we will hopefully reap the benefits this year.

Led by Manny Diaz and anchored by Kenny Vaccaro, Texas’ defense will be among the best in the nation. Legitimate NFL talent litters the defensive depth chart, the likes of which Texas hasn’t seen since the 2005 National title team.  On the offensive side, Bryan Harsin leads a group that still has many question marks. Our QB play needs to be more consistent, our OL needs to play with more tenacity, and for the love of God, if we just one TE who would step it up and hold down the fort, we would all be extremely grateful. Even then, the talent alone on defense will carry the team into a season which will set a foundation for the resurgence of Texas football.

Thus, let’s take this season for what it will be. Surprising moments that will lead to raised expectations and shortfalls that will have us realizing we are still a little ways away. I look forward to seeing all of you at our tailgate and for those of you I haven’t met; I look forward to becoming friends. After all, it’s Texas football that is bringing us together and what the Fall season is really about.

Hook ‘Em and God Bless.

read more