FanPost

In the Trenches - Eating Kindled Crow While It's Snowing Newtons!

Bumped. Another quality take from burnt well worth reading. --PB--

This is the second installment of a weekly series on perhaps unappreciated key play along Texas' offensive and defensive lines.There are many things happening in the lines that may not be noticeable to some fans, so perhaps these posts can provide some insight.

Last week I opened the series by suggesting that Sergio Kindle, while playing positionally very well, seemed a step slow and might be injured. So today I'll begin with a breakfast of Kindled Crow, complete with feathers, feet, and beak. Sergio is NOT injured and is NOT slow. Beyond the celebrated obliteration of Taylor Potts leading to the fumble (recovered as usual by Sam Acho) that set up the Horns' last touchdown, was a steel-jacketed bullet all night long. He mixed speed and power in a unique way and made critical plays all night long. It was a Kindle pressure that led to Earl Thomas' interception, and at least two other pressures led to bad incompletions. On another play, he lined up as a LB as if to cover the inside slot receiver on a trips left formation for Tech, but instead blitzed and bulled Tech's 300+ lb LT like he was pushing a wheelbarrow right back into Potts. He was monster against the run, as he seemed to make the tackle on Tech's little draw plays no matter where he lined up. My favorite play was his erasure of TT runningback Eric Stephens on a 3rd and 1 draw play. Kindle came on an inside stunt, sniffed the run, and completely stoned Stephens, who otherwise was running out of tackles all day. Perhaps most telling, Muschamp gave him a rest after the Horns went up 24-10 with 5:25 left in the third quarter, and Potts drove Tech 84 yards in 8 plays for a touchdown in a series that looked a lot like 7-on-7 against a high school team. Sergio has been found, and after I wipe that last feather off my lip, I will be happy to tell you how much I am enjoying eating bird way before Thanksgiving.

Now, for the other important news, check out the new kids movie "Snowing Newtons" after the jump, featuring an unusually powerful offensive lineman and visionary running back, after the jump.

The game news and postgame thread on BON is full of comments about the arrival of Tre Newton as THE ANSWER at RB. It is certainly clear that Newton can read the blocking on the line better than McGee, is more decisive in his cuts, and has a more explosive burst through the hole. But let's talk about the hole through which Newton earned his money most of the night. In the zone sweep, Chris Hall usually teamed with Charlie Tanner on Colby Whitlock to prevent his penetration, and this left David Snow 1 on 1 with the other Tech tackle Richard Jones. On Newton's 19 yard TD and on several other runs, David Snow not only stayed engaged with Jones, but sealed open the backside cutback lane. Since the middle LB Brian Duncan was overplaying the sweep to overmatch the blockers on the edge (the usual reason the zone sweep rarely works with McGee), this left huge hole that Vondrell McGee rarely sees, but that Newton burst through. Newton's speed is enough to beat the trailing weakside LB through the hole. With Texas Tech in their two-deep zone, the safety can't come up in time to stuff the hole, leaving Newton free to juke, cut, and break tackles. The first "wildcat " formation (a new variant of last year's Q package) yielded  the 34 yard cutback run by John Chiles and Texas' first field goal, and the same seal block by Snow freed up Chiles. Thus, the key to the successful cutback and Texas' most successful runs lay in Snow's dominance of his man and the ability of Hall to sustain the double team on the other DT.

This type of blocking and running, more than anything else is a key to Texas' future success, because teams will continue to rush 3 and delay blitz a fourth, with everyone else back in zone coverage, as long as Texas can't demonstrate that it can beat you running. This type of soft coverage by opposing teams is part of what is making Colt look shaky, especially on third down. Let's hope the Horns can continue to make it "Snow Newtons" for both halves of a game as they head into the rest of the season.

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