despite an exciting game and a great win, I wonder if our offensive coordinator just doesn’t have the creativity/experience/personality to be the OC at UT. Yes, I know he’s a UT icon and had an exciting college career but I am very disappointed with the offensive play calling that seemed uninspired, inept and just plain bad until the last 1/3 of the game when we took more risk and opened it up – because we had to. It may be my imagination but when you watch Major during interviews, he’s actually pretty boring with a less than enthusiastic personality that, perhaps not coincidentally, seems to be the case with his offensive game plan.
We obviously have a very average OL (which has been clear all year) and a QB with lots of “moxie” but with limited skills that, to me, means we have to compensate for these deficiencies with more creative play calling just like Holgersen did at times with his passing slants and reverse at the end of the game when not expected. It was obvious very early on that running between the tackles was not working for us, few plays were designed to test the edges, and there were only few passes over the middle - until later in the game. We couldn’t score touchdowns in the red zone and the only “creative” call I remember was the pass to De la Torre in overtime, which was a perfect call. Where has that been all year? Certainly, Mr. Moxie has the capability to execute more fakes, an occasional double reverse, a 12 yard slant over the middle, and a Shipley to whoever pass, etc.
I admit I haven’t seen a replay of the game and this is my initial perception (apologies if I’m over reacting but it has been my impression all year) but I’ve seen enough throughout the year to question the quality of the offensive play calling given our obvious limitations. We have to admit to ourselves that our OL is just average and need to open it up early and often when our run game is stalling if we hope to win any of the next three games. That is not to say that I’m looking for a lot of gimmick and gadget plays - just creative ones designed to exploit defenses stacked against the run and exploiting our predictable tendencies!
While we think of controlling a game through pounding a defense with runs between the tackles (which requires a powerful and effective OL) and an occasional pass over the top to keep them honest, the last 1/3 of the game showed what we can and should do to move the ball and control the game when that’s not working. Again, given our limitations, why not implement a more open strategy earlier? Can none of our tight ends catch a ball? Really? Can Case not roll out and choose to run or pass into the end zone? How about a few zone read packages with Overstreet or Swoops?
The guys played with heart, it was an exciting win, we’re at the top of the Big XII and, despite the score and a few notable mistakes, the D look good – their confidence is palpable. Now, Major et al., get creative and figure out how to be less predictable on offense.