PB: The first month has come and gone, with ups and downs. In today's game, of course, Ws and Ls are all that matters, and Texas sits at 4-0. We don't have any impressive skins on the wall, but win we did.
Last week we spent some time discussing which young players needed to see more action and whether the coaches would give them that opportunity. Muckelroy, Norton, Kindle, McGee, Chiles, Beasley, and several other young CBs actually saw the field for multiple series this week. Part of that was our lowly opponent, but play they did.
The cupcakes are off the schedule, however, and Big 12 play begins. I think we got a good sense of the capabilities of the young talent and how they can immediately improve the team.
So, first question for discussion is this:
You're the coach of the Longhorns. Describe your personnel planning heading into Big 12 play.
|If this guy can share carries...|
I'd work Chiles into the game in a meaningful situation. It doesn't even have to be at QB. I'd line him up at receiver or running back just get the ball into his hands. Give Oklahoma something else to have to prepare for.
I'd give McGee some more snaps as well, but I wouldn't be stupid about it. Let's not turn him into a one trick pony like Chris Robertson or Henry Melton.
Hix would get a lot of snaps at tackle because we have no depth. Huey and Burnette would play more so we can see what our running game looks like if the guards don't have to help the center.
Work in Wells and Brown in the secondary. We might need a corner over 5'10" when we face Malcolm Kelly, Adarius Bowman, Michael Crabtree and Maurice Purify.
Our defensive line rotation is fine. Nothing to change there. Same at receiver.
Most of these changes will happen. I just hope it doesn't take another 50 point loss to OU to get them implemented.
Scipio Tex: As HJ wrote, it's really a matter of timelines. I wouldn't touch S, WR, DL, TE.
The LB switch to Muck and Norton for the bulk of the snaps is a no-brainer; it's beyond reasonable
disagreement at this point.
On the OL, we're doing a fair job of integrating everyone on an appropriate time line. You can't just
throw freshmen OL out there sink or swim.
I'd like to see Chiles with a simple package at QB: zone read, direct snap QB lead draw, a play action pass, a bootleg. We don't need him coming in for one play to run some gadget or to run the old Tony Jeffery WR sweep. Give him a series or two. Let's look at him in the red zone.
Vondrell McGee is a major talent, an ideal zone read back, and a nice complement to Charles. I'd like him to play a quarter of our offensive series. No one complains when Felix Jones takes 10-12 carries from Darren McFadden. For good reason.
As for CB, tall and burned is just as bad as short and burned. The young DBs don't represent an immediately identifiable upgrade in the short term (i.e. in time for Dallas) the way that the LBs do. It's quite debatable that Deion Beasley is a substantial upgrade over Brandon Foster. The true freshmen aren't. Over the medium & long haul, they all have a far higher ceiling than our current guys (height joke not intended). Ryan Palmer has been our surest CB to date. In some respects we may just have to play the hand dealt us - there's no magic personnel wand to be waved at this juncture.
PB: I don't disagree with any of that, and have little to add. Instead for our second question, then, let's turn to Kansas State.
The Wildcats have thrown the ball - get ready for this - 132 times through three games. They only attempted 16 rushes against Auburn ( 2.7 ypa), then upped that to 27 against San Jose State (5.7 ypa). I don't really care what they did against Southwest Missouri State.
As fans certainly remember, Texas lost to KSU last season because it couldn't stop the big play over the top. Based on what we've seen so far this season, the Wildcats will come in to Austin with every intention to pass, pass often, and then pass some more.
What's Duane Akina's best move to prep for a team who wants to come out and gun it through the air?
Henry James: His best move is to get pressure on Freeman, but he has to be smart about it. Don't make it obvious from which direction the pressure is going to come. He also has to make sure that the linebackers and secondary tackle well enough behind it to limit yards after catch. Part of that is the correct matchups. I don't want to see Scott Derry chasing a slot receiver. Stop the run with only your front seven and keep the safeties back to help out deep. Don't be Gene Chizik. Make Kansas St beat you with short passes/long drives. The play of the Wildcats is a reflection of their coach. Hard but stupid. They'll shoot themselves in the foot with penalties and turnovers.
Scipio Tex: I have nothing to add there. HJ nails it.
PB: Thanks again, gentlemen. Here's to another good Saturday.