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Coach’s Corner with Coach Lamons: San Jose State

This week edition of Coach’s Corner details situational packages, rising contributors and more.

San Jose State v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

How far do coaching loyalties go? Reason for asking, is that maybe, just maybe Meyer’s seemingly "backhand" of Herman had something to do with Meyer and Charlie Strong’s friendship? - Burnedsince61

Coaching is not unlike any other profession I have been in. You build relationships and network with others in the industry, and sometimes, rivalries within the industry are created. So in that sense, yes there are some strong loyalties within the communities, and some rivalries are created.

What puzzles me is that Herman and Strong both served as coordinators for Meyer at points in their career. From all reports I have read, Herman considered Meyer a mentor of sorts. I don’t know what predicated Meyer’s comments, or even how he was asked the question, but the response is just puzzling to me.

I can see him having a problem with the way Herman lobbied for Strong’s job, but to me, that does not seem like something that warrants a public tounge lashing. That seems to violate the coach’s unspoken code just as much, if not more as lobbying for another’s job while they are still employed. I don’t know what conversations Meyer has had with Herman since he became the coach at Texas, or in what context Herman left Meyer’s staff, but it seems to me that a private conversation would have been a professional approach here.

Gary Johnson – if he looked as good to you as he did to me, does he start ahead of Wheeler? - MarkinAustin

Gary Johnson became my favorite Longhorn on Saturday (although I am partial to linebackers). Both he and fellow junior college transfer Jamari Chisholm looked good on Saturday. I think if Texas is going to beat USC on Saturday, both of those players are going to have to be a bigger part of the game plan then they were in Week 1.

Brandon Johnson – if he looked as unaware to you as he did to me, does Hall start at that S spot, or does Locke move over and give room for Davis or Thompson at nickel? -MarkinAustin

I am assuming you mean Brandon Jones? If that is who you are refering to, I agree, he has had some issues in coverage this fall. I don’t know that Hall provides much of an upgrade in coverage, which is where Jones is going to have to play a solid game if Texas hopes to beat USC and be competitive in the Big 12. John Bonney is listed as the number two behind Jones, and seemed to perform well as a cornerback towards the back end of 2016. We may see more of him going forward, but if Texas does not find a way to solidify the weakness at safety, this could turn into a very long season for Longhorns fans.

Jerrod Heard – I don’t see that package working against a good D. But there are several B12 Ds against which it might work. Do you agree? - MarkinAustin

I don’t think the package will work unless it is more versitile. Herman seemed to acknowledge this fact in his post game press conference on Saturday, which leads me to believe that a passing element to this package is in the works, even if it is greatly simplified. This version of the offense isn’t going to work as the primary showcase for the Longhorns’ offense, but it could be effective for 15-20 plays a game and more importantly, it gives defensive coordinators something else to prepare for, which is less practice time that can be spent on the Longhorns primary offensive attack.

I think staying healthy against USC is more important than winning that game because it previews a tough conference run. Does Boo sit unless he is 100%? I know about "playing the QB who gives the best shot at winning", and that is Boo, but if he is not fully recovered, it seems to me he would be more important to have fully healthy against KSU, Okie Lite, Okie, and TCU. Your thoughts? - MarkinAustin

I am don’t know that Herman and his staff are convinced that Buechele gives them a better shot at winning over the course of the season than Ehlinger does. I may or may not share that opinion with them, but my opinion doesn’t really matter in this particular case (or any other that involves playing time for the Longhorns football team).

With that said, I always approach every game as a football coach as a must-win game. There is no saving something for next week, you go into every game trying to win that game. That is the philosophy you preach to the players, and in order to successfully instill that, you have to practice it as a coach. See where “resting” the injured players got Charile Strong last year against Kansas? So if I am Herman, I simply focusing on how we are going to beat USC. It’s just counterproductive to do otherwise.

CW3 is the horse. But I think TH will not play him more than 19 carries in a game. Would you see the other 19 carries now being divided more evenly among KP and the two FR? Or do you think TH would ride CW3 hard [20+ carries per game]? - MarkinAustin

I am a huge fan of Toneil Carter and have been since the first time I saw his film. I think he can help this team right now, and his performance on Saturday showed why. I also like Daniel Young, although I do not feel that he is as ready to contribute at this stage in his development as Carter is. Going forward, I would like to see Carter start to take a larger role in this offense with Kyle Porter and Young potentially getting a few carries a game as well.

Is anyone else beginning to think the B12 is actually a good football conference, with but one truly bad program [the one that cost our previous coach his job]? - MarkinAustin

I have always been a big supporter of the Big 12 football conference. I think that the conference has gotten a bad rap over the past few seasons, but when you look at out of conference and bowl games, the conference has been pretty comperable to other Power 5 conferences in the years since several programs chose to leave the conference aside from one bad year early in the decade. I wrote a more detailed piece on this specific topic earlier this year, that can be accessed here:

Against Maryland, it seemed clear that LJH was much more comfortable making contact ad getting yards after contact than Jerrod Heard. But against SJS it seemed like Heard was making an intentional decision to run between the tackles and be ok with contact. Would you agree with that? Are they doing that in order to assess if Heard can nail down the running component of the QB role in this offense? Why else would they deploy Heard instead of LJH in the wildcat? Maybe I’m way off? - d freeman

Lil’Jordan Humphrey is quite possibly the best name in college football. To be clear, Heard wasn’t used in the wildcat in the game either, he was used in traditional formations as a change of pace quarterback to Sam Ehlinger. When Texas did go to the wildcat on Saturday, it used Chris Warren III as its primary weapon in the package.

I don’t know how much of Humphries we will see in that package in the future, although the possibility of him being used as a running back in the future remains. What I really like about Humphrey, however, is his ability to be explosive in space. I think he adds a special dimension to the offense in the screen game, which is going to be needed in order to keep defenses from stacking the box against our rushing attack in future games. These short, high percentage packages offer an alternative to the run game, force the defense to match numbers to the outside and can provide explosive plays when athletes like Humpherey, Collin Johnson and Devin Duevernay are on the recieving end of those passes.

Patrick Hudson kinda like made sure Chris Warren wasn’t tackled on that touchdown run. Is that legal? I thought OL can’t go more than a couple yards up field? - d freeman

According to NCAA rules, offensive linemen cannot be more than three yards downfield before the ball is thrown on a pass play. On a run play, there is no restriction on how far downfield an offensive lineman can be. Up until a few years ago, it was illegal for an offensive lineman to “assist” his ball carrier by pushing him forward, although the rule was rarely enforced. The rule was changed, however, in 2015, allowing for the practice. In 2017, it is not illegal to for an offenseive to aid the ball carrier by pushing him in the direction of the end zone, nor is it illegal to be downfield on a designed run, or even on a pass play after the ball has been thrown.