Author Archives: Ian Boyd

About Ian Boyd

Ian moved to Austin as a 9-year old, chose the Longhorns over the Aggies thanks to Ricky Williams and never looked back or thought twice about it. After graduating from The University in '09 with a History degree, he's been writing about the strategies and trends of Longhorn football and the game in general.

Inside the Gameplan: Herman’s Rocks

Patrick Vahe, Connor Williams, and Brandon Hodges. (Will Gallagher/IT)

We’ve spent a good deal of time discussing Herman’s schemes as well as the various players he’s inheriting and how they can be best deployed in his attack. However, we’ve mostly glossed over the play of the foundational pieces to the 2017 attack. That’d be the offensive line, featuring Connor Williams (23 starts), Patrick Vahe (19 starts), Jake McMillon (five starts), and Zach Shackelford (nine starts).

Inside the Gameplan: Cam’s Rising

Cameron Rising (via Rising)

When Texas either strongly targets or signs a quarterback, I like to deep dive into his high school film. There’s obviously only so much you can tell from watching highlights, after all. You can see movement skill and some of where a player is at in terms of fitting into a scheme and team concept but it’s a very partial picture. With other positions I don’t worry about that as much, but quarterback is such a cerebral position that I want as close a look as I can get.

Inside the Gameplan: Herman’s TE Academy

Andrew Beck (Will Gallagher/IT)

It might be strange to discuss Texas tight ends so much since there’s a decent chance that Texas will spend half or more of their offensive snaps next season without one on the field. That said, Herman clearly wants to make them a priority within the offense and some of the targets on the board for this next recruiting class (Mustapha Muhammad and Malcolm Epps for instance) are potential game-changers.

Inside the Gameplan: Overload!

Jeff McCulloch and Malcolm Roach. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Texas really only utilized two blitzes in the spring game. When you consider the wide world of disguises, stunts, pressure combos, and back end coverages in Orlando’s playbook it’s easy to understand why both the first and second team offenses would be in such sorry shape against the defense in the spring. They each struggled some against the two blitzes that they saw in the spring and it’s easy to see them getting overwhelmed facing Orlando’s full arsenal.

5 quick thoughts: Spring is in the air

Collin Johnson (Will Gallagher/IT)

It’s like 80 degrees right now in southeast Michigan, probably made for a nice day at the Big House where the Wolverines were holding their spring game. I’ll get out and enjoy myself in a moment, probably fire up the grill, but I was content to sit inside for the afternoon and watch Herman’s squad go at it.

Inside the Gameplan: An empty run game?

Sam Ehlinger (Joe Cook/IT)

Tom Herman and his staff are going to have a fun summer brainstorming workarounds to some glaring issues in their 2017 offense. Texas fans are no stranger to the concept of a unit featuring many great talents but lacking cohesiveness or identity that can elevate supporting players but this staff definitely is and they’ll be hard at work to find solutions this offseason.

Inside the Gameplan: Applying Dave Aranda to Texas

Todd Orlando (Will Gallagher/IT)

When Dave Aranda took his crafty and thoroughly modern defensive scheme from Wisconsin to LSU it seemed a potentially terrifying combination. The only question was how long it would take for Aranda’s more complex, protection-busting schemes to connect with an athletic LSU roster that had been successful in a different system for some time.

Inside the Gameplan: How Orlando will feature Malik

Malik Jefferson. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Last May we discussed how Texas could “build around the Predator” and feature Malik as a main component to the defense. That all came crashing down when Texas didn’t get effective run defense out of the hybrid middle linebacker (or any other LB on campus) and the area where Malik eventually brought value to the team was not one we foresaw.