Coach V’s Grades: Texas-OU 2017

Sam Ehlinger. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Sam Ehlinger. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Our Coach Venable turns in his grades after the Texas-OU brawl in Dallas on Saturday from the Cotton Bowl. The offense continues to struggle and rely on the QB, while the defense has spurts of greatness, sprinkled with secondary breakdowns. Here’s Coach V’s grades after UT’s 29-24 loss at the Red River Shootout.


We have a few problems on our offensive football team right now. Everybody not playing QB or receiver might want to pay attention. The biggest difference in the two teams yesterday was the offensive line. OU’s were good blockers that did not blow assignments. UT’s blocked very little and often missed assignments. Terrell Cuney will always have K-State to remember. I have zero idea who/what our OL coach was watching but I now have doubts it was this game.

We are reduced to finding new ways to feature our QB. Some of the best blocks he gets are from our receivers after he’s avoided a head-on collision from a look-out block by one of our five ut-oh’s. Our RB’s really stood out on swing/screen passes—getting outside without depending on a block from our shock troops must be more enjoyable and easier on the body.

It’s hard to find something nice to say on offense. We did make some tremendous catches. Sam did extend plays about as well as anyone could hope. We had several guys run extremely hard after a catch. We just didn’t call near enough screens and swings—why is a real mystery to most of us.

Hell, tired of this….

Here are the grades:



















Brandon Jones. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Brandon Jones. (Will Gallagher/IT)


The best thing you can say is the UT defense pretty much left everything they had on the field. The worst thing you can say is we haven’t learned basic secondary coverages/rules and we are six games into the season. Effort was a strong A until a few of the non rotation starters lost all zip they had in their pursuit of happiness.

The staff sorely needs to do an evaluation on their substitution habits—maybe it would be good for the staff to have a plan B in place when the starter is not producing desirable results. I honestly believe a fresh backup will grade better than a worn out starter—in some cases the backup might be a better solution than the current starter.

Mistakes and missed tackles graded somewhere in the (B—B-) range. Stunt reactions bordered on the low side of a passing mark—the stunts were full speed but the change of direction or correct reaction desired were total failures. We still haven’t learned sometimes it’s necessary to come under control/gather yourself because you are overshooting the target by maintaining RPM’s.

We ran one stunt with both backers attacking the same OG—first one inside shoulder and trailer outside shoulder. OU ran at that OG—the RB split between our backers and gained 10+. We ran at least 5 stunts with two defenders off the same edge where the inside defender went inside and the outside guy stayed outside and they split us for big gains.

Double edge stunts into the teeth of the play should cause a wreck that puts the offense behind the chains—we gave up big plays when we called excellent defenses for the offensive play. If the call is the best available then the personnel must be the problem. We have at least three starting defenders that are not playing up to their perceived talent level. It’s called accountability. Playing hard isn’t enough—you must be contributing positive results also.

We had one automatic rule in pass coverage. If you are responsible for any receiver entering the flats and said receiver turns up the field (wheel) you run with him every time. I believe that to be the case nation/level wide.

Unless we call a max blitz with man coverage across the field we should have one defender designated to find his way into the deep middle to avoid cheapies. It appears none of our present safeties (Elliott, Jones, or Locke) that might be responsible for that duty understand where the hell that deep middle might be located.

We are six games into the season. Starters should be playing confidently this far into the season. They are playing hard but they are not playing smart. We have multiple year starters in the secondary and linebacker. We are not young where we are breaking down. It’s time to evaluate certain positions—past time if you are honest.

Here are the grades: