Coach V’s Grades: UT-Tech

Charlie Strong. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Charlie Strong. (Will Gallagher/IT)

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The Longhorns went to Lubbock and handled business on Saturday evening. Here are Coach V’s grades after UT’s 45-37 win over the Red Raiders from Jones AT&T Stadium.

OFFENSE

We had an offensive fun day in Buddy Holly country yesterday. We firmly established that Mr. Foreman makes the other jobs much easier on all counts. If only we could find a way to utilize him in short yardage with the game on the line since flanker hasn’t exactly worked out for him. The individual grades are very high and the praise should be spread around but since you have read most of the high points I would like to take the opportunity to point out a few of the less obvious atta-boys.

I want to start with the combo block Williams (55) and McMillon (64) executed on a early D’Onta’s breakaway. They drove two defenders in unison around twelve yards downfield providing a shield cutting off all pursuit…just one example of their dominance that deserves highlighted.

I hope you caught Bluiett’s drive block on D’Onta’s 75 yard td run. He has a (probable) backside block that usually doesn’t figure strongly in that play but you know D. Foreman ain’t exactly predictable so that block becomes the key to a long one play drive.

I think Duvernay (2) and Johnson (9) need mentioning for making key tackles on turnovers. Duvernay sprinted 100 yards to save a td (and he did even though the zebra missed it) and helped on Johnson’s tackle. Johnson missed the his first attempt but found a jump lasso technique to be the right tonic for his tackle. Football players play the game correctly—not penalizing Shane (7) for his whiff because his old college try was super aggressive.

It was a genuine pleasure watching Hodges (58) pulling from the RT position. I saw kickouts, logs, and seals from a terrific athlete that made great decisions on the run. He makes pulling a graceful art with tremendous body positioning—who knew>?

Here are the grades:

7—Shane—B+

two great throws on post/corners. sacked himself once. bad read zone. good run zone. great deep throw that was dropped. late on three throws. great throws on slants. getting better each week.

18—Tyrone—B

good run off GL. missed hole twice in 18 package. needs to run behind his pads when we just need a yard. good throw for td.

33—Foreman—A-

BPB. fumble on GL. can’t give an “A” to any player that sits the bench in short yardage before you ask.

21—Porter—B

good run zone. good run counter. fumble (right or wrong call) is unacceptable.

2—Duvernay—A-

GB screen. good catch smash. good catch slant. GB zone. Tackle. Tackle.

3—Foreman—B+

good catch/run hitch. good catch hitch. good catch slant. screen catch. good catch dig. drop. hitch catch.

6—Oliver—A-

good catch/run hitch. hitch catch. good block screen (2). hitch catch. good catch curl.

8—Leonard—B

screen catch. screen catch.

9—Johnson—B+

great catch post/corner td—good catch post/corner td. hitch catch. good catch slant. drop hitch. tackle.

11—Warrick—B+

good kickoff return (2). good catch out route. good catch/run hitch.

13—Heard—B-

dropped td bomb.

42—Bluiett—A-

GB zone td. GB zone (7). GB 18 wheeler (4). great block 75 yard td run. td catch lost to penalty.

47—Beck—A-

GB zone. GB zone td run. GB zone (4). lead block 18 wheeler (5). GB lead on td run.

55—Williams—A-

GB zone (11). great block zone (5). good pull block (2). good pass blocking.

56—Shackelford—B+

GB zone (8). great block zone (2). good block counter (3). good pass blocking.

58—Hodges—B+

great pull block counter (5). great pull block kickout. great pull block log (4). GB zone (4). BPB.

64—McMillon—B+

GB zone (5). good pull block kickout. good pull block log (4). great block zone (4). BPB. good block counter.

76—Perkins—B+

good pull block (5). chop penalty. GB zone (4). good pull kickout td run.

77—Vahe—B+

good lead blocks 18 wheeler (3). GB zone.

Buddy Holly last week—John Denver this week.

Malik Jefferson and Breckyn Hager team up on the tackle. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Malik Jefferson and Breckyn Hager team up on the tackle. (Will Gallagher/IT)

DEFENSE

The best thing about our defensive effort yesterday was our assignments matched our physical strengths for most positions. We put players in their comfort zone and the results were positive. We did a ton of good things. We still missed too many tackles. We were much better getting off of blocks at all three levels. We still had s a few clanks but with a very aggressive enthusiasm we covered many of the mistakes that have cost us dearly in the past. The grades aren’t as high as the offense…I would like to point out a few examples of our desire to be a winner that you might have missed.

I want to start with Vasser (44) on the kickoff team. He flies to the ball with reckless abandon toward bodily harm and basically destroys any chance of a good return. I love football players that honor the game with their passion—thank you Mr. Vasser.

Cottrell (91) didn’t get many snaps but made a big impression with 2 QBH’s, one sack, two other tackles including a full-ass sprint 20 yards down the field for a big time hustle tackle.

Ford (95) had the dirty nose duty where he took on half of Lubbock on most downs and still held the LOS. Extra effort on a “take for granted” x-point netted a big block that left Tech a point away from a tie twice.

Hill (5) got a new lease on life this week and responded with a quality effort that included six GOFT’s and five other good plays. Outhouse to penthouse award.

Finally watching Jefferson (46) in a difference making role reminded us of what we thought we were getting when he signed up two winters ago. The game became fun for him again and he played with enthusiasm even with techniques he has normally struggled performing.

Here are the grades:

44—Hager—B+

GT zone. offside penalty. GP zone. MT. sack. GT screen. MA-QB. GT zone. hustle tackle. QBH.

32—Roach—B+

QBH. GT zone. horse collar penalty. GT zone. GT zone. GT QB. QBH. QBH.

90—Omenihu—B+

QBH. QBH. not many snaps.

91—Cottrell—A-

QBH. GT zone. great hustle tackle. GT zone. sack.

40—Hughes—B+

QBH. not many snaps.

41—Fowler—B+

sack. QBH.

95—Ford—A-

GT zone. blocked x-point. GT zone. GT QB. QBH.

93—Boyette—B

GT zone. GT zone. hands to face penalty. lost LOS.

98—Christmas—B+

sack. not many snaps.

46—Jefferson—A-

GT zone. GT option pitch. MA-QB. QBH—(4). sack on blitz. MA QB spy. good tackle QB spy. good GL stunt. GT zone. huge sack. GT zone.

35—Freeman—B+

MA—pass to RB. good edge stunt T. good tackle coverage. big play tfl. stunt tackle. MT. GT zone. GT zone. GT counter.

30—Cole—B

GT zone. GT zone. tackle punt. MA—punt fake. MA-zone. T zone.

23—Shark—B+

GT zone. GT zone. MT punt fake. kickoff tackle. QBH—(2). fumble recovery. GP screen.

2—Boyd—B+

GT slant. beat td (pick). GT hitch caused fumble. MT. GP screen. PBU. GOFT. PBU-GL. PBU. MT. GOFT. penalty. MA-lost contain.

14—Haines—B-

MT. MT. beat td (pick).MT. GT screen. MT post. MT. GOFT.

31—Hall—B-

MT zone. GOFT. PBU. GT zone. MT zone. MT. GT screen.

24—Bonney—B

MT. GOFT. GT zone. GT. MT. PBU. GOFT. GOFT. PBU. MT.

5—Hill—A-

GP screen. GT slant. GOFT. GOFT-option pitch. GOFT. GOFT. GOFT. MT zone. GT zone. GOFT. GP screen. MT.

4—Elliott—B+

GOFT. GT zone. MT. GOFT. great OFT (fake punt). PBU. GT zone. PBU.

11—Locke—B

GOFT. GT hustle. GOFT. MT. GT screen. PBU. MT.

18—Vaccaro—B

kickoff tackle. GOFT. blocked td.

25—Davis—B-

beat deep corner. MA-punt fake. GT hitch. GT post. GT.

19—Jones—B+

GOFT. big hit tackle zone. big hit pass coverage. GOFT (cross route).

9—Davis—B-

MT td run. kickoff tackle.

1—Evans—B-

MT-punt fake. GT screen. PBU. MT.

My grading system is based on total points earned against number of plays played. The points are awarded individually on each and every separate play. There are five different possible grades for each play. Players may earn a plus three (3) for a five star type play—-plus two (2) for above average execution—-plus one (1) for doing their job successfully—-zero (0) for getting beat but knowing and attempting their assignment—-and minus 3 (-3) for a missed assignment.

Each player has a total number of points and a total number of his own individual plays. You divide the total number of plays into the total number of points which gives you scale. The grading scale is as follows:

Any player averaging one point per play (1.0) grades out a B which is winning football. If a player plays 60 plays with 60 total points he would earn a passing grade—each point he goes over the total number of plays raises his grade accordingly. The system is built around rewarding any player that doesn’t beat himself or his team with mental mistakes.

The system also punishes any player that knows what to do but loses too many individual battles. If a player plays 60 plays but loses 10 of those with zero special plays (60 plays—50 points) he falls below the 1.0 needed for a passing grade of B.

I use the plus/minus (A-, B+, etc,) when the numbers indicate a partial add or subtract from the grade. This system was used by my first coaching staff and I kinda carried it with me for thirty years—it’s not perfect but it gives the position coach a measuring stick for his individual players.

The only way to earn the highest grade of A is to play a perfect game. I’ve had exactly zero up to right now so great games still can be better so A- is a very popular second best. This system and my grades will always be subjective filled with agree and disagree opinions. It’s entirely fair for disagreement (without it we might not have horse races) but it’s important to remember that each play only counts once instead of allowing a big mistake to have major influence on an individual’s final grade.

Shortcuts to reduce typing overload.

BRB—beat on a run block.

BPB—beat on a pass block.

GL—goal line.

SY—short yardage.

MT—missed tackle.

MA—missed assignment.

GFT—good fill tackle.

GOFT—good open field tackle.

PBU—pass break up.

tfl—tackle for loss.

5 star—play that most can’t make.

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