Nahlin OSU Scorecard: 'Frustratingly Glorius'

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By Eric Nahlin, Inside Texas Recruiting Editor
Posted Oct 1, 2012
Copyright © 2014 InsideTexas.com


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Ryan Roberson

That was a little too close for comfort, eh?

Let's get to the grades.

 

 

 

QUARTERBACK/A-

David Ash continues to impress and is a year ahead of where I expected him to be. He's made tremendous strides in all facets of play; better on deep throws, going through his progressions, taking the easy yards in the short area and just overall command of the offense. He's proving to be a real difference maker. Even his interception wasn't too bad considering Texas had already gone for it on 4th down and with a short field to work with it equated to a punt. His touchdown passes to Jordan Shipley were every bit as good as any Geno Smith threw on Saturday.

Ash remains excellent on third down and threw two beautiful passes on 4th down conversions, including the huge game saving play to D.J. Grant that could not have possibly been thrown better.

RUNNING BACK/B

What the hell happened to Malcolm Brown? I watched the game countless times and all I ever saw regarding his injury was the slightest of limps as he left the field. That injury is odd and I hope the Asset can shed some light on it. Without him in the game, Texas struggled to run in the early a middle parts of the game, though Joe Bergeron and Johnathan Gray were game.

Gray's improvement is obvious with every game and he was close to housing a long one if he would have kept his feet. We know he's explosive, but what I liked most about his play was how patiently he ran. He's beginning to trust that holes will develop. He benefitted from a fantastic Ryan Roberson block where he looked like he was going to score but was brought down just short of the goal line.

I mentioned Roberson's block because that's my segue to this; he flat missed far too many assignments. He did show up in the stats with some nice receptions, where he showed soft hands and the awareness to turn up field.

Jeremy Hills also gave a good senior effort and played well within his third down back role, especially on the big third and 15 play that immediately preceded Shipley's 44-yard touchdown reception.

I'll mention a couple of the Swiss Army knives here. Daje Johnson showed that explosive highlight reel ability we've been hearing about. He runs with great vision and has the quickness and elusiveness to pull off video game runs. He had four catches on the night and ran 85 yards to net 45.

D.J. Monroe's kickoff return embodies everything about the stellar senior year he's having. He saw his lane and hit it with authority and shrugged off what was a pretty solid attempt by the OSU defender of throwing a stick in his spokes. It was a huge play by the little big man. Despite his size limitations, D.J. also threw a couple of important blocks.

WIDE RECEIVER/B+

This group had a nice mixture of clutch and big plays. Shipley was terrific with his ability to beat ostensibly better athletes over the top on his first and third touchdowns. His second touchdown was beautifully designed and crossed OSU's wires.

Mike Davis probably should have caught that end zone pass from Ash. Initially I thought he knocked the ball out with his knee but he didn't. I think even he believes he should have caught that. He definitely did his part to make up for it with that fantastic catch over Justin Gilbert. Last week I wrote that I didn't anticipate David being able to beat Gilbert one on one but that's exactly what he did. What a fantastic effort that was. Davis also blocked well on the night. This is what full Mike Davis buy-in looks like. He also drew yet another pass interference call.

Though Marquise Goodwin didn't have a huge night, he did make plays when presented opportunities. He had a great effort that extended the first drive and would have had another first down had Ash not thrown behind him. It was a good night for Goodwin, even if he didn't have any explosive plays like against Ole Miss.

TIGHT END/B

One catch for the whole grouping won't often net a grade of B, but D.J. Grant's catch was the biggest play he's made as a Longhorn. Last week I noted that I thought Grant has a Derek Lewis type of play in him and if Texas goes on to a magical season that very well could be it.

Texas didn't run the ball well until later in the second half but when they did, Luke Poehlmann in his glorified tight tackle role did a fine job. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of Poehlmann from here on out.

OFFENSIVE LINE/B-

This unit didn't play up to their potential Saturday, especially early in the game, but they played big towards the end of the game. Texas finally found their legs in the game's most important juncture and the line really opened some holes for Gray. They also protected Ash well but gave up a sack that was thankfully overcome on the game-winning drive. While they didn't play great, you don't usually hold a 13 minute time of possession advantage over your opponent without winning line play. And yes, admittedly OSU didn't hold the ball as long as Texas because of some extremely quick scoring drives, but the Texas line played good enough to win.

They'll have to play better next week.

DEFENSIVE LINE/B-

This is a tough group to grade basically because I think they played fairly well within a poor game plan. As Mack said in his press conference, the defense didn't make OSU one dimensional. To me that falls on coaching, not the players. There were way too many lanes for Cowboy running back Joseph Randle and later in the game for J.W. Walsh to run through. Texas seemed to have no answer for the gap control required to stymie the rushing attack. I thought Ashton Dorsey and the defensive ends played well. Chris Whaley had a nice tackle for a loss but that had more to do with miscommunication on the Cowboy offensive line. Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor made some plays behind the line. Texas will need huge games out of those two this weekend.

LINEBACKER/D+

We talked about the tough assignments the linebackers were going to be put in this week and they didn't answer the bell. Steve Edmond and Dalton Santos both spent a lot of time allowing themselves to be engulfed by offensive lineman. They need to use their hands better. Cobbs was quiet as usual, though he did make one nice tackle in traffic for a minimal gain. Santos did make a great play on a swing pass that could have gone for a big gain if he hadn't made the shoelace tackle.

DEFENSIVE BACK/C+

They gave up too many passing yards and once again, they missed too many tackles. Adrian Phillips is justly catching heat for his tackling, but if Kenny Vaccaro doesn't tackle air on Joseph Randle, Phillips wouldn't have even had a chance to miss on that play. He missed far too many tackles besides that play, so I can't spend much time defending him. Carrington Byndom is just as guilty of poor tackling as Phillips and I can't figure that one out. Vaccaro had the interception of atonement and Quandre Diggs played his best game of the year I thought.

All in all it was a frustratingly glorious night and you as a die-hard Texas fan knows exactly what I mean by that.

Bring on the Mountaineers.

 

 

 

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