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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
They'll have to play
better next week.
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.
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.
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