Football

Coach V’s Grades – Notre Dame

D'Onta Foreman follows Kent Perkins and Zack Shackelford (Will Gallagher/IT)
D’Onta Foreman follows Kent Perkins and Zack Shackelford (Will Gallagher/IT)

Wow. Clean up a few drops, a few bad snaps, a few missed blocks, a few off target throws and Texas might be mistaken for an offensive football team. That was pure fun. The only thing that would have made it better for me would have been more deep throws.

7—Buechele—A-
WOW—a QB for this offense. One bad tipped oskie and two under thrown deep balls were the only bad plays for the freshman. Beating Norte Dame in your first college game is just slightly better than beating Richland High School the year before.

18—Swoopes—A-
WOW—a QB that maximizes the production of his package of plays he is expected to deliver on the big stage. Take away the one deep overthrow and Ty played pretty dang good.

3—Foreman—B
Terrific catch for TD where he fancy footed the sideline—blocking still has a ways to go and one false start penalty.

25—Warren—B
Ran extremely tough without many creases—he will get his holes once he gets his timing down.

1—Burt—B+
Good TD catch. Bad TD drop. Good short pass catches and very good escapes for YAC. Blocking has a long way to go.

33—Foreman—A-
WOW. I couldn’t find a bad play—he even blocked very well in the 18 wheeler. He didn’t catch a pass—that’s his bad news.

6—Oliver—A-
Terrific on 3rd downs—moved the chains with breaking a tackle in a key situation. Few expected this output—thanks for staying the course and believing in yourself.

11—Warrick—A-
Strong said he had a outstanding camp and he backed that praise up with super big plays. Punt returns and a huge catch/run in overtime made him special today.

13—Heard—A-
Big play catch and run was special. Blocked like a QB so that’s a priority in the coming weeks.

42—Bluiett—A-
Big time blocking exhibition. Big time player—wish Texas would have thrown one to him. Good down block. Good block on the 78 yard TD pass. Big block on GL.

47—Beck—B-
He better hope coach Traylor doesn’t grade the film. Texas needs another TE badly—he’s the new ‘NCAA.’

55—Williams—A-
Big time player that produced as advertised. Big block on short yardage—great block on 4th and 2.

56—Shackelford—B
Three bad snaps must be cleaned up. One false start penalty. He played hurt and he blocked extremely well. I can live with a guy busting his butt under tough circumstances—this guy will be a cornerstone with time.

58—Hodges—B
Good seal block on the first play to set the tone with a big gain off RT. The RT position was beat five times (inside) with the RG pulling—it never looked like he knew his assignment on that flow away.

63—Anderson—A-
Pancake on a pull. Big block on power pull. Good block zone. Pancake on power pull. Big block on GL. Played very well in the 4th quarter and overtime.

72—Rodriguez—B
Played a few snaps at RG and did his job.

75—Nickelson—B
Terrific blitz pickup on 78 yard td pass. Beat inside twice. Injured again (knee on replay) and didn’t return.

76—Perkins—B+
False start penalty. Good pull block on power—5 times. Pancake pull. Injured three times—didn’t return after the third time.

77—Vahe—B
Good pull blocks—6 times. One chop block penalty killed a drive—it could have been a neighborhood block but the intent was unmistakable. Pass blocking isn’t up to his run blocking standards.

Malik Jefferson downs a Domer (Will Gallagher/IT)
Malik Jefferson downs a Domer (Will Gallagher/IT)

Defense

Texas had a very uneven game as far as team results go but Texas overcame a ton of errors with the kind of individual effort that often means the difference between winning and losing in a close contest. The mental mistakes can be corrected and the physical mistakes must be worked out in practice sessions if the Horns are to see the improvement needed.

Texas is not a very good team defense right now—they need better recognition and they need better coaching. Missing tackles is a fact of life and can be reduced in numbers. Busting coverages is expected if you run a variety of scheme depending on player recognition. Losing the LOS and/or filling the wrong gap is going to happen in tempo reps. We can improve this aspect of our play.

The defense ran poor edge stunts—often missing total contact. The Horns allowed the QB draw to take our whisky without a fight. They must have thought screens were against the rules. Despite aligning to play 10 on 11 throughout most the game they battled the odds about as well as possible—except they still couldn’t stop the deep pass when the Irish targeted the deep middle. Texas needs better coaching adjustments—Texas needs better coaching period.

Hughes (40) played the best game at UT last night. He played really well. Nelson (97) had his best game—he played well. Jefferson (46) had his best overall game despite coverage issues and a couple of tired over-runs. Evans (1) made two plays that most can’t come close to making. Texas must reduce the mistakes each week or they will be a very average (at best) defense this year.

90—Omenihu—B
Lost the LOS in a 4 technique twice (their LT was as good as it gets). Big play on QB draw. Good tackle on zone. Pass rush wasn’t good.

40—Hughes—A-
Blocked field goal helped win the game—without it no overtime. Big hit on zone. Good pursuit tackle. Good scrape tackle out of 3-3. Good PBU on 3rd down. Terrific sack. He had fun and played well because of it.

44—Hager—B-
Bad 15 yard face mask penalty on kickoff. Good fill on sweep. Good scrape and tackle on zone out of a MLB alignment in our 3-3 (nice to see we are using the Fox as the MLB in our 3-3).

32—Roach—B
Provided two strong pass rushes and squeezed down an off tackle with good close. He is a weapon with his intensity.

93—Boyette—B-
Lost the LOS twice. Good tackle on QB. Good tackle on zone. Big play on zone in red zone. Tackle for loss on zone. Leader.

95—Ford—B-
Good tackle zone. Good sack. Good pursuit—played ton of plays. Pass rush inconsistent.

97—Nelson—B+
Good play on screen. Big play short yardage. Big play zone. Good play zone. Strong pass rush when fresh.

94—Wilbon—B
Held LOS in limited snaps. Good pursuit but no tackles.

55—Elliott—B
Aligned twice as a 9 technique—once as a stand-up 9. We need to rethink our priorities because this isn’t putting this player in a position to have success. Good play zone.

46—Jefferson—B
Great chase tackle on the 54 yard run. Good scrape on sweep. Good sack on delayed blitz. Big play GL. MT on QB (GL). Good tackle on QB draw. Good tackle zone. Good pursuit tackle. Good tackle on QB option keep. Lost in coverage twice. Two MT’s when he ran out of gas. Must find a 3rd backer for 46 and 45—30 and 35 are not the answer yet.

45—Wheeler—B-
Good play zone. Good PBU on TE. Good stick on counter. Poor recognition on QB draws. Beat on wheel route by RB for TD pass. Improvement is obvious but he isn’t a quality LB by any stretch—he must show improvement each week.

35—Freeman—B-
Slow reacting and staying blocked in limited snaps. Made one nice play but it was too far down the field to be classified as a good play.

30—Cole—C+
Block in the back penalty on punt return cost field position and block was poor decision after whistle.Poor edge stunt. Blocked every play. Tim might be a terrific leader but he’s not a LB at this level of play.

5—Hill—B
Big tackle on opposite sideline. Good play on screen. Good tackle on QB draw. Coverage needs to tighten.

9—Davis—B-
Good PBU on deep ball. Good tackle on sweep. Beat for TD (push off by Hunter but they still count). Busted coverage for TD (either 9 or 31—don’t know which). Must play better.

14—Haines—B-
Edge stunt lacked contact. Stayed 18 yards deep much of the first half. Poor reactions to QB draws as both he and 31 never recognized with ball coming at them. Injured on TD pass.

31—Hall—B-
Ran into the umpire on 54 yard run—poor angle (reaction). Good play on screen. Poor reaction to QB draws. Busted coverage (31 or 9) cost us a TD and 14 to injury.

25—Davis—B-
Holding penalty on 3rd down and long. MT on punt return.

4—Elliott—B-
Good play on zone. Big hit on PBU in end zone. MT on QB sack. Edge stunt lacks conviction.

1—Evans—B+
Big support sweep. Kick-off tackle. Edge stunt missed contact. Beat on short post.

11—Locke—B
Good sack on QB. Good coverage in flat.

18—Vaccaro—B-
Great sack on QB. Good tackle on post route. MT on QB sack attempt.

19—Jones—B
Kickoff tackle. Good coverage but must stay under control at the point of impact.

91 (Cottrell) must not have been available and 2 (Boyd – out with cramps) and 24 (Bonney) only played special teams so they didn’t grade. Texas has work to do on defense—they are a long way from good.

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.