Ranking the Big 12's space force units: The 2020 left tackles

Ian Boyd

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Keep up with the full series:
-The importance of wide receivers

-Ranking of the league's receivers
-The importance of left tackles

Here’s what the league has in the pipelines at left tackle for 2020. Remember that the rankings are based on the left tackles in particular, I include the notes on infrastructure and conjecture on the overall lineup because that sets the floor for the unit. The ceiling is set by the left tackle.

If we ranked the overall units things would fall out differently. Instead we’re ranking first a team’s left tackle and secondly their depth and capacity for replacing him in the event of an injury or positive COVID test. Take note of the infrastructure notes though and if you like we can debate how those rankings would shape up in the comments. Spoiler alert, Oklahoma would be no. 1.

No. 1: Texas

Left tackle: Sam Cosmi
Contingencies: Denzel Okafor, Derek Kerstetter, Christian Jones

In all likelihood, Sam Cosmi will leave after his junior year in 2020 and be drafted somewhere between the 1st and 3rd round depending on how he tests and measures at the combine. He’s a great athlete and technician, we’ll see how his wingspan measures. If he's 6-5 or better and the wingspan even longer, he'll go high. If he's 6-5 with a 6-5 wingspan, perhaps he'll slip out of the first round.

Derek Kerstetter isn’t the same level of athlete (though he’s a strong one) but is a strong technician that graded well in pass protection in 2019 as the right tackle. For 2020 he’ll slide inside and start at center. Denzel Okafor played some left tackle for Texas in 2017 when they were desperate after injuries to Connor Williams and Elijah Rodriguez. He flashed some potential but was abused in pass protection and eventually benched in despair. Then he redshirted in 2018 and played some spot duty right tackle in 2019 where he showed he’d come a fair way in his technique..

Christian Jones is another high level athlete at 6-6, 300 that Texas pulled as a raw athlete from a Wing-T offense in the Houston Metroplex. He’s still coming along and is currently the sixth O-lineman. When he's in they slide Okafor inside to guard whereas when Isaiah Hookfin plays, Okafor is outside at right tackle.

Sam Cosmi is the class of the league and while Texas isn't stacked with great left tackles behind him, they may have as many as three other guys that can play it at a passable level in Kerstetter, Okafor, and Jones.

Infrastructure check
From left tackle to center, Texas is as strong as any team in the conference. The Oklahoma’s are bigger across those spots but the Texas group is the most athletic. The right side is going to depend on Okafor having a big senior year and then solid growth from some up and coming young players on the team that will surely need some time to find themselves.

Prospective lineup
LT: Sam Cosmi: 6-6, 309. RS junior. 3-star from HOU
LG: Junior Angilau: 6-6, 295. RS sophomore. 4-star from UT
C: Derek Kerstetter: 6-5, 293. Senior. 3-star from CTX
RG: Isaiah Hookfin: 6-5, 314. RS freshman. 4-star from HOU
RG: Denzel Okafor: 6-3, 317. RS senior. 4-star from DFW

No. 2: Oklahoma

Left tackle: Adrian Ealy
Contingencies: Anton Harrison, Stacey Wilkins, Erik Swenson, Tyrese Robinson

Adrian Ealy had a really strong 2019 as the right tackle now has had a reportedly great offseason. He's the most likely guy to end up starting at left tackle in the fall. He excelled on the edge in the run game last year and had a few moments as a puller on their GT counter schemes, but was too beat up to be consistently good all year. A healthier Ealy is their best returning tackle from 2019 and thus the most likely starter for 2020. He was strong in space and changing direction a year ago, if he’s improved his kick step from 2019 then he could be fantastic here.

There were whispers around the program last year that Stacey Wilkins might be good and talented enough to step in and solve some of their issues but they preserved his redshirt. He’s a future option at left tackle but is now fending off true freshman Anton Harrison, the exciting new talent. I don’t hear much about Erik Swenson, who started last year when healthy and had some struggles. I wonder if he’s still battling some injuries. Tyrese Robinson filled in at right tackle in a few games when Ealy was out and was a very steady player there. If UCLA transfer Chris Murray is eligible to play at guard this season I expect Robinson to start at right tackle.

Like Texas, the Sooners have one great option and then a number of solid fallbacks. The future in Norman at left tackle post-2020 is brighter than in Austin but so long as Cosmi is around Texas has the edge.

Infrastructure check
For years now, Oklahoma has dominated the Big 12 by being the most Big 12y team, embracing the shootout style and carrying more bullets into the battle than anyone else. That’s included having an offensive line that can dominate light boxes in the run game as part of a balanced but pass-first approach on offense. In 2019 they won the league with iffy tackle play but an overwhelming interior line. For 2020 they return all of those pieces and add UCLA transfer Chris Murray. This is going to be a tough team to stop in the run game when this group is paired with their fullbacks and play-action passing game.

This is basically a comparable unit to the OSU O-line in that it’s massive and mauling on the left side, but then with an NFL pick rather than a walk-on at center and two more stars on the right side rather than youngsters thrown to the wolves.

Prospective lineup
LT: Adrian Ealy: 6-6, 327. RS junior. 4-star from LA
LG: Marquis Hayes: 6-5, 349. RS junior. 4-star from MO
OC: Creed Humphrey: 6-5, 320. Senior. 4-star from OK
RG: Chris Murray: 6-3, 297. Junior. 4-star from CA/UCLA transfer
RT: Tyrese Robinson: 6-3, 335. RS junior. 4-star from DFW

No. 3: Baylor

Left tackle: Connor Galvin
Contingencies: Jake Burton, Casey Phillips

Baylor has three guys that have started games for them at tackle and demonstrated some legitimate athleticism and now add UCLA transfer Jake Burton. What they’ve lacked is development and technique, both because they're all young and inexperienced and also because they haven’t had high level instruction yet. Galvin will be a true junior, Casey Phillips is a redshirt junior that was pressed into action in 2019 when Galvin was hurt, they also were using Blake Bedier here until recently who was a very raw athlete and new to football. The raw materials here are arguably some of the best in the league but they have a ways to go and a shortened window of time in which to get there.

Overall the line is certainly a question mark after some shaky appearances in 2019, but many of those occurred without Galvin who’s one of the most proven tackles in the league. Charlie Brewer was sacked 31 times in 2019 and 16 of them (about half) occurred in the four games that Galvin missed. They took some sacks in other games as well, Galvin hasn’t yet been an early day draft pick at tackle, but he’s pretty good and was miles better than the alternatives.

Infrastructure check
Baylor was not good on the offensive line under Matt Rhule. Their strongest stretch was actually the back half of 2018 when Connor Galvin stabilized their protection and the right side had a trio of veteran seniors in Sam Tecklenburg, Blake Blackmar and Pat Lawrence that made their zone run game work. When those guys graduated they slipped badly in 2019 despite plugging in some solid athletes like Bedier and Phillips. This group is getting older, and bigger, and has received some praise from the staff. It’s hard to be confident though that they’ll be legitimately good until we see it. Perhaps the best guess is that they’ll grow considerably over the course of the season because there is some real talent.

Prospective lineup
LT: Connor Galvin: 6-6, 310. Junior. 3-star from HOU
LG: Khalil Keith: 6-5, 320. RS sophomore. 3-star from AL
C: Xavier Newman: 6-2, 307. Senior. 4-star from DFW
RG: Blake Bedier: 6-5, 300. Senior. 3-star from UT/UT JUCO
RT: Jake Burton: 6-6, 312. RS senior. 3-star from CA/UCLA transfer

No. 4: Iowa State

Left tackle: Joey Ramos
Contingencies: Grant Treiber, Sean Foster

This is one of the most crucial space force units in the league that could dictate who plays in the Big 12 Championship Game. As many other teams are probably contemplating doing right now, the Cyclones made the choice in 2018 to move their best athlete Julian Good-Jones to left tackle even though he was at his best inside. That solidified the position for them at a passable level but now he’s gone. Sean Foster started games at right tackle in 2018 but was mostly benched in 2019 for Good-Jones and Bryce Meeker, both of whom are now gone. Judging by Matt Campbell's comments, Foster seems to have taken to heart that 2020 is his last chance to make the most of his football career.

The real buzz in the program is around redshirt freshman Grant Treiber and redshirt sophomore Joey Ramos, the latter of whom was Good-Jones’ understudy in 2019.

Treiber is the better pure athlete and at 6-6, 295 has prototypical size and length for the position. Ramos is listed at 6-5, 310 and isn’t the same level of athlete but has a high level of coordination and punch and has drawn positive reviews. He could be a natural technician that plays like a veteran early in his career, that’s the hope anyways. In limited snaps in relief of Julian Good-Jones in 2019, Ramos checked off a few boxes. He's large and moves well both in the run game and in pass protection.

Infrastructure check
Things are good here, Iowa State’s recruiting of big Midwesterners for the last few years in Ames showed up faster on the interior than outside. The Cyclones have a pair of interior linemen that are quite good and got started early in their career in Collin Newell and Trevor Downing. Newell can play center or guard so they also have some flexibility in how they fill out their lineup. Downing was their best lineman in 2019 as a redshirt freshman. Beyond those two the team has a few additional massive, upperclassman Midwesterners (Rob Hudson, 6-6/320 and Jake Remsburg, 6-6/315) coming up the ranks. The question marks are really all at tackle given how much dropback passing this team does.

Prospective lineup
LT: Joey Ramos: 6-5, 303. RS sophomore. 3-star from AZ
LG: Trevor Downing: 6-4, 314. RS sophomore. 3-star from IA
C: Derek Schweiger: 6-3, 311. RS junior. Walk-on from WI
RG: Collin Newell: 6-4, 304. RS junior. 3-star from IA
RT: Sean Foster: 6-8, 318. RS senior. 3-star from IL

No. 5: TCU

Left tackle: Austin Myers
Contingencies: DJ Storment, Andrew Coker, Brandon Coleman

Austin Myers is the rare, 4-star tackle prospect signed by a non-OU/TX team and he’s played a lot of football for the Frogs but primarily inside at guard up until now. He has real athleticism and change of direction but he’s been at his best translating it on the edge with screens and spread run game rather than dropback pass protection. With a leap in technical savvy he could have an important senior year, he’ll be good in the run/screen game either way.

Grad transfer DJ Storment is a pretty solid football player, ideally at right tackle but he’s done more in his career thus far (at Colorado State) than many of the other guys on this list. Redshirt freshman Andrew Coker rounds out the list, a big and talented player that was raw coming out of high school but has a lot of tools. The 247 guys seem to think Coker is ahead of Storment, which is indicative of TCU choosing youthful upside over experience and/or Coker figuring things out on a pretty accelerated timeline.

Infrastructure check
The Frogs are fairly young and starting second or third year players at almost every position. The entire program is clearly orienting around the 2021 season, especially now that Max Duggan is expected to miss some amount of the 2020 season. The Frogs have some talent but, like much of the league, they tend to be pretty developmental in their process. In other words, they don’t recruit many players that are ready to be great as underclassmen and they haven’t had the 2019 bowl practices or spring to do their normal work. The outlook here isn’t that great, but there’s above average talent (upside) relative to the greater league.

Prospective lineup
LT: Austin Myers: 6-5, 303. RS senior. 4-star from HOU
LG: John Lanz: 6-3, 311. Sophomore. 3-star from DFW
C: Esteban Avila: 6-4, 314. RS sophomore. 3-star from DFW
RG: Quazzel White: 6-3, 317. RS sophomore. 3-star from WS
RT: Andrew Coker: 6-7, 326. RS freshman. 3-star from HOU
 

Ian Boyd

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No. 6: West Virginia

Left tackle: Junior Uzebu
Contingencies: John Hughes, Brandon Yates, Briason Mays

I had Junior Uzebu pegged as their future left tackle when they signed him in 2018, it appears the time is now with Colton McKivitz off to the NFL. The Mountaineers have some other older right tackle types such as John Hughes and some JUCO transfers like Tairiq Stewart and Jacob Gamble that don’t seem to be registering. The future is probably redshirt freshman Brandon Yates but he’s further away than young Uzebu. Things are in reasonably solid shape overall. West Virginia sent back to back left tackles to the NFL with Yodny Cajuste and then Colton McKivitz. That’s a nice track record, but they’re probably also a year or two away from getting back to that level, or whenever Uzebu or Yates gets their feet under them.

Finding and landing good offensive tackles is an underrated piece of West Virginia’s formula that people regularly overlook. They can pick off big boys from up in Appalachia, they can get them to the south, or they can head over to the Tri-State area. That's a diverse and fertile recruiting ground, even if they aren't the top dog on any of those streets.

Infrastructure check
Last year the Mountaineers started NFL tackle Colton McKivitz opposite Joe Wickline’s redshirt senior son, Kelby. They were pretty good on the edge. The interior was bad and they struggled to run the ball, which made their version of the typical RPO/play-action spread formula a bit rough at times. Now their interior O-line is back intact and a year older, stronger, and more practiced. So the infrastructure is decent but they’re rushing young athletes on the field on the edge and scrambling to get depth there.

Prospective lineup
LT: Junior Uzebu: 6-5, 302. RS sophomore. 3-star from GA
LG: James Gmiter: 6-3, 300. RS sophomore. 3-star from West PA
C: Chase Behrndt: 6-4, 305. RS senior. 3-star from MO
RG: Michael Brown: 6-3, 345. RS senior. 3-star from CA/AZ JUCO
RT: John Hughes: 6-5, 298. Junior. 3-star from DFW/TX JUCO

No. 7: Oklahoma State

Left tackle: Teven Jenkins
Contingencies: Spencer Sanders, Hunter Anthony, Cole Birmingham, Eli Russ

Oklahoma State was in good shape here before Dylan Galloway chose to medically retire before his senior season. I figured they’d turn to Bryce Bray to fill in the gap, or at least give him a look, but that fell apart after they had to kick him out of the program. So it’ll be Teven Jenkins.

Teven Jenkins has long been a very productive right tackle for the ‘Pokes but he’s better in the run game and collapsing the edge than kickstepping into the paths of great edge-rushers. Ultimately Oklahoma State’s offense will really be about the left side pairing of Jenkins and left guard Josh Sills (WVU transfer) blowing holes in the run game while the Cowboys stress the perimeter with screens and Spencer Sanders keepers.

Hunter Anthony is a big tackle project at 6-6, 328 that is going to have to be rushed into shape at right tackle. They also just took his older brother as a grad transfer from UNT, where he wasn’t even a starter for the Mean Green. Most likely older brother Chandler won’t play for the Cowboys save for in the most dire of circumstances. Cole Birmingham will get his start at guard but I guess he’d be the next one to get a call. You can probably put your wagers down now on Oklahoma State nabbing a grad transfer for 2021 when they have to replace Jenkins. If they have to replace Jenkins at any point in 2020 it could be ugly.

Teven Jenkins may be close or better than everyone ranked from fourth to six above him in terms of pass protection, but it's close and that's not really where his value shines through. What knocks Oklahoma State below the others is their lack of viable contingencies in the event of an injury.

Infrastructure check
The Cowboys are really just hoping to arrive at competence on the right side of their line before Sanders is injured or they drop too many games to be competitive in the Big 12 race. The left side and their ability to create space for their star athletes with run/pass conflicts is secured, it’s a matter of the right side not allowing their plans to be destroyed. Dropback pass protection simply isn’t going to be very good in 2020, RPOs in which Jenkins and Sills are working to collapse the left side WILL be very good.

Prospective lineup
LT: Teven Jenkins: 6-6, 321. RS senior. 3-star from KS
LG: Josh Sills: 6-6, 338. RS junior. 3-star from OH/WVU transfer
C: Ry Schneider: 6-3, 327. RS junior. Walk-on from OK
RG: Cole Birmingham: 6-8, 308. RS freshman. 3-star from HOU
RT: Hunter Anthony: 6-6, 328. RS sophomore. 3-star from OK

No. 8: Kansas State

Left tackle: Christian Duffie
Contingencies: Kaitori Leveston, Cooper Beebe

The Wildcats have been nurturing a pair of young Texan prospects for the last few years, Houstonian Christian Duffie and then Waco’s Kaitori Leveston. Duffie seems to be ahead right now, he’s a solid athlete and simply been more dialed and received more reps thus far than the bigger Leveston.

The Wildcats are set to roll with young Cooper Beebe at right tackle. He’s evidently one of the most promising all-around lineman on the team and sounds like the next Cody Whitehair or Dalton Risner. Evidently he’ll start above the second team left tackle, I take that to mean that his thick frame is of the utmost value in run blocking.

Also fascinating, converted tight end Logan Long is moving to the line this year after serving as their best blocking ancillary a year ago. He’s 6-4, 315 and a solid athlete but I don’t know if he has the reach or kick step to play left tackle. We’ll keep an eye on the walk-on for the future though because he was so terrific in 2019 as a blocking tight end.

Infrastructure check
With Josh Rivas back at guard, senior walk-on Noah Johnson at center, and solid JUCO Dawson Delforge at right guard, K-State is likely to be pretty solid across the offensive line in general. Holding up on third-and-seven will probably require creative six-man protections and some improvisation from Skylar Thompson. Their ability to run the ball and run play-action though is almost certainly being underrated.

Prospective lineup
LT: Christian Duffie: 6-4, 295. RS sophomore. 3-star from HOU
LG: Josh Rivas: 6-6, 320. RS junior. 3-star from Kansas
C: Noah Johnson: 6-1, 297. RS senior. Walk-on from Kansas JUCO
RG: Dawson Delforge: 6-5, 318. Junior. 3-star from Kansas JUCO
RT: Cooper Beebe: 6-3, 326. RS freshman. 3-star from Kansas

No. 9: Kansas

Left tackle: Earl Bostick
Contingencies: Nick Williams, Antione Frazier, Jacobi Lott

It’s probably Bostick or bust for the Jayhawks in 2020. They were in great shape at left tackle in 2019 with NFL draft pick Hakeem Adeniji. Elsewhere they ranged from “solid” to “below average.”

Earl Bostick is their next man up at left tackle. He’s a 6-6, 290 pound former 2-star from South Carolina who’s a good athlete that needed time and development. He’ll be a redshirt junior in 2020 with minimal game experience (but not none) but will get the lion’s share of snaps and focus in the lead-up to this season. Frazier is a big but more limited senior and Jacobi Lott is an athletic youngster who came to college with a steep learning curve after spending his high school days strictly run blocking in West Texas. Big Nick Williams (6-8, 290) has ended up passing Frazier at right tackle, which is a positive indicator since Frazier is a redshirt senior who probably didn’t have too much more upside to explore.

Overall this unit will go as far as their interior line can take them.

Infrastructure check
The Jayhawks are somewhere in between Kansas State and the rest of the league in terms of strategy. They’ll run RPOs and play-action till the cows come home like everyone else, but they'll also do it from 21 personnel with a tight end and a fullback helping their tackles out. When they do lean on their tackles, they have some big people out there that are third/fourth year players. Don’t completely count out the Jayhawk line just because they lost an NFL athlete on the line. Do it because their quarterbacks might be awful until Jalon Daniels figures it out.

Prospective lineup
LT: Earl Bostick: 6-6, 290. RS junior. 2-star from SC
LG: Malik Clark: 6-4, 315. RS senior. 2-star from LA
C: Api Mane: 6-3, 327. RS senior. 0-star from CA
RG: Chris Hughes: 6-2, 315. RS senior. 3-star from CTX
RT: Nick Williams: 6-8, 290. RS sophomore. 3-star from MO

No. 10: Texas Tech

Left tackle: Josh Burger
Contingencies: Zach Adams, Casey Verhulst, Ethan Carde

Tech interestingly has one of the better guards in the Big 12 in Jack Anderson, who’s back after an injury-derailed 2019, but they’ve not shown much interest in bumping him outside to solve the issues at tackle. While he missed much of 2019 the Red Raiders discovered that Weston Wright and Dawson Deaton are pretty good interior O-linemen as well. The edge at tackle is a completely different story.

Josh Burger grad transferred in for this year from Wofford and will probably be the solution at left tackle. Casey Verhulst is a fairly promising tackle prospect with some expertise in protecting the edge and using solid quickness and reach to buy time for the quarterback to throw. His issue is weight and power, he got some snaps at right tackle in 2019 and was quite good at staying in front of people but also highly susceptible to getting bull-rushed. How much weight and strength did he add in the offseason?

Burger is trying to hold off senior Zach Adams, who’s done a lot of nothing heading into his fifth year in Lubbock. Overall things look pretty grim at tackle for the Red Raiders in 2020, but it’s not like the health of their quarterback is an area of particular concern...is it?

Infrastructure check
This would be the best interior O-line in the league if not for Oklahoma, they did great work last year and now welcome back NFL prospect Jack Anderson. Tackle is the worst in the league, so they’ll have to help those guys out. Their power-read play-action scheme will surely get increasing work this year.

Prospective lineup
LT: Josh Burger: 6-3, 295. RS senior. 0-star from Ohio/Wofford transfer
LG: Weston Wright: 6-6, 310. RS sophomore. 3-star from CTX
C: Dawson Deaton: 6-6, 305. Junior. 3-star from DFW
RG: Jack Anderson: 6-5, 315. Junior. 4-star from DFW
RT: Casey Verhulst: 6-6, 305. Junior. 3-staf from DFW

In summary, Texas and Oklahoma are head and shoulders above the rest of the league in terms of being ready to field high level tackles that can be trusted to hold down the edge well. Most everyone else is either going to have to trust a solid but athletically limited veteran, or hope that despite a shortened offseason that a young athlete will be ready to make a leap heading into 2020. The most promising athletes that could make such a leap are West Virginia’s Junior Uzebu, Baylor’s Connor Galvin, and perhaps one of the Iowa State youngsters or Kansas’ Earl Bostick.

The teams that end up finding a legitimate tackle on their roster, if those are also the teams that are solid across the rest of the line, will have a major advantage relative to the rest of the league. Another factor here will be the play of the quarterbacks. Most everyone is returning both experience and mobility at quarterback, both of which can bring a tremendous boost to the quality (or the appearance of quality) for the offensive line.

A quarterback that can help set protections, or who's mobile and understands where the weak spots are and how to buy himself time or avoid trouble, those guys can make a decent line look good or a good line look great. In those games against disciplined defenses with legitimate athletes on the edge (coming up in a future post), it's hard to overcome the lack of a great tackle and that's what will likely separate the two teams that play for the Big 12 championship in 2020.
 

melodicmarc

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Sounds like Ealy is going back to Right Tackle for OU and Harrison and Wilkins will battle it out for Left Tackle. Bedenbough is really high on both. Also sounds like Raym is on the verge of the starting lineup as well.
 

Ian Boyd

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Sounds like Ealy is going back to Right Tackle for OU and Harrison and Wilkins will battle it out for Left Tackle. Bedenbough is really high on both. Also sounds like Raym is on the verge of the starting lineup as well.
If Murray is cleared to play it's hard to see them opting for something other than what I have above. Robinson, Ealy, and Murray are the proven vets.
 

travisroeder

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Hmm, was center always on the table for him? I remember him always being a guard take, but I also don’t remember him being 6-2.

out of sight, out of mind once he decommitted

@Eric Nahlin @travisroeder
He's had an interesting career. Tackle was never on the table due to height and reach. He had to start as a true freshman at guard because the OL was so bare when Rhule first arrived. Rhule tried to redshirt him last year but couldn't do it. He hasn't been a spectacular player, but rather steady. The extra year of eligibility will really help him, he has the potential to be really good in 2021. He should be good in 2020.
 
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sherf1

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This seems the hardest to rank in isolation, as its so dependent on the general health of the offense.

Texas, Iowa State and OSU really need their guys to step up. OU will always be at least competent and generally much more than that.

This in combination with the edge rushing is probably going to determine the Big 12 this year. I like where Texas stands in those rankings based on the best guy, but less so overall.
 

Ian Boyd

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This seems the hardest to rank in isolation, as its so dependent on the general health of the offense.

Texas, Iowa State and OSU really need their guys to step up. OU will always be at least competent and generally much more than that.

This in combination with the edge rushing is probably going to determine the Big 12 this year. I like where Texas stands in those rankings based on the best guy, but less so overall.
I think Iowa State will probably surprise. Ramos looks quite solid to me and they seem to think Treiber has the potential to be even better down the line. Also, Purdy is really good at making things happen for himself.
 
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Inanehorn

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Feeling much better about the Tech game after reading this. I'm trying to identify the surprising loss game for the Horns, from these rankings I've seen maybe it's Baylor.
 

stilesbbq

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Kansas State in Manhattan is never kind to us

Feeling much better about the Tech game after reading this. I'm trying to identify the surprising loss game for the Horns, from these rankings I've seen maybe it's Baylor.
 

Ian Boyd

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Agreed with that, but Herman's style seems better equipped for KState. I would've said the same about Iowa St, but surprisingly we found a way to lose that game.
Texas was healthier for the Iowa State game on defense and it made a huge difference.

They had Overshown, Jones, and Sterns available to help with crossing routes and playing the corners on islands outside. The cyclones didn’t have the outside receivers to punish them for it. Between that and Ehlinger’s heroics they should have had that game. Then Herman wimped out in spectacular fashion.
 
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Inanehorn

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Texas was healthier for the Iowa State game on defense and it made a huge difference.

They had Overshown, Jones, and Sterns available to help with crossing routes and playing the corners on islands outside. The cyclones didn’t have the outside receivers to punish them for it. Between that and Ehlinger’s heroics they should have had that game. Then Herman wimped out in spectacular fashion.
Matt Campbell is to be praised for many things, but most impressive is his ability to adapt tactics to the conference.
 

Ian Boyd

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Matt Campbell is to be praised for many things, but most impressive is his ability to adapt tactics to the conference.
I've been impressed by how he's managed to blend spread tactics and philosophies with a recruiting base that inordinately churns out 220-to-260 pound athletes at tight end, defensive end, and linebacker but not a ton of speed on the perimeter.

He's found the same thing you see in basketball. In space there's a lot of ways to create matchup problems. Speed is just one.
 

sherf1

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I've been impressed by how he's managed to blend spread tactics and philosophies with a recruiting base that inordinately churns out 220-to-260 pound athletes at tight end, defensive end, and linebacker but not a ton of speed on the perimeter.

He's found the same thing you see in basketball. In space there's a lot of ways to create matchup problems. Speed is just one.
Also in space, no one can hear you scream......as you run HB dive on first and second down with the game on the line.
 
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Jonathan Wells

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No. 10: Texas Tech

Left tackle: Josh Burger
Contingencies: Zach Adams, Casey Verhulst, Ethan Carde


Josh Burger grad transferred in for this year from Wofford and will probably be the solution at left tackle. Casey Verhulst is a fairly promising tackle prospect with some expertise in protecting the edge and using solid quickness and reach to buy time for the quarterback to throw. His issue is weight and power, he got some snaps at right tackle in 2019 and was quite good at staying in front of people but also highly susceptible to getting bull-rushed. How much weight and strength did he add in the offseason?

Burger is trying to hold off senior Zach Adams, who’s done a lot of nothing heading into his fifth year in Lubbock. Overall things look pretty grim at tackle for the Red Raiders in 2020, but it’s not like the health of their quarterback is an area of particular concern...is it?

Prospective lineup
LT: Josh Burger: 6-3, 295. RS senior. 0-star from Ohio/Wofford transfer
LG: Weston Wright: 6-6, 310. RS sophomore. 3-star from CTX
C: Dawson Deaton: 6-6, 305. Junior. 3-star from DFW
RG: Jack Anderson: 6-5, 315. Junior. 4-star from DFW
RT: Casey Verhulst: 6-6, 305. Junior. 3-staf from DFW
Josh Burger started 25 games at right tackle for Wofford, and going from that program to playing tackle in the Big 12 is even more of an adjustment than what Parker Braun went through going from Georgia Tech to Texas. Wofford is a run-heavy team and ran a flexbone option offense for a number of years. Its 2019 team used some spread formations and wasn't just a flexbone O but they still had more than 4 times as many run attempts as passes (610 rushes/151 pass attempts).

Going from that FCS offense to a Big 12 unit that had 127 more pass attempts than rushes in 2019 doesn't seem to set Burger up for great success in holding down the LT spot. And aside from Wofford's games against Clemson and Ole Miss in 2019 Burger has probably very seldom faced a pass-rusher of Joseph Ossai's caliber.
 

Ian Boyd

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Josh Burger started 25 games at right tackle for Wofford, and going from that program to playing tackle in the Big 12 is even more of an adjustment than what Parker Braun went through going from Georgia Tech to Texas. Wofford is a run-heavy team and ran a flexbone option offense for a number of years. Its 2019 team used some spread formations and wasn't just a flexbone O but they still had more than 4 times as many run attempts as passes (610 rushes/151 pass attempts).

Going from that FCS offense to a Big 12 unit that had 127 more pass attempts than rushes in 2019 doesn't seem to set Burger up for great success in holding down the LT spot. And aside from Wofford's games against Clemson and Ole Miss in 2019 Burger has probably very seldom faced a pass-rusher of Joseph Ossai's caliber.
Yeah, well you will notice they are ranked 10th here.
 

Jonathan Wells

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Yeah, well you will notice they are ranked 10th here.
I did notice. There's a good reason you listed them last. Just thought it was relevant to add the flavoring that Burger, though he has experience and some FCS all-conference accolades, didn't play in an offense that would well prepare him for being a walk-in starter for any Big 12 system. Which should make UT fans feel even better about the Longhorns' chances of getting a good pass rush if Burger is holding down the left side of Tech's offensive line in 3 weeks.
 

Ian Boyd

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I did notice. There's a good reason you listed them last. Just thought it was relevant to add the flavoring that Burger, though he has experience and some FCS all-conference accolades, didn't play in an offense that would well prepare him for being a walk-in starter for any Big 12 system. Which should make UT fans feel even better about the Longhorns' chances of getting a good pass rush if Burger is holding down the left side of Tech's offensive line in 3 weeks.
Their coaches have noted that they thought he held up pretty well against Clemson. He's also in a real battle with a senior that's never played for them to date. Obviously things are not in great shape.
 

Ian Boyd

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I

I shouldve done a better job replying. I mean I called it correctly by saying Ealy has moved back to right tackle and Harrison and WIlkins battled it out for left tackle
Oh yeah, I knew that though. But I figured Ealy would slide back over if Murray was cleared. I guess that wasn't happening and Harrison was too tantalizing to leave on the bench...especially against Missouri State.