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I laughed when I heard that Tom Herman had Greg Davis in the building last week consulting on the game plan and made the expected jokes, but damned if I didn’t see Texas rolling out a classic Longhorn circa 2000-2004 GD game plan on offense this Saturday. 3 points at halftime, 3.5 yards per play, and no ability to game plan pressure defense told the tale.
The opposite of deceptive is apparent. We ran apparent offense.
Despite knowing that Alex Grinch’s trademark defense plays downhill with constant stunts, twists and blitzing safeties and linebackers to inflict negative plays, even at the expense of conceding the short passing game, getting hit by misdirection in all of its forms, and some solo deep shots, the Longhorns came out running (well, walking) predictable offense that screamed obvious keys to Sooner players already coming downhill; our game planning’s greatest ambition was apparently to hit Devin Duvernay on a slow swing pass to set up 2nd and 12 or running inside zone into the blitz path of Kenneth Murray and a twisting Gallimore.
Offensive game plans that allow defenders to come downhill and not question their instincts are never going to work in an emotional rivalry game.
Texas seemingly spent the entire game in 3rd and long. The statistic that showed that 46 plays into the game, Texas had 20 plays for 0 or negative yards is proof of that.
While the Texas OL played poorly and the Texas staff might rationalize that player execution undermined their solid game plan, aggression and competence flows from the game plan. The way you take the initiative from a downhill, shamelessly stunting and over-pursuing defense is to install counters, misdirection, constraint plays, rollback screens and fly sweep motion to punish their excesses and make them think and hesitate. And do it fast. Hurry up, no huddle. Texas-Ex Kyle Shanahan put on a clinic against the Browns aggressive D on Monday night doing all of that. Maybe ask him for a Skype session.
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