Six games in to his true freshman campaign, quarterback Shane Buechele’s season has exceeded most basic expectations fans had for a true freshman leading the offense. His play, including going 123 of 193 for 1500 yards and 13 touchdowns, has kept the Longhorns in games their defense has tried to give away.
After using the 18-Wheeler formation in overtime against Notre Dame to seal the victory, the formation senior Tyrone Swoopes leads has proved mostly ineffective over the past several weeks. Opposing defensive coordinators stack the box against Swoopes, daring him to throw the ball. Throwing the ball just has not been in offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert’s plans yet.
The Cyclones are off to a rough start (1-5 record, 0-3 in Big 12 play) but consecutive heartbreaking losses to Baylor and Oklahoma State suggest that new head coach Matt Campbell has Iowa State playing significantly better football than the early season squad that lost to Northern Iowa at home and surrendered the CyHawk trophy to Iowa after a 42-3 drubbing.
I think the 2016 Red River Shootout will ultimately be remembered as this decade’s version of 2004’s 12-0 result. A game in which the final score was close and there were positive aspects of the team’s play but systemic failures on one side of the ball forever clouded the perception of the game.
Even though it is his first year at Texas, offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert will see a familiar face when the Iowa State Cyclones come to town this Saturday. First year Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell was head coach at Toledo in 2014 when he squared off with Bowling Green offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert, with Toledo topping Bowling Green 44-28. Gilbert’s experience against Campbell is something he will reach into when he is calling plays this Saturday.
After having a touchdown catch wiped out against Oklahoma State due to replay review, junior Dorian Leonard bobbled then held onto a long throw from freshman Shane Buechele to reach the end zone officially for the second time this season. The 6-foot-4 pass catcher from Longview double checked to be certain he made the catch.
It was a sunny, 77-degree Monday morning in “the cesspool of…Austin, Texas” when Charlie Strong diplomatically sidestepped ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit’s critique of the football culture on the 40 Acres.