In some of their recent clinics, Steve Sarkisian and his staff have been pretty forthcoming about what they’re up to in Austin. Both in Sark’s Nike clinic spot which has shown up here and there on the internet as well as in A.J. Milwee’s clinic which was discussed here, they’re not shying away from a continued emphasis on the RPOs (run/pass options) which served Alabama so well.
The mesh passing concept has become one of the pre-eminent play concepts in college football. Nearly everyone runs it, particularly the version which became deeply popular at the college level back in 2017.
You don’t want to take too much away from a spring game when it comes to X’s and O’s, but Pete Kwiatkowski showed some interesting dimensions to his defense in Texas' public scrimmage. They were likely to stay in the same personnel package regardless of strategy due to the limitations of the roster when fielding two separate teams, but the first team defense showed a lot different looks from their base nickel personnel.
The first spring game of the Steve Sarkisian era is now in the books. While it was technically a “vanilla” gameplan on both sides of the ball, they didn’t just run inside zone from 12 personnel 50 times into a 4-3 Over backed by cover 1. Each unit ran a variety of base schemes and gave a snapshot into what this team’s strategic identity will be in year one under Sark’s staff.
It’s hard to top the 2016 Orange and White game for being one of the most revelatory spring scrimmages Texas has ever had. I had two substantial takeaways from watching it, the first was the biggest and more obvious one.
In retrospect, the 2020 season was a wrap when Troy Omeire went down with an injury in fall camp. Texas never found an All-Big 12 caliber, No. 1 receiver to turn to when they needed big plays in 2020. The most promising option in fall camp was a true freshman who ended up spending the season rehabbing his knee.
Texas has a number of big position battles playing out this spring. Many of them likely won’t be truly settled until the fall as the staff focuses on installation and evaluation in preparation for the summer and eventual pre-season camp. Nevertheless, these reps certainly matter and if talented players can seize control of a position it will be hard to unseat them in the fall.