Forgive me for the combined, abbreviated and late post-mortem, but I got caught in a time crunch and most of what needs to be said has already been expressed beautifully by Coach, Ian and nobis60. A more objective post-game viewing revealed that the offense played a nice game absent three critical areas.
Always take the more pleasant report first so here you are. We are still far from consistent and still managed to rack up over 40 points and probably would have scored more if we had eliminated the pass. They couldn't stop the run one ounce.
Head coach Sean Kugler's UTEP Miners had a promising start to the 2016 season, whipping New Mexico State 38-22 in their season opener on the strength of Aaron Jones' 249 yard rushing performance (he added another 43 yards receiving). Fresno State transfer QB Zack Greenlee overcame a slow start to go 15 of 27 for 229 yards and throw 3 touchdowns with no interceptions. UTEP led 24-3 at half and then blunted a brief second half rally to coast to a more dominating win than the final score suggests.
Following an offensive performance from two quarterbacks that rivaled anything the team could put together in 2015, offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert could have come out fully enamored with what he saw on the field. During his availability on Tuesday, he instead stressed his fast-paced, veer-and-shoot unit has room to work.
Alarmed. Encouraged. Notre Dame presents schematic problems that we won't see again until we play Oklahoma and it's hard to fault our effort level. Some issues should be cleaned up with game experience and teaching. Others will be cleaned up by graduation, recruiting, another offseason of development and finding a defensive identity that fits our defensive personnel at all three levels.
Texas’ 50-47 knockout of Notre Dame in double-overtime was like a “15-round heavyweight fight”, Charlie Strong surmised on the morning after. The one-two punch of quarterbacks Shane Buechele and Tyrone Swoopes gives Strong what should be a tide-turning, signature win in his third season on the 40 Acres.
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.
The reason so many of us were excited about the Gilbert offense is that its simplicity and versatility puts athletes into good situations and lets them play with instinct, aggression and from muscle memory instead of injecting indecision, paralysis and hesitation. Clarity and a clear role playing to your strengths are the key to athletic success. Instead of sniping players for what they aren't, real coaches find work for what the players are.
Texas DC Vance Bedford wants to play up to eight D-linemen, but which freshmen are standing head-and-shoulder pads above the rest? Should we expect MLB Malik Jefferson at his more natural spot on the edge, and how is it that former walk-on FS Dylan Haines manages to keep his starting job?