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MY KNEE-JERK ANALYSIS OF UT'S WIN OVER BU

HD contributor Allen Perkins offers his "Knee-Jerk Analysis" of Texas' 35-34 win over Baylor.

 

D’Onta Foreman. 250 yards on 32 carries. 7.8 YPC and 2 TDs. He added a Heisman pose too.

 

Stats that stand out.

 

Explosive Plays:

 

Baylor: Rush -14 @@@ Pass - 6

 

Texas: Rush – 8 @@@@@ Pass – 6

 

Texas – 7-17 on third down

Baylor – 10-20 on third down

 

Seth Russell had 138 yards rushing on 21 carries with a long of 50 (and a hurdle over Dylan Haines head).

 

Baylor rushing yards - 398

Texas rushing yards - 257

 

Baylor 31 first downs

Texas 19 first downs

 

Baylor 624 yards of total offense

Texas 548 yards of total offense

 

Baylor 5.9 YP rush

UT 5.0 YP rush

 

UT did whatever they wanted on the first two drives. The O-line made great blocks. Buechele was perfect. D’Onta had some great/tough runs. The O-line looked as good as I’ve seen against Big 12 competition.

 

The defense looked very poor to start off. Seth Russell had a huge run and Baylor’s formation/tempo got a WR matched up on a LB (Anthony Wheeler). Baylor got 40 yards off of that.

 

With Chris Warren injured, I wonder if the Swoopes package at RB is about giving D’Onta Foreman a break, just as much as it is “let’s get Swoopes the ball”. Kyle Porter hasn’t done much either as a backup. Probably a little of both.

 

Texas definitely had 3-4 wrinkles offensively. T. Swoopes in the backfield at RB. Pitch play to Foreman from the shotgun. Texas was very successful when going fast in the first half. The pass to the flat to Beck late in the 4th. I’ll go back and look for more.

 

Texas didn’t run many WR screens, I want to say about 3. This was a wise decision by Gilbert in my opinion because UT has not blocked well on WR screens this year.

 

Texas dominated TOP in the first quarter. By halftime BU had caught up though. Texas was also much more successful early in the game on 3rd down (in comparison to Baylor). Baylor eventually caught up.

 

The game was tied 14-14 before 6 minutes had passed. Then the game slowed down.

 

It seems like a different receiver has a big game for UT every week. Dorian Leonard and Devin Duvernay were big contributors in recent weeks. This week it was Armanti Foreman with 142 yards receiving. 

 

The Armanti Foreman fumble near the Baylor 10 yard line after a long catch and run was a crucial error. However, on the following possession for Baylor, UT got a safety (thanks to a hold in the end zone) and a TD out of it. UT essentially turned the entire sequence into 9 instead of 7 points (UT won by 1)

 

The deflection by Kris Boyd (while holding) leading to a PJ Locke INT was an important confidence booster early in the game. Play physical and make the refs call it, every crew is different. Test it out early in the game to get a feel for it.

 

Texas made some big plays on defense. Getting turnovers, sacks, TFL and interceptions. However, Baylor still scored 21 in the first half. Baylor had a long drive just before the half, to cut the lead to 23-21 in favor of UT. In the shadow of his own goal post, Seth Russell scrambled for a huge 3rd down conversion. Texas inexplicably had no one spying the QB (who runs a 4.5 40). Baylor would eventually score.

 

On the last drive before halftime, Baylor was running out of time. From the Texas 18, Baylor called a running play with no timeouts. Baylor got tackled in bounds and the clock was ticking under 20 seconds. Just as Baylor was about to snap the ball Strong called a timeout. It was a mistake. I am guessing Strong thought that his players were tired and/or wanted to get his defense setup. However, it allowed Baylor to get organized. Baylor threw a TD pass to KD Cannon in the end zone just before the half. 

 

UT led 23-21 at the half.

 

 

2nd half

 

Baylor ran the ball every play on a long drive, to go up 28 – 26.

One point that the commentators made on ABC was that Baylor always or usually predetermines which side of the field they will go to before the snap. The receivers who aren’t involved on that half of the field essentially take a break. I had never heard that before. How about ya’ll?

 

Dylan Haines made a huge play to slide over to cover KD Cannon. Haines deflected a deep ball that otherwise would have been a touchdown.

 

Baylor led 28-26 mid way through the 3rdQ. Baylor marched right down the field and got to a “goal to go” situationMalik Jefferson got pressure and forced Russell to throw it away (leading to intentional grounding). Texas then stuffed two Baylor runs, leading to a FG. This was a huge turning point as the momentum of the game was trending Baylor’s way. It felt like Texas was just scratching and clawing to stay within striking distance. Instead of a TD, Baylor kicked a FG, leading only by 5, 31-26.

 

Texas punched back in this game. Too many times this season Texas has had difficulty dealing with adversity. Today, Texas stayed the course despite miscues and temporary failure.

 

Buechele took a huge shot to the head on a sack (late 3rd quarter) and then nearly threw an interception on the next play. He had to be shaken up somewhat by that hard hit.

 

Baylor’s ground game/up tempo started wearing on the UT defense as they started to rack up big yards in the second half.

 

Russell had plenty of success, with the X factor being his legs. Russell converted 3rd downs and came up with a big play any time Baylor needed it. Shock Linwood and Terrence Williams did some damage too. However, late in the game Linwood was held out and ABC couldn’t figure out why.

 

Inside the UT 10, Paul Boyette made the strip on Baylor RB Hasty (why is your 3rd string back in the game Baylor)? This was a huge play, Baylor could have distanced themselves by two possessions.

 

In the 4th, D. Foreman had a huge gain (32 yards) but got hurt while being tackled from behind.

 

At the start of the 4th quarter, D. Foreman has 25 carries for 215 yards for. - - 8.6 YPC. WOWWOWOW!

 

Sterling Gilbert made one of his worst decisions of the year. Calling a zone read to T. Swoopes on 3rd and 5 in the fourth quarter. Swoopes got stuffed (Foreman was injured at the time).

 

Wow, amazing hurdle by Seth Russel on Dylan Haines. Jumped over him.

 

Texas’ offense only got 3 points in the 3rd quarter. Losing D. Foreman to injury certainly hurt (early in the fourth). However UT was already having problems before the injury. Foreman’s injury was an obvious blow (hard to recover from losing your best player).

 

3rd Quarter Drives:

Texas – 3 plays – 0 yards,

Texas - 7 plays – 67 yards – 3 points

Texas - 3 plays, 5 yards

 

Baylor 10 plays – 78 yards - TD

Baylor – 13 Plays – 71 Yards - FG

 

At Texas, Strong was 0-16 when trailing after the 3rd quarter. Now he is 1-16.

 

 

Midway through the fourth, Buechele hit Lorenzo Joe on a slant against the blitz for a huge gain at a critical time in the game. The play went for 61 yards. Texas would eventually score a TD that would cut the Baylor lead to 34-32.

 

On 3rd and 4 in the red zone, Buechele hit Andrew Beck in the flat for a TD. He was wide open. That’s the first time UT has run that play this year. 34-32 Baylor, pending a two point attempt by UT…

 

UT broke Baylor's streak of not allowing any 4th quarter points this season when they got a TD from Andrew Beck.

 

UT decided to go for 2. UT got to move to the 1 and ½ yard line (after an illegal substitution by Baylor). The Horns ran the 18 Wheeler. Swoopes got stuffed just short of the goal line. Probably should have given it to your best player, D’Onta Foreman who had rushed for over 200 yards in the game. 18 Wheeler needs to be retired or throw a pass out of it please.

 

Russell was quite courageous, inviting contact on most runs (not sliding much).

 

Baylor was having great success running the ball all game. Texas was forced to put another safety in the box against Baylor in the 2nd half. This left Texas in a single high safety defense.

 

Texas also appeared to use 3 down lineman more in the 2nd half. It didn’t work for the most part.

 

With Baylor leading 34-32 late in the fourth quarter, Russell hit KD Cannon on a pump and go. Huge play.

 

On the most crucial drive of the game, Baylor moved into Texas territory (just past midfield). On first down, UT got a huge sack by Bryce Cottrell. Chris Nelson made a huge TFL and stuffed the run on 2nd down. On 3rd and 18, Texas brought a blitz and Russell couldn’t connect deep. Good coverage by Kris Boyd. 3:19 Left in the game. Baylor forced to punt. I loved the decision to blitz here and make Russell feel pressure.

 

The Texas Defense showed great resolve. They could have quit. They looked really tired in the second half. However, they mustered up enough strength and energy to do just enough.

 

Early on the ensuing UT drive, Buechele realized that Baylor had made a late illegal substitution and he had a free play. Buechele wisely decided to take a shot deep. Buechele made a near perfect throw (slightly underthrown) to Armanti Foreman for 38 yards to the Baylor 26. A. Foreman adjusted beautifully to the ball, and held onto the ball in traffic on the sideline. A marvelous display of concentration, body control and awareness by A. Foreman. Remember, that A. Foreman was the receiver who dropped a pass in the KSU end zone last week on a 4th down play.

 

 

On 3rd and 3 (1:15 left) deep in Baylor territory the Horns brought in the 18 wheeler package. The Horns tried to go up tempo but the officials stopped UT to reset the game clock. This was good and bad. Texas was able waste some more time before snapping the ball. However, Baylor was able to get there defense set for the 3rd down play.

 

A very bad play call (in my opinion) running Swoopes on a sweep and then UT got nothing. The only reason I could think of running this type of play would be setting up for the FG (assuming that Domingue prefers it on the right hash. The commentators said that they heard that Domingue doesn’t care which hash. However, considering that Swoopes didn’t attack the LOS maybe that was the plan. I was scared that Domingue would miss (or get it blocked). I was also fearful that UT would leave too much time on the clock (there was about 50 seconds left but BU had no TO left).

 

Considering Texas would hypothetically only be leading by 1 after the made FG I thought this was risky game management. Considering the issues UT had with special teams this year, the kick was not a guarantee.

 

 

Domingue made the 39 yard FG to put Texas up 35-34 and Baylor didn’t even sniff midfield on the last drive.

 

Good for Domingue though. The kid has had some unfortunate performances this year.

 

Baylor got the ball back but Edwin Freeman and Malik Jefferson shut down the Baylor offense. Malik led the team with 10 tackles today.

 

Malik made a sack on Russell, and picked up a fumble, then ran it in for a TD. The refs reversed it and said that Russell’s forward progress had been stopped. Texas gave up some meaningless yards and defended the Hail Mary well.

 

Game over. Texas wins 35-34

 

Steve Levy with the line of the game. “This whole game is under review.” As the officials reviewed yet another wacky play.

 

A wild game. At times sloppy. Very intense, very heated.

 

 

Other thoughts

 

A great victory for the Horns. I don’t know what it means for Charlie but I’m just happy for everyone involved with the program. I’m happy for Charlie too, just to have the feeling of a meaningful victory. They’ve been through so much. I had forgotten this feeling since the Notre Dame game.

 

Texas made some big stops in the 4th quarter. Texas kept their confidence on defense and did just enough to keep the game close. Meanwhile the offense was stalling while all of this was going on. However, the offense deserves credit for continuing to chip away at the deficit. The special teams was solid today (besides KO returns).

 

Baylor looked as if they were going to do whatever they wanted in the second half. However, Baylor’s drives in the 2nd half were as such: TD, FG, fumble, field goal, punt, ran out of time – end of regulationBaylor’s last 4 drives resulted in only 3 pointsOn 3 drives inside the UT 20, Baylor only got 6 points (2 FGS and a fumble). This is what EVERYONE said all season. In the Big 12, yards don’t matter anymore on defense (as a benchmark). Red zone defense, holding teams to FGs instead of TDs and force turnovers. That’s what UT did today.

 

Texas on the other hand scored a TD and a FG to end the game.

 

UT fought hard today and played with some attitude. They made some big hits and big plays on defense. The offense had a good half and an average half (at least it wasn’t a horrible half as has been the case in recent weeks). I’m really happy for the team and the fans. Sure there is still a lot to fix. This team and coaching staff still has things they need to improve. However, I’m just glad that they got a big win.


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