Commentary: On the Five-Wide Set

Texas in a five-wide set inside of the red zone? Again? What in the name of <B>Darrell Royal </B>was going on Saturday (especially after <B>Mack Brown</B> keeps preaching a physical running game for his squad)?

"We had no momentum on offense at all," Brown said. "The long drive where we missed the first field goal was a great drive. I thought our offensive coaches did a great job in the first half in changing momentum by going five-wide when we weren’t moving the ball very well. They (OSU) had a lot of good defensive players up front. We had to spread them out."

A personal note: I question the efficacy of staying with five-wides once the team reaches first-and-goal. The scheme efficiently moved the chains between the 20s, and Texas clearly has a mother load of resources among its receivers and running backs to run it as well, if not better, than anyone.

But deep inside the red zone, the field is so considerably shortened that the five-wide attack becomes incrementally limited. The offense becomes one-dimensional in that the spread obviously negates the run.

I may be old-school (and I certainly have the honorary UT coaching degree that Darrell Royal said all graduates acquire during commencement) but I would have fingernails today if on at least one of those botched field goal drives Texas would have challenged the O-line to step up, because the running backs were going to pound it in, just like on those final two touchdowns against Washington in the Holiday Bowl. Am I the only one who would love to see FB Ivan Williams and RB Cedric Benson in the same backfield in a goal line situation? Benson is an obviously superlative RB who is quick to hit the hole (when there is one) and has the peripheral vision that can’t be coached. But Benson is more of a slasher than a pounder. Against Oklahoma’s defense that is "so good it’s scary" according to Sports Illustrated, I would love to see Williams become his own blocker and fall forward for three or four yards once Texas gets inside the Sooner 10.

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