Nebraska Game Report Cards

IT's Coaches Corner Moderator Mike Venable grades the Longhorn performances in Texas' 28-25 win over Nebraska.

The offensive gameplan played right into the hands of a gambling defense that consistently brought blitzes of six, seven, or eight defenders which exposed the complete non-existence of a blitz adjustment package from our OC which dates back to bowl game misery of years ago. Without the speed of Sweed or Pittman on streak routes to offset the blitz, Nebraska brought the ranch and disrupted our offensive production with numbers.

Most of the player blame has been thrown on our OLine. The truth of the matter is we only had two plays in the first half that had Oline missing blocks that cost our production---numbers attacking the LOS along with play-calls that required favorable balance and not mental or physical errors caused most the damage. Colt didn't help things at times by leaving his protection without pressure and ran himself into big hits outside the pocket. Our sprintout protection scheme is designed for failure with reach blocking---there is no way to protect every gap with reach blocking. We don't have a clue in the pressbox.

Here are the grades:

Offensive Report Card

Nebraska did a good job of exposing some definite flaws in the Horns scheme of things but fortunately their talent level couldn't overcome their staff's uneven play-calling. The power running game unmasked our veteran LB crew as the Cornhuskers marched down the field on their opening drive. The young and talented backup LB's eliminated that aspect from the gameplan with some big time stuffs and heavy hitting tackles once they hit the field.

Nebraska found our alignment against their wing or bunch formation to their liking and punished our outflanked defenders with sweeps for huge chunks of yardage. We not only lined up beat but magnified the alignment mistake with extremely poor angles from our secondary supporters. Although Norton did crush the sweep twice it's hard to believe they abandoned this play/set without any adjustment from our defense.

Nebraska exposed our cover 2 for the shamble that it has been and continues to be. We may be great teachers of individual DB's skills but we haven't taught schemes or teamwork under Akina's watch that even remotely resemble sound or solid. Many blame Ishie for the two TD passes to the slot but it's only fair to remind those fans that both were caught on the hash away from Ishie and he had the same vertical outside him that Marcus did---the difference being Ishie stayed in the middle of his two routes while Griffin went to the sideline without the ball being in the air. Cover 2 ideally has both safeties on/near their respective hashes until the ball is being thrown. Regardless, why Nebraska didn't run three verticals every series until we proved we could cover it has got to be question of the year.

Here are the grades:

Defensive Report Card

The Coaches Corner is available exclusively to InsideTexas.com subscribers. The forum is a place to ask questions of our resident coaches and talk about Xs and Os, schemes, gameplans, offensive and defensive theories, etc. Basically, it is a teaching and learning forum to make us all more knowledgable football fans, both in general and specifically about the Longhorn football team. Venable spent 30 years as the DC and LB coach at five Texas high schools (Lancaster, Duncanville, Pasadena Sam Rayburn, Carrollton Turner, and The Colony) before retiring in 2000. Four of his former players played at UT (Mike Williams, Steve Massey, Jimmy Johnson, and Doug Livingston) and around twenty are currently coaching in Texas high schools.

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