Shooting From the Hip: Texas 42, Kansas 27

Posted by    |    November 11th, 2017 at 9:53 pm

A couple of (mild but still attention-taking) illnesses on the home front will keep this really brief, but as I’m already sick to my stomach it actually dovetails nicely.

OFFENSE

I’ve been informed by a flim-flam artist who stakes out a comically contrarian position for the fun of it, throws up two play diagrams with no consideration of the opportunity cost of foregone schemes, personnel packages and calls it a “game plan” a paid professional in this field that Texas’ offensive scheming, game planning and play calling are all “totally reasonable” in light of our personnel challenges, so far be it for me to offer a detailed critique of the overall approach that led to a 4-14 success rate on drives starting outside the KU 23 yard line.

But even though I ain’t getting paid for this, let’s throw in a few bullet points for free:

  • Our shrewd use of Lorenzo Joe a deep post threat in games against legitimate opponents was all a setup for the one team who we were confident Lorenzo Joe could run past. Gold star!
  • Toneil Carter looks…kinda like we remembered him! Fast and shifty! Let’s immediately consign him to the realms of memory so that next week’s opponent forgets about him!
  • 21 personnel is literally a paen to our greatest weaknesses. And aligning Chris Warren as a putative H-back and having him stroll out and either limply hug or ole’ a 225-pound white linebacker is 21 personnel.
  • We still think Kyle Porter is a running back!
  • We think rolling the QB to the right (with an OL who has collectively proven wildly incapable of sliding to provide a moving pocket) while all three (not four, not five, but three) receivers break left is a cunning display of offensive chicanery.
  • We saved play-action pop passes to the H-back, play-action/RPO slants to the boundary WR behind the linebackers and LJH wildcat plays for KANSAS. If you’re willing to bet that we’ll break out such scematically- and personnel-sound approaches in must-win games against our last two (kinda, but still technically) legit opponents, DM me on Twitter because I’ll take the other side of that action.
  • Shackelford was apparently healthy enough to play, but Cuney logged the vast majority of the reps at center.
  • Okafor was apparently healthy enough to play, but Nickelson logged the majority of the snaps at LT.
  • Ehlinger was apparently healthy enough to play, but Buechele logged all but two snaps under center. Though given the two bullets above, maybe that was an example of prudence.
  • We had eight drives end in punts or turnovers against KANSAS.
  • Good job, LoJoe – making light of your first TD shouldn’t take away from the fact that you were the one guy to log a P5 statline against the bouillabaisse of bullshit you lined up against tonight.
  • Our game plan was scrawled on a madman’s cell wall in his own feces

DEFENSE

Good teams go into matchups with wretched opponents by mixing and matching personnel from the get-go and laughing at the flailing shenanigans of their wildly outmatched counterparts.

Average teams go into matchups with wretched opponents by playing their A-listers until the lead is insurmountable, then subbing in the B’s and C’s and letting the chips fall where they may.

Texas – an average team – approached this matchup as though they were a good team, and watched Davante Davis, Anthony Wheeler, Naashon Hughes and company escort KU to 17 first-half points while lighting Todd Orlando’s (likely unachievable due to Tim Beck’s ass-hattery but still technically on the table) Broyles Award candidacy on fire.

Antwaun Davis surged into the Gaskamp lead with some strong tackles and a pick six. He tried to give it back by allowing the H-back to stroll in unchallenged for a TD on limp play action…but there still isn’t another contender within a parsec, so let’s go ahead and keep going with Antwaun.

Everybody else did a pretty good job, though Josh Thompson’s limp effort on the Jayhawks’ final TD makes you consider the lessons of the Space Shuttle Columbia when it comes to projecting Texas’ playoff chances against the Mountaineers and Red Raiders with a blatant hole in the heat shield.

SPECIAL TEAMS

We thought Kris Boyd was a kick returner. Hopefully we’re past that.

As we learned on the broadcast tonight, all our specialty units get nicknames. Our field goal unit is called “Sniper,” because it requires precision.

Let that one sink in for a second.

OK, maybe one second more.

I am damn regretful that we didn’t offer a fan vote on any of those, because I feel like my entry of “Hobo With A Shotgun” would have been a strong contender for the FG crew.

Back to game action…we hooked our 44-yard FG, but at least it wasn’t blocked. No snark, that’s actually something to be excited about relative to previous expectation.

THE BOTTOM LINE

We’ve got two shots against non-Top 25 teams to make it to a bowl game.

I wish that put our odds at better than a coin flip, but wishing doesn’t make it so.