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After watching this game over and over, then going back and watching other games like TCU and Kansas and a few others. From an offensive play calling perspective if Harsin was calling plays I don't see us winning this game honestly.
I think major did an amazing job of sticking with the game plan and waearing down the defense. Then throwing in the up tempo offense just sealed the deal. Harsin always backed away from what worked tryed to hard to run between the tackles, over worked the run game when it wasn't there. I just really like all his adjustment yet sticking with what really worked for this Texas team.
He really impressed me and I think we got ourselves one bonafide offensive coordinator, ya feel me?
In Harsins defense , he was trying to run the O that Mack wanted. I think our coaching staff got fooled by the success they had against our D. in practice. We all thought our D would be better against the run than they were.We still got run on pretty good the other night. We just do not have the O line to line up and run against a good D and Oregon state had a good D IMO. Do think we are in process of getting there with players like James, Perkins , Knox coming in to go with the young players we have on compus . Think Raulerson and Robinson are going to the D. Just hope Major's Moxie and Cool rub off on Ash. If David learns to handle his mistakes and leave them behind, he can be really good. He has everything else. Needs to get up to speed on the mental side. Spread the field seems to be the way to go for us right now.
Been thinking about this a lot also after watching the game now for the 3rd time.
Doesn't serve any purpose kicking the guy out the door which is absolutely not what you're doing. It is instructive to delve into the differences which you opened the door fairly to discussing.
I'll open with a generalization to get the conversation flowing as I think this is a key to us moving into the offseason.
1. Bryan Harsin was a repetitive kind of coach. Recall the numerous articles, interviews, exposes, player comments, etc to this effect. How much time was spent going over and over and over the same thing to achieve perfection when there is no way to truly simulate game speed or off schedule plays? Contrast this with the limited amount of time teams have to prepare. Ash and Major both used the word 'freedom' in their post game comments to describe style of play. That is tell as to a very clear distinction between the OC's.
2. Major was asked in the post game presser about doing away with some things to make it 'easier' for Ash. Doing so should make for quicker decision making and more 'off schedule' play making. Also, we learned that Jalen Overstreet was backup (Mack said this pregame and was loudly ridiculed) but interesting to ask why Jalen? In learning of the game planning, it was obvious that Major knew he was going to have to go with playmakers that could leverage speed. Spent 2 hours in Ballroom 15 going over the game plan. When you look at the QB depth after the presumed top 3, they are all dual threat. I think Major knows that to win in our conference you have to have a QB that can do both.
I think, too, Major threw out all the pre-snap movement. Sure there was some motion but it was tactical and used as part of a larger strategy. I remember watching defenses against our presnap movement stay static in their alignment. I do not recall too many defenses reacting at all. Further, WVU showed how to blow up our fly sweep which gave Mike Stoops a big clue how to defend against Harsin.
To me, Harsin was so exacting in his approach that he may have missed the forest for the trees. Risk averse might be a good way to look at it. Major keeps his eyes on the prize. To me, for Major, it is about the ends...not necessarily the means.
I think Diaz can learn a lot from Major.
This post was edited by TXStampede 16 months ago
+1 This cannot be underestimated. Thought we had a really great Defensive Line and thus our running game in camp led us to believe we had a really great running game (OL). Fools Gold. Our DL was the main reason for the worst defense in UT history (or second worse - I know they were flirting with the record in the game). Another reminder that you can't really trust anything that happens in camps since you are playing yourself. It is a zero sum game.
Any comments on the play calling the first half?
Brutal for the most part, but I'm going to give Applewhite the benefit of the doubt in that the oline absolutely couldn't block a turtle. I thought it took Major a little longer than I would have liked to adjust to that, but again, this was not really "his" offense. He'll get the time he needs to adjust and install what he feels more comfortable with based on personnel.
I'm not sure I could watch the 1st half again.
It would have looked marginally better if Goodwin had located the pass in the endzone, and we didn't have to ditch our bread and butter power play with Poehlman at LG. it wasn't pretty. I saw a lot that I didn't like, but we were operating with some limitations physically, within the construct of Harsin's playbook, and with the knowledge that we were good and truly hosed if Ash went down.
I will be very curious to see which direction Major and Wyatt take this offense. Spread, uptempo and minimal motion are givens. I want to see how we manage a ground attack, what our new base concepts are and how we play them off one another in combination with play action.
I got brains. I got big ol' brains. I got dinosaur brains.
If Harsin had been calling that set of plays in the first half, there would have been ropes and pitchforks. Nice to see Major getting the benefit of doubt. He looked a little nervous.
Agree completely. Harsin was a finesse kind of guy, a fighter, not a puncher. UT finally used its raw speed advantage to great effect. Also Ash suddenly became a dual threat quarterback...freedom. This is bound to be difficult for Mack, who saw a national championship literally yanked from his grasp because of injury to his running quarterback. Mack has burned several years struggling with what happened against Alabama. It'll be interesting to see who UT now promotes to be Ash's backup. I predict a dual threat guy and it won't be Case. Nick Marshall's recent recruitment could be rather telling.
No doubt. I'm a big Harsin fan and think he will do well at ASU. I'm also willing to recognize that Major didn't step into a perfect situation. I tempered my expectations with BH because he was asked to make lemonade out of pureed dog poop, and actually managed to squeeze a few drops out. Major has a better base to work with, but we'll once again be implementing a major offensive shift, and our OL program is still a year away. Wait and see. Wait and see. I'm at least 8 months away from irrational exuberance before being let down 6-8 weeks later.
Major hadn't called plays in a damn long time. The guy needed a little while to get adjusted but once he did it was on point.
I think one thing that hasn't been mentioned in Harsin vs. Applewhite is regarding turnovers. I remember throughout pre-season Harsin's focus was don't turn the ball over. I understand you can't do it, but it seemed like he was so fixated on it that all Ash heard was "don't turn the ball over". If you think about it what you don't want after awhile, guess what, you think about it. So I think that played into Ash's decision making at times during the year. So when he turned the ball over, he crawled into his shell and played not to lose.
This isn't to bash Harsin and I think it was good that he brought new ideas to the offense. But I think what helped Ash was Major focusing on what he needs to DO and give him some room to make mistakes. Let's not forget Ash had an interception. But it didn't seem to deter him in making plays like the one with Johnathan Gray to cut the lead. As a player, Major made some awful plays at times with the Apple-turnover game vs. K-state in 1999 and threw 3 ints in the first half of the 2001 Holiday Bowl. But he knew how to overcome them and I think Ash and other QBs will benefit greatly from his wisdom.
I haven't watched it 4 times but it seemed to me like Major just shitcanned the game plan and found something that worked. Seems odd you say he stuck with it.
Good point. Ash did seem to be too tight in some of the games. His motion wasn't fluid. He was also too deliberate at times.
I think I read that Kingsbury was angry with Manziel because of Manziel's tendency to ignore the called plays. Manziel was certainly successful with his creativity.
Harsin was a perfectionist and sometimes an overly rigid person can have a negative impact on his pupils.
Ash seemed to relish being set free.
TxStampede, will a dual threat quarterback force defensive backs to play a zone defense? Is that a good thing for us?
From what I saw he stuck to what he was doing in the first half. Spread the ball out get the ball to your speedsters. Difference in the second half was an uptempo offense and letting ash run. Which after reading a few post game comments, was part if the game plan.
I liked BH I think major learned a lot from him. Major is gonna be better because if Harsin. I personally just don't think Harsin always used the players that needed to be used to win games. I struggled to understand what he was doing in big time games. It seemed when we went up against a great defense he would try to bludgeon them Bergeron (which clearly never worked). Then forget about players like Goodwin, Daje, And DJ. Don't get me wrong I couldn't do any better at all, but it always seemed weird the way he would call big time games. Not using our impact players to the best of their abilities.
Yea the first half of the game wasn't his best, but if you watch the game (again) you will see the reason we were not moving the ball well was miscues with the receivers and the Oline not helping AT ALL in the run game. Ash was money on his throws actually. Goodwin missed a for sure TD pass that was perfectly thrown he just wasn't looking for it at the right time and never saw it. Magic mike dropped an easy pass and run. The tight ends dropped several easy first down passes the were perfectly thrown dimes.
Overall I really enjoyed watching the game and am really excited about next season already
I'm concerned that Major had Bergeron part of the gameplan as a tailback between the 20's. It's like he didn't watch any games this year. I know everyone loved JB back in August but after the first few games there isn't non-coach who watched our games who though Bergeron getting carries was just stealing from guys who could actually do something with hit. The last few games Harsin finally caught on. Then somehow Major put him back out there thinking he could do something again.
I love Applewhite and have great hope for the future but I'm concerned about how much this looked like a Greg Davis game. Remember how Davis would have a gameplan that he just threw out the window and relied on athletes to make plays and save his but.
Yes I don't like using JB so much especially when doing a no huddle and having JB as primary running back. Horrible choice JG or MB would have been the better choice. Preferably mb especially since he is the best blocker and I think he hits holes better and has the best vision (clearly IMHO though). I love grey to but not the blocker like mb and I keep seeing him missing holes that mb doesn't miss, but his speed is clearly much better. Their was a few times where he used joe where I thought it was a good time but again our line was terrible for rushing this game. I mean just straight abysmal, horrible, terrible, pathetic, I have no other words to explain how bad they were. On a plus note their pass blocking was much better!
You look at the defenses that did well against the Harsin scheme and it was base / zone defense. OSU ran it exclusively and really showed what it took to defeat our run first packages.
A dual threat can penalize a single minded defensive approach.
Bottom line? We became too predictable for experienced defenders. The keys were not really all that disguised. Combine that with sporadic play at QB, along with the dead-on observations by horn4jc, and we capped our ceiling.
I think Major has the potential to unlock the athletes inside the talent. Let is shine and let it blossom. He knows all about what it takes to make the Texas machine hum.
I'm highly confident he now has all the tools and I cannot wait to see us next few years make a run with an experienced, junior/senior team.
Major allowed Ash to use his legs in the second half. He purposely protected Ash in the first half, knowing that Ash might get hurt and that we had no backup ready. Also, by waiting until after halftime to show adjustments, Major put OSU's DC behind the 8 ball without halftime to adjust to our fast pace and Ash's mobility.
I think much of what is being attributed to Harsin is really trademark Mack Brown Tentativeness. We see it every time Mack faces OU, and it probably accounts for Mack losing 66% of his games against Top 10 opponents.
Mack has been less tentative in postseason, where he's usually in a minor bowl against a non-Top 10 opponent. In crucial games against tough opponents, Mack typically has gone into his shell offensively. That will be the real test of whether Mack is allowing Major be bold and call plays with abandon.
If McCoy hadn't been suspended, I have a feeling, given the horrific 1st half offensively, Mack would have started Case in the 2nd half and we lose.
Ash (and the injury to osu's one and only offensive threat) saved our ass.
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