Bye Week Post-Mortem: Offense, Defense, Special Teams

The Longhorn took the field against nothingness last Saturday and acquitted themselves well.

When you win a game 87-4, it's hard to find much to complain about.

Sure, some critics, some "haters", some detractors, will point out that a bye week means no opponent and that the Longhorns' effort in DKR this weekend was ultimately pointless, but I will celebrate victories wherever I find them.

Offense

Part of our initial strategy was to tire nihility out with the horizontal passing game. By making air move back and forth quickly, side-to-side, one creates the potential for exhaustion as well as the side benefit of a gentle breeze. Although some of you have criticized Greg Davis for not understanding that air is mostly oxygen and that oxygen never lacks for itself, why don't you stick the Periodic Table of Elements up your know-it-all asses?

The first lateral pass to Kirkendoll went for -2 yards as James allowed his momentum to carry him out of bounds, but after stern coaching by Bobby Kennedy, pointing out that there was little risk of being hit as there are no defenders, Kirkendoll took the same exact play on 2nd and 12 upfield for 17 yards. First down, Longhorns.

Message sent.

Kirk rose after tripping, ripped off his chinstrap, and then taunted that which is insubstantial, proving that the Longhorns were there to play a physical brand of football. Of course, he did draw a penalty for taunting and that made it 2nd and 27, but the ensuing DJ Monroe draw play went the distance after he careened off of two OL who had stopped in the hole to rest. This sort of playmaking and balance is why DJ must see the field more.

7-0 Longhorns. The air seemed to go right out of the air.

Most importantly, Davis demonstrated what his offense can and will do when the players will execute against no defense. Oblivion simply had no answers as we began to rattle off yardage in 10, 15, 25 yard chunks.

QB

Gilbert looked good. He was 15 of 20 for 299 and four touchdowns and a pick. I don't really understand the interception and replays have not been helpful, but it appears that he may have startled a groundskeeper with an errant throw. I don't see that he can be blamed for drops, trips, or receivers alligator-arming a deep post when they hear imaginary footsteps. He identified that Bye Week was in Cover 0 throughout the game and he got us into the right play when the 0-0-0 defense played perceived alignment games. From a critical perspective: one of the sacks was definitely on him - Garrett really needs to learn to step up in the pocket against no pass rush - and I was disappointed in the grounding call. He needs to be aware when he's scrambling after not feeling pressure.

RB

Good, physical running from all of our backs. DJ Monroe scored on all three of his runs, staking us to a decisive 21-0 early lead, but regrettably, was responsible for a safety when he took a rocket pitch into the Longhorn end zone after a sweet spin move that disoriented him. He was pulled for not knowing the playbook and his failure to pass protect effectively against theoretical blitzers. Johnson and Whitaker averaged over 7 yards per carry, mostly falling over Greg Smith when he tried to cut block the vacuum's DE. If these guys will pick their feet up, they could have had some big runs.

WR/TE

A few drops, but very solid stuff for the most part. I'd still like to see more blocking from them. Mike Davis and Goodwin would have sprung Malcolm Williams on the stop route if they'd gone after nullity with more fervor. Malcolm mistook their half-jog for a whistle and ran to the sideline for a Cool Zone vest, thus killing a potentially big play. Barrett Matthews and Greg Smith colliding pre-snap on goal line was unfortunate. Some of that is on play design.

OL

Disappointed in the false starts, obviously. I thought they pass protected well, surrendering truly only one sack when David Snow snapped the ball over Garrett's head.

Huge holes in the running game. Power football is back!

It was disappointing to see RBs run out bounds on the inside zone run, but maybe they're just not seeing the daylight when the OL falls down and creates a pile up at the LOS. Britt Mitchell struggled at times, but chipping the phantom on the edge with Cody Johnson proved to be a solid in-game adjustment. Listen - we put 87 points on the board. The OL played a big part in that.

These guys had an amazing 149 pancakes. After that, they showed up to the game ready to play.

Defense

Coming in, I was concerned about the pace of the Sartre Nothingness Offense and it's ability to make a defense question not only its philosophical alignment, but it's very existence. We answered the call.

Indeed, we do exist.

DL

DT depth has been a weakness, but these guys really came through. They played on the other side of the LOS the entire game. It was also good to see Taylor Bible get his first action though I would have liked to have seen him deal with this syllogism better:

Nothing is better than eternal happiness.
A ham sandwich is better than nothing.
Therefore, a ham sandwich is better than eternal happiness.

Bible somehow ate this syllogistic sandwich, which I didn't even think was possible.

Sam Acho answered this syllogism with his own devastating critique, flaying the Sartre Offense for its irresponsible Marxism and cynical sophistry. I felt it was crucial to stopping the Sartre offense ground game, such as it is, or is not.

LB

We had trouble adjusting to tempo and Muschamp needs to do a better job of getting the signals in, but that's also on the LBs. Obviously, nullity didn't make us pay with big plays, but it was disappointing to see our guys still shifting as the play clock expired.

The personal fouls are getting to be unacceptable. Four in one game, even one in which the defense is dominating, is unacceptable. No word on the head linesman's health yet, but we wish him the best.

DB

I understand that the targeting rules leave little room for error, but Vaccaro has to pull up when nothing is helpless.

Chykie Brown gave up a 41 yard catch and I still can't understand how. I don't just mean in a football sense, but in a space-time continuum sense. This is really where Muschamp's lack of schooling in physics kills this defense. I'm a little tired of the free pass this guy gets. Neils Bohr doesn't give up that play in a thousand years.

Special Teams

Why did DJ Monroe take a knee on all of the kickoffs? Starting on our 20 is unacceptable for a team this fast.

Obviously, quite disappointing to have Aaron Williams bounce a ball off of his shoulder pad, off his head, and out the back of the end zone for the second safety, but those are the breaks. Curtis Brown was perfect in his fielding, even if he caught one of the punts in his face mask eye hole. Again - why the fair catching?

Justin Tucker drilled a 37 yard field goal. I'm not interested in second guessing the coaches, but what's the rationale for kicking that? The numbers suggest that we convert that 4th and 1.

Overall

I'm happy with what I saw from this team. We looked deeply into the void, and the void began to look back through us.

Then we played the void in football and kicked the shit out of it.

So stop with your juvenile pre-game staredowns, void.

Next, we travel to another void. Nebraska.

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