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Razing the Red Raiders

"Harsin didn’t choose the Power O as part of our new base package on a whim. He selected it because he spotted our fiercest offensive talent right now (the inside of our offensive line) and wanted to put them in a position to make devastating blocks. It also gives our pair of tackles very winnable battles with a backside hinge block or a playside assault on a linebacker. Most important of all is that the Power O represents a culture change for a group of blockers that have been just trying to survive the defense for their entire tenure at Texas. If you want your offensive line to be aggressive and physical you have got to achieve it through a marriage of scheme and preparation… the attitude must be present in both. Bryan Harsin’s first big choice in his playbook reveals that he is intent putting his offensive linemen in a position to win instead just surviving. Running this play over and over again (and it’s companion plays) will help our offensive linemen transition from a unit that has been seen as a liability into the unit that is the heart of this team."

If you've been following along with us since the Spring then the last two weeks on offense probably haven't been a total shock. But that doesn't make the tangible progress any less satisfying. It's one thing to see early signs of change and believe it's going to happen. It's another thing entirely to actually see the attitude and culture of the team you love go through a dramatic rebirth in just over 6 months.

I think the performance against Texas Tech was a huge game for this program. We are baring witness to the full benefit of focused and skillful vision at the head of our offense. If it wasn't already obvious, I am a huge fan of that vision. Bryan Harsin and Co. believe in each player's ability to progress from week to week. Harsin hasn't been perfect but he has shown an uncanny sense of where his team is: how much to help them and how much to challenge them. Against Texas Tech we saw how valuable it is to build a core identity. Scheme, Execution, Attitude, and Team Culture are all intimately intertwined and our new coaching staff just flat out gets it.

So in celebration of what I consider a hallmark moment, I tried to go big with the video breakdowns this week. The thing that stood out most to me in film review was not just the number of big plays we were able to convert, it was the number of plays that were a small margin away from big plays. Literally every other play in this game could have gone for a huge gain.

Fair warning: epically long videos are epically long. It's entirely possible that I have severely overshot attention spans here, so I broke everything up into the drives with some miscellaneous stuff at the end. I'm sure there's some mistakes sprinkled in there but hopefully the important details translate.

Going into the game against Missouri this weekend, the big question is will they be able to shut down the Power O, and if so at what cost? Missouri has a significantly better defensive front than we have faced the last two weeks. We have shown that we have some viable constraints built around the Power O in our key packages and I think those constraints are the key to this game. I expect to see an active front that attempts to use late defensive line stems and aggressive stunts to disrupt our gap blocking. I expect Inside Zone, Flex Outside Zone, and Sweeps to be the key to this game. If we are able to line up and hit them consistently for 4+ yards a pop on the Power play then I don't see a team left on our schedule that's going to beat us.