Sam Ehlinger on playing tempo offense:
I went very fast with Coach Dodge at Westlake (High School) and I think that when we’re going fast, we aren’t allowing the defenses get in their perfect calls. We’re not allowing them to get to the perfect setup for each formation that they have in the game. When we’re going fast like that I think we all kind of pickup a momentum and we pick up a confidence level because we’re just chipping away at them slowly and slowly and slowly and finally we hit them deep.
Hard to argue with Ehlinger’s analysis. We saw it first hand against Maryland.
On the Longhorn’s first six possessions of the game, they totaled 60 yards on 18 plays against Maryland. When Texas went tempo on the Longhorn’s next three possessions in the second quarter - Sam Ehlinger was 7 of 8 for 108 yards with strikes of 24, 23 and 22 yards, including a TD to CJ, and the elusive Longhorn RB duo of Ingram and Watson averaged over 6 yards per carry. In those three possessions, the Horns score two touchdowns and secured a safety after pinning Maryland deep in less than a quarter of play to make the score 24-22 after trailing 24-7 early. With one non-scoring drive (5 plays, 50 yards) halted by a puzzling reverse call to D’shawn Jamison alien to the flow of the offense that was working, resulting in a four yard loss.
The use of tempo for the rest of the game was sporadic at best.
One has to wonder what exactly the Longhorn offensive coaches took from this time period in contrast to the sputtering offensive performance that characterized the rest of the game.