Posted September 6th, 2005 by Matt
Filed under: Football

In a nutshell, Texas had their way with Louisiana Lafayette, which is indicated by the 60-3 score. Texas did pretty much anything they wanted to on offense, including rushing for 418 yards. The defense was also stout, and you could tell right from the start that Louisiana Lafayette was going to have trouble doing anything. I guess the only real down spot is Saturday’s game is the special teams, who missed 3 extra points! Now let’s move on to a position-by-position look at how the Longhorns graded out on Saturday.

Quarterback – Overall Grade: A

After [tag]Vince Young[/tag]’s 5 touchdown performance in the Rose Bowl, there is no surprise that he entered this season as one of the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy. With all of that pressure, I was interested to see how he would perform. I think it is safe to say that Young did not disappoint. Young finished the game with an efficient 13-17 for 173 yards. He looked to be very comfortable throwing the ball and you could tell he has gained a lot of confindence this past off-season. [tag]Matt Nordgren[/tag] played for most of the second half but did not attempt a single pass attempt. He did scramble a few times, showing off an interesting technique of gaining more yards when going out of bounds.

Running Backs – Overall Grade: A+

Texas appears to have a full stable of speedy and powerful tailbacks to compliment quarterback Vince Young this year. Freshman running backs [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] and [tag]Henry Melton[/tag] had a huge impact on the game, with Charles running for 135 yards and 1 score and Melton running for 65 yards and 2 scores. I swear it looked like Melton couldn’t be tackled. A bigger and quicker [tag]Selvin Young[/tag] added 65 yards and speedster [tag]Ramonce Taylor[/tag] also added 65 yards. With a total of 418 yards, I would say things are definitely looking good for the Texas running game.

Receivers / Tight Ends – Overall Grade: B

[tag]David Thomas[/tag] was up to his usual self, making big plays and scored 2 touchdowns on 3 catches. With his 2 touchdowns, David Thomas moved into fifth place all-time at Texas for a tight end with his 51th career reception. Senior [tag]Brian Carter[/tag] also help out by setting a career high with three receptions against the Ragin’ Cajuns for 65 yards, matching his previous career total of three receptions in only the first half. [tag]Nate Jones[/tag], [tag]Limas Sweed[/tag], and [tag]Quan Cosby[/tag] also performed well, with Nate Jones scoring his first career touchdown. It was nice to see some consistency in this group and I look forward to seeing them improve this year.

Offensive Line – Overall Grade: A+

Considering that Selvin Young, Jamaal Charles, Henry Melton, Ramonce Taylor and Vince Young averaged 9.5 yards per carry, I would say that the offensive line did pretty well on Saturday. [tag]Justin Blalock[/tag] (fellow Plano East grad) led the offensive line who just totally dominated Louisana Lafayette. Hopefully they keep the same aggressiveness next Saturday against OSU.

Defensive Line – Overall Grade: A

From the first series on offense for Louisiana Lafayette, it was pretty apparent that they were not going to be able to accomplish. Rod Wright, [tag]Frank Okam[/tag], and [tag]Larry Dibbles[/tag] dominated Louisiana’s offensive line and disrupted about everything they did. In a nice surprise on the line, redshirt freshman [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] stripped Louisiana-Lafayette quarterback Jerry Babb for his first career forced fumble.

Linebackers – Overall Grade: B

Redshirt sophomore [tag]Robert Killebrew[/tag] had a huge game, recording 7 tackles and recording his first ever sack. [tag]Aaron Harris[/tag], [tag]Rashad Bobino[/tag], and [tag]Drew Kelson[/tag] played solid games under the new defensive coordinator [tag]Gene Chizik[/tag]. Texas definitely lost a game-breaking player in Derrick Johnson, but this linebacking crew should be able to keep up with any offense they see this year.

Secondary – Overall Grade: B+

[tag]Aaron Ross[/tag] had a pretty impressive game intercepting a pass in the second quarter, continuing his improvement from spring camp. All 3 Griffin’s played impressive games in the secondary, with a couple big hits on Louisiana’s receivers.

Special Teams – Overall Grade: C-

Now before we get into the kicking game, let me talk about the bright spots on the return game. Aaron Ross had 5 punt returns for 106 yards, breaking one for 52 yards in the 3rd quarter. [tag]Tarell Brown[/tag] also added an impressive kickoff return for 34 yards. The kicking game, however, was a totally different story. [tag]Richmond McGee[/tag] went 1 for 4 on his first 4 PAT attempts. That is just ridiculous. I am fine with having some question marks with 45+ field goal attempts, but anything inside 35 yards should be solid. This is something that definitely needs to be corrected before the OSU game for us to have a shot.

Overall – Overall Grade: A-

There is definitely some room for improvement, but overall I would say that this was a pretty good performance for the first game of the year. I really wish that we had a little bit better competition to tune-up for OSU, but not much we can do about that. Next week will be the true test to see if this team is ready for another trip to the Rose Bowl. I would have given the team an A if it weren’t for the 3 missed PAT’s. I hope next week I am giving the team an A+.

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3 Comments

  1. reply to  #1

    Brian

    Sounds like Huff might be playing corner this week with Ced Griffin at the safety spot. I like it, Huff seems to be better in man to man coverage.

    As for your grades, I don’t think you can give the running backs a perfect score considering they put the ball on the ground 3 times. Can’t afford to give up points like we did when Selvin lost that one inside the ULL 20.

    I’d also have to give the linebackers a higher grade than a B. You mentioned Killebrew, Kelson also played great, Harris caused a fumble. I might lower the d-line’s grade a litte. The starters played great and got pressure on the QB even without any blitzing, but the backups really didn’t make much noise. (Though Orakpo did play well when subbing with the first unit.)

  2. reply to  #2

    Matt

    Hmm…I guess I will have to give the running backs an A++ if they perform better, but the depth at running back displayed on Saturday was just so impressive. Jamaal Charles seemed to come out of nowhere.

    I guess I will have to pay more attention to the linebackers in the next game. I was so busy watching the defensive line dominate, I really didn’t watch the linebackers and secondary as much as I should have.

  3. reply to  #3

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