This makes two weeks in a row that I’m writing a post-post game. I normally try and watch the no-huddle version of the Texas A&M at least once during the week (shout out to WoodlandsAggie who always get them out so quickly), and the past couple of weeks I’ve re-watched it with the intention of watching specific things, and I figure hey I might as well type them out. But to be clear I am a wholly unreliable person and it’s likely that this won't be a weekly thing. But that being said, let’s talk about some of the things I saw. The vast majority of you are much smarter than me so please feel free to correct me in the comments.
We’re in a bit of a pickle as far as the offensive line goes. It’s pretty clear that the coaches think our best seven are as follows: Jahmir Johnson, Akinola Ogunbiyi, Bryce Foster, Layden Robinson, Kenyon Green, and then Rueben Fatheree and Blake Trainor. This past week Robinson was dinged up, so Green slid over to RG and Trainor got his first start at RT.
The challenge with this group of players is that we’re still trying to figure out how they all fit together based on their preferences and limitations. So in alphabetical order:
- Fatheree: Can play LT/RT
- Foster: Only real option at C
- Green: Great at LG, Can play RG, Need him at RT
- Johnson: Can play LT, probably not RT
- Ogunbiyi: Solid at LG
- Robinson: Solid at RG
- Trainor: Struggled at LT
So it seems like our interior three of Aki, Foster, and Johnson are set...but maybe ideally we put Green back at LG, and Robinson on the other side to help foster, and then put Johnson at LT and Fatheree at RT? Or maybe keep Green at RT (which is what we’re likely to do), put Aki, Foster, Robinson in the middle, and then Fatheree at LT?
This past weekend we started with a Johnson, Aki, Foster, Green, Trainor lineup, but we saw a few others. Specifically:
- Fatheree, Aki, Foster, Green, Trainor
- Johnson, Aki, Foster, Green, Fatheree
- Fatheree, Bankhead, Wykoff, Chibuzo, Gallagher
- Fatheree, Bankhead, Wykoff, Chibuzo, Zuhn
It’s clear that our coaches are still figuring out the perfect line up and I don't know that I have any answers. I thought we ran pretty well behind Fatheree, but he did have a costly penalty (as you’d expect from a true freshman). We never got out physicalled from what I saw, but across the board, we’re struggling with line calls (not sure who’s job that is) and knowing our assignments. The physical talent is there, the OL just doesn't seem up to game speed just yet.
This decision as to the starting five looms large with a big game against a solid Arkansas front.
TE JALEN WYDERMYER
As Wydermyer goes, so goes our team. If we can get him rolling as he was last year, then we have every reason to feel good about the rest of the year. Teams are going to make Calzada beat us with his arm and Wydermyer being able to slide behind the linebackers could make all the difference and open up the run game for us as well.
Wydermyer had a better game this week, grabbing 4 balls 39 yards with at least one bad drop. He’s got 12 catches for 141, which is good and about on pace with where he was last year through three games (15 catches for 154). Wydermyer had a huge day against Arkansas last year, so hopefully, he can break out again and have a big game this weekend because we’ll need him.
Demond Demas finally grabbed his go route for a TD. The ability to stretch the defense vertically and QB who isn't risk-averse should do a lot for our defense. We saw some growing pains, exhibited when Demas ran a route about five yards too deep and caught the ire of Jimbo, but there’s no denying that he’s the kind of threat this offense has been missing for a while. Much like Calzada the more reps he can get with the starters, the better he’ll continue to get.
Two young LBs had themselves a solid outing on Saturday. Antonio Doyle led the team with five tackles, and Edgerrin Cooper flashed in a big way with three solo tackles and an interception. If we can get them to play solid consistent ball and lock in on their assignments, there’s no reason why this LB corps shouldn't be able to dominate as the season goes on. The talent is undoubtedly there
That’s all I got for today. Let me know what you think in the comments!