Texas-USC Film Review

Breaking down the good and bad plays from the Texas-USC game from a Texas perspective.

0

As was said on The Royal Standard, there are no moral victories for Texas football. And even with a true freshman QB on the road at the Los Angeles Coliseum, a loss is a loss. But what we can do, is take a look at the good and the bad from the offense and defense.

1st Play

The Longhorns’ defense came out looking to make a statement. After letting USC drive just past the 50 into Texas territory, the defense held their ground. A lot throughout the game, Texas was dropping SS Deshon Elliott into the box. He was either playing man coverage or blitzing, which is something DC Todd Orlando likes to do.

This play was 4th and 4 on the Texas 37. USC was too far for their walk-on kicker and not far enough out to punt. The Trojans weren’t looking for any splash play but to just get the 1st down. Texas was in a Cover 1 look with one high safety and man coverage underneath.

SS Deshon Elliott, who had a stellar game with 2 INT, was lined up with their TE.

Texas was lucky that USC didn’t have any deep routes on this play. With Locke not rotating with Jones, the Horns could’ve easily been beat over the top with no safety help.

2nd Play

This was a 3rd and medium for USC at their own 24. Texas gives the same look as they did on the 4th down stop. This time they added a “hole” coverage with a dropping edge rusher and had LB’s Malik Jefferson and Anthony Wheeler blitzing. Elliott was showing blitz but dropped to cover the RB, who ran a route to other side of formation than what Elliott was lined up.

USC ran a slant route to beat the man coverage and just in front of the LB “hole” coverage. The slant route also came from the opposite side of formation from dropping edge rusher, allowing for a larger to window to complete the pass.

3rd Play

Texas had had success stopping the run already, so on a 1st and 10 from midfield, USC went with a pass play. Texas dialed up a Cover 4 to prevent a big play but USC hit the weak spot of Cover 4. With the safeties and two corners dropping for deep quarters coverage, the MLB has to cover the middle of the field up to the 1st down marker.

With the LB dropping back as well as the safeties, you can attack the up the seam on either side of the LB. USC ran a combo route with the TE running a post over the middle and the RB with a seam route right behind him. Wheeler took the TE, allowing the seam to open up for the RB and for USC to convert a 1st down and keep the momentum going.

Here’s the behind the play angle of what transpired.

4th Play

Here was the second 4th-down stop for Longhorns in only USC’s 2nd drive of the game. This one was  down on the goal line as the Trojans had marched all the way down field on the Horns. After three attempts from inside the 5, USC gave it a go on 4th down.

They double team the two interior DL, Poona Ford and Chris Nelson, and left DE Malcolm Roach to be blocked by a TE. Roach already had inside alignment on the TE and quickly beat him inside to hold up Ronald Jones for the rest of the team to come and stop for scoring. Big time, team play from the Longhorns defense keeping USC off the scoreboard.

5th Play

Once preseason All-American LT Connor Williams left the game in 1st quarter with a knee injury, the Texas OL struggled mightily. RT Tristen Nickelson flipped to LT and redshirt freshman Denzel Okafor came in at RT. Texas was down to 5 healthy and capable OL.

In the middle of the 2nd quarter, Texas was driving and looked to be putting together a good drive. They got stalled out at the USC 41 and had to punt. The key play was on 3rd down when USC sent a blitzer from the field. Nickelson, LG Patrick Vahe and C Zach Shackelford all struggled to pick up their man and allowed three free blitzers to rush at their QB.

QB Sam Ehlinger was forced to roll out and bring another edge blitzer into the picture and had to throw the ball away to avoid a sack. A potential chance to convert on 3rd down and keep the chains moving and the OL completely missed on three blocks.

6th Play

This was another huge 3rd down stop by the Texas defense on their side of the 50. The defensive line did a great job holding up the blockers from getting to the linebackers and allowing them to attack the hole and stop up the ball carrier.

Malik Jefferson looked like the player that all Texas fans and coaches expected to him to be when he stepped on the Forty Acres. Jefferson read the play very well and flew to the ball, and didn’t just stop the ball carrier, he blew him up in the backfield.

7th Play

Overtime. After USC drove down from their 35-yard line to the Texas 13-yard line to tie the game up with no time left, USC began overtime on offense. On the first play of overtime, Texas looked to run a Cover 4 concept. USC countered with double post action from the same side of the formation, attacking the safety on that side of the field.

FS Brandon Jones bit on the underneath post and allowed Deontay Barnett to go over the top of him and score for a touchdown. In Cover 4, Jones has a deep quarter of the field, where he should be deeper than the deepest receiver. The breakdown in coverage allowed Barnett to get over the top uncovered.

8th Play

Texas’ touchdown to tie the game in the first overtime was a play I had said they should’ve run during the Maryland game. It was set up with the different roll outs that Texas was running during that game. The Longhorns put in their receiving TE, freshman Cade Brewer, into the game. At first, it didn’t male sense to take out the better blocker, Kendall Moore, when down on the goal line.

This play was run very well. Everyone was rolling to the right side of the formation. Brewer was blocking on the end of the line as the play began and after blocking for a couple seconds, he slipped out and went to the opposite corner of the endzone. This play works very well because it doesn’t require a perfect pass to get him open for the score. Tom Herman told the media after the game that this was their two-point conversion play.

https://twitter.com/ArmchairTexas/status/910970011904245761

For quality up-to-date sports reporting, visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

For all your collegiate and professional apparel needs, check out 365 Gameday.

Author Details
Vice President of Media | Armchair All-Americans LLC
Hi I’m Tyler, a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a major in Journalism. I have a strong passion for sports as I was that kid growing up that would watch ESPN instead of cartoons. Being from Houston, all of the H-Town teams are my favorites, Astros; Rockets; and Texans. If it’s a Saturday in the Fall and you need to find me, there’s a very strong chance I’m at Darrell K. Royal Stadium in Austin decked out in that beautiful burnt orange rooting on the Horns.
×
Vice President of Media | Armchair All-Americans LLC
Hi I’m Tyler, a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a major in Journalism. I have a strong passion for sports as I was that kid growing up that would watch ESPN instead of cartoons. Being from Houston, all of the H-Town teams are my favorites, Astros; Rockets; and Texans. If it’s a Saturday in the Fall and you need to find me, there’s a very strong chance I’m at Darrell K. Royal Stadium in Austin decked out in that beautiful burnt orange rooting on the Horns.

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.