Nathan Han, Matthew Boncosky, Sports activities Reporters

September 14, 2021

Welcome to the fourth version of the Texan Tuesday Soccer Speak, the place Day by day Texan soccer beat reporters Matthew Boncosky and Nathan Han talk about, after all, Texas soccer.

Nathan Han: You and our photographer, Jack Myer, each travelled to Fayetteville, Arkansas, for final week’s 40-21 beatdown of Texas. However for the Texas followers who watched the sport from their couches at dwelling, what was the atmosphere like in Razorback Stadium and the way do you suppose it affected the Longhorns, particularly redshirt freshman quarterback Hudson Card?

Matthew Boncosky: The atmosphere was in contrast to something I had ever seen earlier than. Individuals had been camped outdoors the stadium since early Friday morning, the scholar part was stuffed to the brim 45 minutes earlier than the sport, and the followers as a complete actually made these three and a half hours a residing hell for Texas.

That undoubtedly affected the Longhorns. Junior defensive lineman Moro Ojomo confused on Monday how poor the communication was among the many protection in that atmosphere, and there’s little doubt it additionally affected the play of Card and the offense. In any case, the offense is who the gang screams at once they’re on the sphere.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian stated Card was a little bit antsy within the pocket on Saturday. A part of that was a scarcity of safety early on, however Card additionally missed some key throws down the sphere as properly. You might inform that junior quarterback Casey Thompson was not rattled by the scene as a lot when he bought within the recreation.

Talking of Thompson, the large information out of Sarkisian’s weekly press convention on Monday was his determination to start out him over Card towards Rice this week. Do you suppose this was the fitting time to make the swap and do you suppose he can win the job for the remainder of the season?

NH: The quarterback spot by no means appeared totally settled with the way in which Sarkisian rotated Thompson in on the finish of each video games – and it probably received’t be till after the Texas Tech recreation.

However Card by no means confirmed sufficient in his two video games because the starter to totally take over the position, and significantly his lack of ability to attach on deep passes means Thompson will get his shot on the beginning position. I feel it was the fitting time to make the swap simply because Thompson has been so efficient within the restricted recreation time he’s seen.

If he can translate his second half performances from Colorado, Louisiana and Arkansas to a full recreation, Thompson is the fitting choose at quarterback. How do you suppose the weapons he’s throwing to have performed thus far this yr?

MB: The weapons on the Texas offense have to step it up a little bit bit, in my view. Working again Bijan Robinson and extensive receiver Jordan Whittington had standout performances in week one, however neither had a lot of an impression in week two.

Whittington solely reeled in 5 of his 10 targets on Saturday for simply 32 yards, and Robinson clearly struggled to search out a lot working room as properly, although a part of that’s on the offensive line.

The Longhorns’ receiving corps dropped a number of key balls within the first half that went a good distance in stunting the productiveness of the offense. Whereas Card had his fair proportion of struggles, the talent guys round him actually didn’t assist the state of affairs. Higher focus from Thompson’s move catchers needs to be sufficient to get them rolling once more.

As I wrote about in my story from Saturday’s recreation, each the offensive and defensive traces had been overpowered by Arkansas’ linemen. Which line do you suppose wants essentially the most work, and is there a straightforward repair?

NH: The offensive line has simply not been ok in these first two video games. The left aspect of the road, significantly junior deal with Christian Jones and senior guard Denzel Okafor, struggled particularly towards the Razorbacks.

With 12 and 16 begins, respectively, the 2 confirmed prior to now they will play at the next stage. So whether or not the answer is extra time with offensive line coach Kyle Flood’s new scheme or simply regaining confidence towards lesser defensive linemen, enchancment from Jones, Okafor and the remainder of the offensive line is essential for Texas shifting ahead.

What are you anticipating from Texas on this Saturday’s recreation towards Rice, and the way a lot of a problem can the Owls pose for the Longhorns?

MB: Whereas Rice gave Arkansas a little bit of a scare of their week one matchup, I don’t suppose the Owls will current a lot of a problem to the Longhorns. Final week’s loss opened some eyes among the many Longhorns, in my view, so I feel they may come able to blow the doorways off the visiting Owls. Texas bounces again and wins by three or 4 scores.

NH: I’m with you there: Saturday goes to be a bounce again blowout for Texas in a 38-9 win. I feel Thompson may have one other spectacular recreation and the protection will rebound in a giant manner.