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Trench Warfare: Texas

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A look at the offensive line's performance against the stronghorns.

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

I know that Texas is still a shadow of its former self, but getting to watch our Bears walk out of Darrel K Royal with a near shutout victory despite Petty struggling was a glorious sight to behold.  The best part, for me anyways, was our run game stepping up while Petty struggled to find his mark and becoming an almost unstoppable juggernaut in the second half.  That's what physically superior teams do to win games: dominate the line of scrimmage and impose their will on the opposition.  Let's see how the Baylor blockers graded out against the "blue chip" boys in burnt orange.

As a reminder, this is how I score the players:

When run blocking, did the player (1) block someone (2) create solid initial contact and push the defender back and (3) did they sustain their block?  When pass blocking, did the player (1) block someone (2) create solid initial contact and maintain the pocket and (3) sustain their block?  If they did all three then the player was awarded a score of "1".  If they blocked effectively enough to keep the defender away from the play but not well enough to earn a full point, then they were given a half point.  If they missed a block or got beat by the defender, they were given a "0" (zero).

Live ball penalties are assessed against the offending player reducing their initial score by minus one (i.e. an initial score of "1" will be reduced to "0" (zero).  Dead ball penalties were assessed to the offending player on the following play.

Here are the grades:

PLAY DRANGO MUIR FULLER HILLIARD BAKER TE's BROXTON GAIN
RUN 1 0.5 0 1 0.5 1 1
RUN 0.5 1 1 0 0.5 0 4
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 5
RUN 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 0 -2
RUN 1 1 1 1 1 0.5 5
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 7 PI on Shock, then delay of game  on Petty
PASS 0 1 1 1 1 INC End of 1st Series (punt)
RUN 0.5 1 1 1 1 0.5 12
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 1 INC
RUN 1 0.5 1 0.5 1 1 2
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 INC End of 2nd (punt)
RUN 1 1 1 0 1 3
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 INC
RUN 0.5 1 1 1 1 5
RUN 1 1 0.5 1 1 0.5 3
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 0.5 INC
RUN 1 0.5 1 1 0.5 0 4
RUN 1 0.5 1 1 0 9 Holding on Baker
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 6
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 22
RUN 1 1 0.5 1 1 5
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 0.5 INC
RUN 0 1 1 0.5 1 1 5
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 0.5 INC
RUN 1 1 1 1 0.5 0.5 10
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 11
RUN 1 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 5
RUN 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 1 1 11
RUN 1 0.5 0 1 1 1 5
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 1 5
RUN 0 1 1 1 1 1 1
RUN 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 End of 3rd (TO on downs)
RUN 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 End of 4th (Half)
RUN 1 0.5 1 0.5 0.5 6
RUN 0 0.5 0 1 1 1
PASS 0 End of 5th (punt), Broken play
RUN 1 0 0.5 1 1 0.5 3
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 INC
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 8
PASS INC Playback didn't show whole play
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 INC
PASS 0.5 1 1 1 1 5
RUN 1 1 1 1 1 1 10
RUN 1 0.5 1 1 0 1 8
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 1 30 End of 6th (TD)
RUN 1 1 1 1 1 0.5 10
RUN 1 1 1 1 1 1 9
RUN 1 1 0.5 1 1 1 5
RUN 1 0 0.5 1 1 5
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 INC
RUN 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 1 1 7
RUN 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 End of 7th (punt)
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 1 INC
PASS 0 0.5 0 1 1 -10 End of 8th (punt)
RUN 0.5 0 1 0.5 0.5 0 2
RUN 1 1 1 1 1 12
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 INC
RUN 1 0.5 1 0.5 0.5 1 11
RUN 1 1 1 1 1 17
RUN 0.5 1 0.5 0.5 0 4
RUN 0.5 1 0.5 0.5 1 0.5 3
RUN 1 0.5 1 1 1 1 7
RUN 1 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 1 12
RUN 1 0.5 1 0.5 1 1 3
RUN 1 0.5 1 1 1 1 3
RUN 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 End of 9th (TD)
RUN 0.5 1 1 0.5 1 1 5
RUN 1 1 1 0.5 1 0.5 4
RUN 1 1 1 0.5 1 1 7
RUN 1 1 1 0.5 1 0 5
RUN 1 0.5 0.5 1 0.5 0.5 7
RUN 0.5 1 1 0.5 0 1 2
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 INC
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 1 INC
PASS 1 1 1 1 1 30 End of 10th (TD)

Here are the results:

VERSUS UT
DRANGO MUIR FULLER HILLIARD BAKER TE's BROXTON TOTAL
Average Score 86.5% 85.1% 85.1% 89.8% 83.8% 77.7% 80.0% 84.0%
RB Score 84.4% 78.1% 79.2% 82.0% 75.0% 78.9% 73.9% 78.8%
PB Score 90.4% 98.1% 96.2% 100.0% 100.0% 72.2% 100.0% 93.8%
Run Block Errors 3 3 4 2 2 3 4 21
Pass Block Errors 2 0 1 0 0 1 0 4
Penalties 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
RUN BLOCK SCORE
GAME DRANGO MUIR FULLER HILLIARD BAKER TE's BROXTON TOTAL
SMU 67.6% 75.7% 66.2% 71.6% 64.9% 60.0% 67.7%
NWSU 86.8% 65.8% 71.1% 65.8% 71.1% 73.5% 72.3%
BUFFALO 82.7% 75.0% 77.1% 83.3% 66.7% 60.5% 74.2%
ISU 91.9% 95.3% 81.3% 88.0% 95.3% 70.5% 87.0%
TEXAS 84.4% 78.1% 79.2% 82.0% 75.0% 78.9% 73.9% 78.8%
TOTAL 82.7% 78.0% 75.0% 78.1% 74.6% 68.7% 73.9% 76.0%
PASS BLOCK SCORE
GAME DRANGO MUIR FULLER HILLIARD BAKER TE's BROXTON TOTAL
SMU 90.2% 85.4% 90.2% 89.0% 91.5% 88.9% 89.2%
NWSU 80.0% 85.0% 90.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 92.5%
BUFFALO 100.0% 100.0% 93.5% 98.4% 98.1% 100.0% 98.4%
ISU 94.3% 95.7% 93.5% 94.7% 93.5% 78.6% 91.7%
TEXAS 90.4% 98.1% 96.2% 100.0% 100.0% 72.2% 100.0% 93.8%
TOTAL 91.0% 92.8% 92.7% 96.4% 96.6% 87.9% 100.0% 93.1%
GAME TOTALS
GAME DRANGO MUIR FULLER HILLIARD BAKER TE's BROXTON TOTAL
SMU 79.5% 80.8% 78.8% 80.8% 78.8% 73.7% 78.7%
NWSU 87.9% 72.4% 77.6% 77.6% 81.0% 82.0% 79.8%
BUFFALO 91.4% 87.9% 84.8% 91.7% 80.8% 81.3% 86.3%
ISU 93.3% 95.5% 88.5% 92.1% 94.2% 74.4% 89.7%
TEXAS 86.5% 85.1% 85.1% 89.8% 83.8% 77.7% 80.0% 84.0%
TOTAL 87.7% 84.4% 83.0% 86.4% 83.7% 77.8% 80.0% 83.7%

Late in the third quarter when the game was still in doubt, Baylor decided to run the ball down the horns' throats.  Seventeen out of the next twenty-one plays were run calls gaining 105 yards and resulting in two game sealing touchdowns.  The offensive line was dominant as they pushed around the Texas defensive front while only committing five run block errors.

Interestingly they did not do this with their usual line-up as they had Jarrell Broxton in for Desmine Hilliard for the last four series (not counting the last two garbage time drives).  Broxton played very well in relief of Hilliard despite only earning a 73.9% run block score.  His run block errors stemmed from his difficulty locating defenders in space when pulling or double-teaming to the second level with Kyle Fuller or Troy Baker.  When he did get his hands on someone though, he's a monster.

Broxton is a powerful man who hits with an aggression that I love to see from a guard.  He has a violent initial punch that can stun and stop defensive tackles in their tracks with very active feet that churn to good effect.  This makes him a very good "point of attack" type of player, someone you can depend on to open a hole for your RB.

What I'd like to see him work on is his pad level, foot-spacing, and speed.  He has a tendency to stand up too early when run blocking which causes his feet to come together and causes him to lose his balance.  His aforementioned difficulty locating defenders in the second level is mostly due to a lack of speed.  By the time he gets to the second level the linebacker is already gone.  He has a lot of upside, I think, and he reminds me of Cyril Richardson.

Don't ask me why Broxton replaced Hilliard though.  I don't have that answer nor have I heard of anyone who does outside of the program.  I doubt it was a performance issue as Hilliard was playing really well against Texas.  In fact, before he was replaced, I noticed that he was displaying great push and drive in the run game against (supposedly) improved competition.  Hilliard was also perfect in pass pro in his limited action.  I also know it wasn't injury related because Briles or someone would have reported it.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

All the starters and tight-ends played close to their season averages.  They didn't look as good as they did against ISU but that was expected considering the difference in talent from ISU to UT.  Overall a solid performance.  My only harsh criticism being the two sacks allowed on Petty.  I was really hoping that streak of zero sacks surrendered would stay alive deeper into the season.

Thanks for reading!

Sic em Bears!

Sic TCU!