Try Something Different

I will expand on this later but here is a question to ponder. Texas true freshman Sam Ehlinger, in his second career start, was pretty bad in the first half against USC and then played much better in the second half.

Simply a case of a young player maturing in a game, right? Maybe. But here’s another way to look at it: Perhaps USC’s defense never changed and Ehlinger got more comfortable because he knew what he faced. So why didn’t USC mix up its defenses more in the second half?


    His #1 receiver made incredible catches down the stretch. I think that’s about it.

    • CardinalnGold


    • Rick S.

      And how did those passes get in there in the first place ?


        How did UGLY lose to a G5 team?

    • David Keeling

      Yep, how tall was he? 6’6″? How in the hell can a 6′ or 6’1″ DB prevent a lob pass to that dude? We were lucky he didn’t catch any more passes.
      and why doesn’t Helton recruit taller receivers like a Mike Williams?

  • James Caso

    How do you know SC didn’t change up the Defense at half-time? Did CH tell you that? Here’s something different to try – ask the coaching staff these questions and get an actual answer that gives us more than your SWAG.

    • David Kruger

      Nailed it

  • rusoviet

    He couldn’t have done much worse than he did in the 1st half. He was a gamer but his throws were either erratic or desperate. USC made too many simple mistakes – too many blown coverages on blitzes, falling down (their only in-game TD) . Herman said today the other skid Sam ‘whatever’ will be the starter against IA St. this weekend.

  • 04Trojan

    Ask Clancy, Flow.

  • Wolf Is A Moron

    Did that genius Wolf just ask why USC’s Defense, who pitched a shutout in the 1st half and had only given up 3 points until the last drive of the game, didn’t “mix things up” in the 2nd half? Seriously? LOL.

    Was the 3 points just too much for you to handle without complaint? Perhaps you wanted them to put Darnold at Safety so you could also give him all the credit for the Defense too?

    Classic Wolf, asking questions about a game he just doesnt understand. Im surprised he hasnt asked why we didnt put 15 guys on the field on Defense to defend Texas’ 11 Offensive players. More players would be more effective, right?

    • Golden Trojan

      As Sgt. Hulka said in “Stripes”, lighten up Francis! Geez, Wolf just has to complain. This team is 3-0, ranked 5th in the country. They just played a better than expected Texas team especially on defense. Texas may win their conference. SC may not see a tougher defense till the play offs, God willin’. Enjoy the ride, remember we don’t have Kiffin and Sark to deal with, it’s great to be a Trojan.

      • gotroy22

        A team that gave up 51 points to Maryland is going to win their conference?

        • Wolf Is A Moron

          A team that lost 52-6 in its opener and started 1-3 is going to beat 2 TOP 5 teams and win the Rose Bowl? No way! Oops.

          A team that gave up 43 points in a loss to Pitt is going to win the National Championship? Oh yeah, that happened. A team that got blown out by Virginia Tech at home is going to win the National Championship? Oh yeah, that happened too in 2014.

          When are people going to learn to stop looking at single game performances as some sort of end all be all about how good a team might be. Newsflash, teams sometimes get better as the season goes on.

  • SCgrad12

    Gee Scottie, maybe the defense was tired at the end of the game because the offense was continually stymied by the Texas defense in the second half? Maybe that was a factor.

    • JBKayak

      Reason 1A , why did we continually try the run when it was ineffective? It keeps the clock moving, the defense on the sidelines and keeps the number of plays the opposing teams offensive get to run to a minimum. Three and outs don’t help, but running ineffectively, and Darnold picking up a first down or three on third down, wins the field positions game, keeps the defense from getting gassed, and let’s Darnold work his magic and win the game at the end

      • Ben Factor

        Whatever is working, keep doing it. Whatever isn’t working, look carefully for what’s not being defended, and try that. Simple–just not easy.

    • Ben Factor

      Of course. After 75 plays, Ehlinger looked better and better.

      After 95 plays, Darnold could peel of 25 yard chunks with ease.

      Ehlinger–it was all luck. Darnold–it was inherent greatness.

      They have some similar qualities, actually. After all those hard sacks, don’t even try to tell me Ehlinger isn’t tough and determined. His best pass: from the right sideline, he throws to the unguarded tight end on the left side of the end zone.

      The kid arrived in college over the summer.

  • Trojan96

    Scott here’s a book on defense that should help you grasp the game better. (I have no affiliation with this book).

    The link is safe.

    • Ben Factor

      Scott has no affiliation with educating himself through reading and effort.

  • USC Heisman 7

    The only way to understand the game is if you played it, obviously well.. We know the answer.. #coachflow

    • Ben Factor

      Really? Belichick? Al Davis (before age 55?)

      One can understand almost anything, if one seeks to understand.

      • steveg

        Almost. Key word. You really think Al Davis was a great football mind?

  • Hubert Wilkins

    Ehlinger’s second half improvement might have something to do with Porter Gustin being on the sidelines and in a boot for that time. During the first half, Porter harassed the young freshman.

    • ItsAllAboutTheBall

      Green was out quite a bit as well.

      • USC Heisman 7

        7 starters were on the sideline.. USC/we won with 2nd and 3rd unit players seeing action for the first time in front of 84,000 plus.

        • Texas Hoosier

          ….and that’s what it takes to win championships, good, dependable backup’s on 2nd and even 3rd String….Texas Hoosier

        • steveg

          I kind of thought the pressure was turned down. Now I see why.

    • Ben Factor

      fair point

    • Texas Hoosier

      That’s for damn sure. You have Green coming up the middle, Gustin around the edge, and Nowosu then is only getting single instead of double-teaming by lineman or a lineman and a back. That is why Ehlinger had more time in the 2nd Half and the secondary had a harder time. Look, two-three years at the end of the sanction when SC was dressing about 47 scholarship players, shows the value of young, but talented backups playing in place of starters with injury. USC did pretty damn good shutting down the run the whole game while making UT passing beat them and they didn’t…..going on the road will be a real test, especially at Washington State and Leach’s passing attack over the middle (just like at TTU when he was there). We will need Gustin and Green for the whole game against WSU….Texas Hoosier

  • Rick S.

    “Sam” Ehlinger (A “true” freshman)[ Completed ] some incredibly “Accurate” passes that few others could get in there !

    And most were on the run !!


    “2015: Was named the Class 6A Offensive MVP by both the AP and Texas Sportswriters Association as a junior; Was named the District 14-6A Overall MVP” !!!

    And Sam “E” had a higher Quarterback Rating coming out of High School than Sam “D” !!!

    How is it that “people” get paid $$$ to report “bogus” information as if they’ve never “picked” up a a “Football” ???

    On thing that is for sure is that with a starting Quarterback for an “elite” College Football Program, you want to “finish” a Season with more “Touchdowns” than “Interceptions” and as of “today” the score is = 7 to 6 and that is “not” a good thing…


    • USC Heisman 7

      Wins vs Loses matter genius… 12 straight..Sam D must be doing something right..


      And will get curbed stomped by Stanford by more than 20.


    • Ben Factor

      The kid’s good. The other TX QB is the one selected over Darnold for bestest with the mostest among college QB counselors at the Manning camp.

      It’s U. Texas. They get a lot of talent, too, even QBs.

    • Texas Hoosier

      Well, I have lived in Fort Worth for the last 28 years and the best High School Quarterback that I have seen during that time period (and I mean actually saw play in games at stadiums) was Shane Buchele, the injured TX quarterback who could not play. I saw him throw a fade route deep in the corner of the end zone for Arlington Lamar High School as a Junior vs North Crowley High School that most Pro QB’s could not make (ball was thrown about 35-45 yards in the air to the far right corner of the end zone and the WR caught it in stride without having to contort his body or dive for it. Best pass from a High School quarterback that I have ever seen and I have been going to HS football games in Indiana, California, and Texas since 1963. Glad he was not on the field for Texas or the outcome might have been different in the final score given the destruction of USC Game Plan that was primed for running the football….Texas Hoosier


    Clancy still think’s he’s with the 49ers

  • jim

    Maybe the reason is that he played against a lot different defense in the 2nd half. You take out Rasheen Green and Porter Gustin and that’s not the same defense. Plus Chenna was playing with an injury in that second half.

  • UtahTrojan

    Might have had something to do with the injuries SC was piling up in the second half. But an “Inside Reporter” might have taken that into consideration.

    • steveg

      An Inside reporter would have had that info during the game. He still doesn’t.

  • steveg

    Wolf, trying something different from a guy that is the same day in day out in such a rut nobody reads him.