Five things we learned in Week 2: UTSA's offense, Texas' new offense and COVID complications

By Mary Scott McNabb

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COVID changes everything

Texas State got the news on Friday that starting quarterback Brady McBride would be unable to play because of COVID protocols. At the last moment, the Bobcats had to run out with Tyler Vitt leading the way. 

Vitt played admirably, but it was clear in the first half that this is simply a different offense without the shifty McBride under center. While Texas State still managed to make it an exciting game late, it’s a difficult reminder that seasons will ultimately hinge on which players are able to luckily traverse through the protocols. 

Oh, and by the way, TCU and Baylor didn’t get to play this weekend because of COVID. This season won’t be like any other. 

Texas Tech has a lot of work to do

Listen, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football is the biggest group of Bailey Zappe fans outside of Victoria, but this showing from Texas Tech is plain not good enough. The Red Raiders let Zappe throw for 567 yards and four touchdowns. If the Huskies got one more stop, the 35-33 result could have flipped. 

Is this the case of a Big 12 team just not quite being mentally prepared for the season? Is this an indictment of Texas Tech’s secondary and offensive rhythm? Is Bailey Zappe just that good? Whichever it is, Texas Tech had better get its head screwed on straight – and fast. The Red Raiders were a 41-point favorite. 

Texas’ new offense looks good

Sam Ehlinger needed one play to throw a 78-yard touchdown to Josh Moore, the first first-play touchdown in the Big 12 since 2008. He needed one half to throw for 429 yards, the most in a first half in Texas history. It’s just UTEP, but the early returns are good.

In fact, the new offense looked otherworldly no matter who was in the game. Ehlinger and Casey Thompson combined to complete 29-of-40 passes for 481 yards and seven touchdowns, and to seven different receivers. Nine different players combined to run it for 208 yards. There’ll be tougher battles, but the pieces work. 

Scheduling doesn’t matter! 

Midway through the day on Saturday, we heard news that Houston’s matchup with Memphis would be cancelled after COVID-19 concerns. Basically seconds later, we heard that Baylor and Houston were set to play a game on the day instead. 

Remember when Texas announced plans to play Florida in 2031? For goodness sake, remember when Alabama decided to play Virginia Tech in 2035?? There’s no reasonable excuse anymore to say that we need to make these schedules so far in advance when apparently we can come up with terms in five minutes. Let college football scheduling move with the rest of us. 

UTSA can run the hell out of the ball

It was somewhat unclear what a Jeff Traylor and Barry Lunney offense would look like. Well, the new coaching staff figured out what the offensive personnel did well and executed it to perfection. 

The first UTSA play of the game was a QB option that Frank Harris handed off to the state’s best running back Sincere McCormick for 58 yards. The next was a QB option that Harris kept and ran for a touchdown. In all, McCormick, Harris and Brendan Brady combined for 47 carries, 296 yards and four touchdowns. 

UTSA is going to run fast, get guys in space and attack up the middle when it has numbers. Funnily enough, it’s almost exactly what Traylor promised when he took the job – you won’t necessarily know what’s happening, sometimes it’ll look illogical, but damn if it won’t be fast.

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