PFLUGERVILLE — I begged to attend the Texas at Cal game but didn’t beg enough because I’m sitting in my living room tonight. However, there isn’t a better set in the country than my La-Z boy. Cal leads Texas 35-33 with many more points to come from both sides I suspect. With that said, here are a few thoughts from the first half.
1. If there was any question as to who the most valuable player is for Texas, that was answered in the first half. Quarterback Shane Buechele went to the locker room with a chest injury and Cal took advantage by creeping back to within three points but Boo Jr. came back to lead a Texas scoring drive in what’s turning into a real wild affair. This is Charlie Strong’s deepest team but the one guy Texas really can’t afford to lose is its freshman quarterback. Buechele will have some growing pains — that interception hung up there too long — but he has moxie and can make timely throws on most occasions.
2. Vance Bedford has some real problems on his hands. He has talent at his disposal now but the Horns are still giving big chunks of yardage. There are many receivers running un-checked in the secondary against a team you know is going to throw it 80 percent of the time. I’m starting to wonder if the Texas defensive coordinator will ever figure this out.
3. The Horns are really struggling in the secondary tonight. Bedford prefers to blitz and that’s been the only way the Horns can generate pressure on Davis Webb, who has diced up the Horns in the first half. Cornerback Sheroid Evans has been a feel-good story in the early season but he looks lost at times as was Holton Hill who allowed Melquise Stovall to run right past him on a wheel route.
4. Tyrone Swoopes has plenty of experience but just isn’t as accurate as Buechele. This is where Chuck and offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert shouldn’t make a mistake by overthinking things. Swoopes is the backup for a reason. That’s his role in this offense. With Buechele in there, the Horns just have a different gear. Add those brahma bulls in the backfield and Texas are an intriguing study. So pound it. Pound it some more. And please…don’t forget to pound it.
5. Freshman safety Brandon Jones is a bona fide stud. That’s two blocked punts in his first three games. Reminds me of a young Michael Griffin.
6. I thought the Horns would win 48-38 but it has already become apparent that Texas will need upwards of 55 to get out of the Bay Area with a W. This feels like last week’s Cal-Texas Tech game all over again. First to 60 wins I guess.
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