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SoonerTimes Home > SoonerTimes > OU Sports > Steve Sarkisian's brilliant offensive mind might translate at Texas


Steve Sarkisian's brilliant offensive mind might translate at Texas
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47Straight
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 Posted: Wed Jan 13th, 2021 04:02 pm

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Steve Sarkisian's brilliant offensive mind might translate at Texas, but he'll need a lift from his players
by Guerin Emig

Steve Sarkisian’s contribution to Alabama’s national championship has Texas fans as giddy as Bevo at supper time. They see what Sarkisian did to Ohio State Monday night as Crimson Tide offensive coordinator, and figure he will do that to the Big 12 Conference as the Longhorns’ next head coach.

I understand the anticipation.

Alabama’s passing game was Lincoln Riley-clever and even more precise. It made synchronous use of a sharp, talented quarterback, a powerful, multifaceted running back and the best college wide receiver since Larry Fitzgerald was at Pitt.

Sarkisian showed a deep mind and a great feel for the game Monday night. Assuming that translates at Texas, it will represent a step up from Tom Herman, who had the mind to make things happen in Austin the past four years but fell bizarrely short on the implementation.

Sarkisisan’s quarterback development should also translate.

He brought along Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez as USC quarterbacks coach and then as Trojans offensive coordinator in the 2000s. After becoming Washington’s head coach in 2009, Sarkisian tutored Jake Locker and helped lesser-hyped quarterback Keith Price put up big numbers.

We just saw what Sarkisian did with Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones the last two years as Alabama play-caller.

Herman turned Sam Ehlinger into an effective pocket passer, but Sarkisian with Ehlinger’s heir, whether Casey Thompson or Hudson Card, should be much more lucrative for the Longhorns.

Here, though, is where we slow Sarkisian’s roll from Tuscaloosa to Austin.

“You’ve to give Alabama a lot of credit. They have great players and great scheme and they execute it really well,” Ohio State linebacker Tuf Borland said after Monday night’s 52-24 mismatch. “They played extremely hard and that’s the result that you see. That’s why the scoreboard was the way that it was...

“What makes them unique is the caliber of players they have.”

Sarkisian is coming to Texas, but he isn’t bringing DeVonta Smith and Najee Harris with him. Players like that can make a coach look 50 IQ points smarter.

The Longhorns aren’t exactly talent starved. Rivals ranked Herman’s 2018 and ’19 recruiting classes No. 4 nationally. Bijan Robinson, the breakout headliner of Texas’ Alamo Bowl thumping of Colorado, is a five-star running back.

But how many plays did you see Texas receivers make last fall? If Ehlinger matured into a productive passer, and his efficiency rating says he did, why was it that the leading Longhorn receiver, wideout Joshua Moore, averaged 47 yards per game?

Sarkisian’s track record with running backs is impressive. Washington backs Chris Polk and Bishop Sankey approached or surpassed the 1,500-yard mark under Sarkisian from 2010-13. He should pair dynamically with Robinson.

Sarkisian’s pairing with a Texas receiving corps whose production plummeted post-Collin Johnson, Devin Duvernay and Lil’Jordan Humphrey is less certain. Sparks can fly – Sarkisian’s USC and Washington offenses moved the ball with hardly any 1,000-yard receivers – but this is more a leap of faith.

Sarkisian’s pairing with Texas’ offensive line might key the whole transition.

The quarterbacks in Sarkisian’s 2007-08 USC offenses had time to throw. So did Jones and Tagovailoa the past two years.

Locker and Price? Not so much. Washington ranked an average of No. 84 nationally in sacks allowed with Sarkisian as head coach. That helped make the Huskies wildly inconsistent offensively, which helped tag Sarkisian with a 34-29 record over his five years in Seattle.

Sarkisian will have better players at Texas than he coached at Washington, but consider that the Longhorns ranked an average of No. 84 in sacks allowed the past four years under Herman.

When Sarkisian breaks into his first position meetings, he should go from quarterbacks directly to linemen and make sure the heavyweights know he can’t succeed without their help.

Borland is right. It is the caliber of players. It is also the performance of the players.

While Sarkisian was brilliant Monday night against Ohio State, so were the Crimson Tide. If he is to be brilliant at Texas, his Longhorns must follow suit.

That is a great unknown.

https://tulsaworld.com/sports/college/ou/guerin-emig-steve-sarkisians-brilliant-offensive-mind-might-translate-at-texas-but-hell-need-a/article_ed377928-5506-11eb-b112-9f69eb9e2ff2.html#tncms-source=infinity-scroll-summary-siderail-latest

ClintA.Adams
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 Posted: Wed Jan 13th, 2021 04:45 pm

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Here are two big problems:

1. Texas still won't have Nick Saban level talent at Texas.

2. Sark will no longer be exclusively the OC. That changes everything when you are having to manage an entire program and the team as a whole on gameday.

On paper, he's a downgrade from Tom Herman, but time will tell. We'll see how he does when that first Texas booster tells him who should be starting at weakside linebacker.

Triple Option
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 Posted: Wed Jan 13th, 2021 08:35 pm

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"Steve Sarkisian's brilliant offensive mind might translate at Texas"

Is that OF-fensive or of-FEN-sive?

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 Posted: Thu Jan 14th, 2021 07:39 am

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...SARK pooped & fell back in it when he announced "The Eyes of Texass"

was "THEIR" song, and they would "sing it proudly!" 

Might want to visit with your team before making a statement like that Coach.

Or maybe you didn't see Sam & Pee Wee standing all alone singing it after the game.
The entire rest of the team went to the locker room.

I smell dysfunction already. :lol::lol::lol:


:ou::ou::ou:::rice::

SoonerTony
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 Posted: Thu Jan 14th, 2021 12:21 pm

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I hope texass continues to allow that song to be a distraction. Meanwhile, the Sooners continue to focus on winning.

Fly
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 Posted: Thu Jan 14th, 2021 05:27 pm

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Sark is a very good OC, but only with the great players
he had to work with. I watched the NC game & did not see
any greatness in his play calling. He did some really good
miss direction with Heisman trophy winner #6. but that kid
is fast & a great runner. Those throw back passes in the
back field OSU could not cover that kid in open field.

Thats what broke OSU back. He went to that all night long.
With out that guy it would have been a much closer game.
We shall see next year.

Fly


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