Friday, September 18, 2009

The grunt work makes it possible

Tomorrow night the University of Texas will seek revenge on Texas Tech for a last-second loss in Lubbock last season that cost the 'Horns a shot at the national title. I expect both teams to be slinging the ball up and down the field and I hope the scoreboard operator at Memorial Stadium bought some extra bulbs.

Last Saturday the University of Houston picked up their biggest win in 25 years
when they marched into Stillwater and knocked off Oklahoma State. I think the footballs in that game were racking up frequent flyer points.

Thirty years ago the Longhorns and the Cougars lived on the ground. The 'Horns ran the wishbone and the Coogs did their damage with Bill Yeoman's Veer. Now they both run variations of the Spread Option and live and die through the air.

But even though the offensive philosophies and schemes are different now, both the ground attacks of the 60's and 70's and the air assaults of today depend on the same thing -- a solid offensive line. It doesn't matter how you intend to move the ball around, if your line can't block and protect the quarterback, you're not going anywhere.

An analogy can be made to the practice of criminal law. It doesn't matter how glib or flashy an attorney is at trial if he isn't prepared. Regardless of one's style in the courtroom, if you don't know your case inside and out, backwards and forwards, you're in trouble. All the technology and glitz in the world won't matter if you haven't put in the prep time.

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