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7 minutes ago, texifornia said:

Well I guess it's for the best we didn't hire this dude

 

Woah. Dodge a major bullet 

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, texifornia said:

Well I guess it's for the best we didn't hire this dude

 

giphy.gif

Edited by LTtxfan
Xian beat me to it... LOL

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Horns247 Roundtable: Realistic expectations for Texas defense

Quote

Each week, the Horns247 staff comes together for our Roundtable discussion, where we take on some more in-depth topics regarding the University of Texas.

The Longhorns are making their way back to campus beginning this week as Texas prepares to start voluntary summer workouts on June 15. This offseason was expected to allow Texas time to implement and learn the new schemes on both sides of the ball under first-year coordinators, OC Mike Yurcich and DC Chris Ash. But the coronavirus pandemic put a hold on Texas getting physical reps in spring practice, which would have been beneficial especially on defense since Ash intends to implement an entirely new scheme compared to what the Longhorns had become accustomed to under former defensive coordinator Todd Orlando.

But even without the 15 spring practices, Texas has a bit of an advantage with nine starters returning to the defense from last year’s squad. With that said, the Horns247 Roundtable topic is… What are realistic expectations for the Texas defense this season and why?

Bobby Burton

I’m not so much about national stats or improvement. But I see zero reason Texas shouldn’t be the best D in the Big 12. That means from a total yardage standpoint and points against category. Texas should have the best front four in the league, and the Longhorns should have the best secondary in the conference. They have some talent at linebacker; they just have to get reps and find the right fits. While Sam Ehlinger gets a lot of the hype nationally, the Horns should be able to rely on Texas defense just as much.

Chip Brown

The Texas defense, which took steps back the past two seasons, should be one of the reasons the Longhorns make a Big 12 title run in 2020. After giving up 21.2 points per game in 2017 when Texas had 10 returning starters on defense as well as the nation's best punter (Michael Dickson pinning opposing offenses to their own goal lines), the Longhorns gave up an average of 25.9 points in 2018 and 27.5 points in 2019.

With nine starters back on defense in 2020, led by outside linebacker Joseph Ossai, I expect the Texas defense to give up in the neighborhood of 24 points per game. The Texas defense catches a bit of a break to open the season against rebuilding South Florida under first-year coach Jeff Scott; an LSU offense with only three starters back; a UTEP team that went 1-11 last year breaking in a new quarterback; as well as a road trip to Kansas State, which lost its entire offensive line and has the fewest returning starters of any Big 12 team. Those four games should be plenty for the Horns' D to have settled into roles under new coordinator Chris Ash by the time the Red River Shootout rolls around on Oct. 10.

Jeff Howe

If one were to look at nothing but history, you can count on Chris Ash’s first Texas defense being one of the top units in the country when the dust settles. Specifically, Ash can realistically be expected to field a Top 30 caliber defense based on what his predecessors accomplished. When Manny Diaz took over for Will Muschamp in 2011, he fielded a defense that in a Big 12 where Robert Griffin III won a Heisman Trophy and Oklahoma State came a shocking loss to Iowa State away from playing for a national championship finished No. 11 nationally in total defense (306.8 yards per game allowed).

The 2011 Longhorn defense propped up an offense that suffered from shaky quarterback play throughout the season and a slew of injuries at running back late in the campaign to help Texas to an 8-5 finish with a No. 33 national finish in points per game allowed (22.2). The first year on the Forty Acres for Charlie Strong and Vance Bedford saw the Longhorns make a dramatic defensive turnaround in a 2014 season where the unit drug a forgettable offense to six wins and a bowl berth.

Compared to the previous season, yards per play allowed dropped from 5.5 to 4.7 (348.5 yards per game allowed ranked No. 25 in the country), yards per rushing attempt dropped from 4.4 to 3.9, interceptions forced improved from 10 to 15 and points per game allowed dropped from 25.8 to 23.8, which was good for a No. 31 finish nationally (the 2014 Longhorns held four opponents to 16 points or loss, the defense keeping North Texas and Kansas off of the scoreboard).

After things fell off a cliff by the end of Strong’s tenure, Todd Orlando picked up the pieces and led one of the nation’s best defenses in 2017. In Orlando’s first season, yards per game allowed improved from 448.2 to 365.8 (tied for No. 41 in the country), yards per play improved from 5.6 to 5.2, yards per carry dropped dramatically from 4.1 in 2016 to 3.01 in 2017, interceptions forced went up from 10 to 16 and points per game allowed improved from 31.5 to 21.2 (No. 29 nationally).

Certainly, this brings up the point that a Texas defensive coordinator will have to find a way to maintain success after enjoying it initially. Muschamp (2010), Greg Robinson (2004) and Gene Chizik (2006) are the only defensive coordinators since Mack Brown’s first season in 1998 to not have their time with the Longhorns end by way of resigning or being fired.

With that said, like the three men who sat in the defensive coordinator’s chair before him, Ash inherits an experienced group of talented defenders hungry to prove themselves. In a year where there’s either quarterback or uncertainty for nearly every Big 12 program other than Texas with Sam Ehlinger back as a four-year starter, the conditions are ripe for the Longhorns one of the top three defenses in the conference (something Diaz, Bedford and Orlando did with their units finish third or better in the conference in both scoring and total defense in their respective first seasons).

Taylor Estes

I’ll start this off by saying this: No pressure Chris Ash. I say that because with the amount of talent returning to the defense this season, there’s honestly no reason for Texas to not field the best defense in the Big 12. Oklahoma State also has a number of returning starters on defense, but the reality is the amount of talent Texas has signed over the last three recruiting cycles should allow for the Longhorns to have a leg up on the Cowboys’ returning starters.

Assuming the players take the new scheme and run with it, there’s no excuse for Texas to not have a solid defense in 2020, and Ash will likely be viewed as a genius in Year 1, similar to how the previous three defensive coordinators have been when they took over veteran units in their first season on the job. The real question for me will be if Texas finds success defensively this season (which it should), if Ash will be able to maintain that success in Year 2 — something the previous three DCs were unable to accomplish during their time on the Forty Acres.

Mike Roach

I think realistic expectations for this defense is to be one of the best in the conference next year. The D is as experienced and athletic as any other team out there, and the guys showed in the Alamo Bowl that the defense could be effective when consistently put in a position to make plays. Year 3 of Joseph Ossai will be huge for Chris Ash, and if they can generate a consistent pass rush, we should see a much-improved defense.

Nick Harris

I think it’s realistic to expect a solid outing from the Texas defense this year. We saw a glimpse of what the Longhorns were capable of during the Alamo Bowl and I think it’s realistic to expect them to carry that into 2020. With all of the injuries on the defense last year, a lot of guys are returning with solid experience and with the implementation of a possibly more effective scheme by Chris Ash, this year’s Longhorn defense could prove to be one of the best in recent years.

 

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If I ever see Ossai drop back in pass coverage, I am going to post a stern message on this very board. Govern yourselves accordingly. 

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13 hours ago, satyanash said:

Bobby Burton

I’m not so much about national stats or improvement. But I see zero reason Texas shouldn’t be the best D in the Big 12. That means from a total yardage standpoint and points against category. Texas should have the best front four in the league, and the Longhorns should have the best secondary in the conference. They have some talent at linebacker; they just have to get reps and find the right fits. While Sam Ehlinger gets a lot of the hype nationally, the Horns should be able to rely on Texas defense just as much.

Fuck total yardage as a metric. The only thing we need to make happen is to make the ratio of points scored to points allowed greater than one, EVERY. SINGLE. GAME. I don't care, nor should you, what the numbers are, just their ratio.

 

(POINTS SCORED) / (POINTS ALLOWED)  >  1

EVERY FUCKING GAME

All else takes care of itself.

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1 hour ago, Tex Long said:

Fuck total yardage as a metric. The only thing we need to make happen is to make the ratio of points scored to points allowed greater than one, EVERY. SINGLE. GAME. I don't care, nor should you, what the numbers are, just their ratio.

 

(POINTS SCORED) / (POINTS ALLOWED)  >  1

EVERY FUCKING GAME

All else takes care of itself.

Yea Texas Tech and Washington State took this approach, they just seem to have had a problem with the denominator, no matter how good they got at making the numerator fairly large. Just be good at both ends and the greater than one will come easy.

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29 minutes ago, DanTheHorn said:

Yea Texas Tech and Washington State Mike Leach took this approach, they just seem to have had a problem with the denominator, no matter how good they got at making the numerator fairly large. Just be good at both ends and the greater than one will come easy.

Riley and Meyer (now Day) take that approach as well... it's worked fairly well for them.

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Riley and Meyer (now Day) take that approach as well... it's worked fairly well for them.
Ohio State plays defense.

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1 hour ago, Snacks said:
6 hours ago, Tex Long said:
Riley and Meyer (now Day) take that approach as well... it's worked fairly well for them.

Ohio State plays defense.

Thank the spirits, somebody gets it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Ash tOSU'ed pretty decent... and I think he might have (almost) as much talent here...

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2 hours ago, Thiefery said:

tosu defense got lit up in 2018 despite being so talented and deep.

And they lost nearly two games, but not quite.

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8 hours ago, Tex Long said:

And they lost nearly two games, but not quite.

In our losses outside LSU, offense really didn't show up.  Against Iowa St, the offense tip toed into 3 and outs til late in the 2nd qtr.  Non existent vs baylor. We already know what happened in Dallas.

With the new OC, I really hope we don't see the funks the offense experienced last season.

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56 minutes ago, Thiefery said:

In our losses outside LSU, offense really didn't show up.  Against Iowa St, the offense tip toed into 3 and outs til late in the 2nd qtr.  Non existent vs baylor. We already know what happened in Dallas.

With the new OC, I really hope we don't see the funks the offense experienced last season.

Not disagreeing with you, but the thread is about Ash, no?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wait, I forgot... Shirley Bevo. Nevermind.

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14 minutes ago, Tex Long said:

Not disagreeing with you, but the thread is about Ash, no?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wait, I forgot... Shirley Bevo. Nevermind.

What I expect is Ash to contribute at least 10 pts a game with turnovers.  

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10 minutes ago, Thiefery said:

What I expect is Ash to contribute at least 10 pts a game with turnovers.  

That would be good, but what I expect is he'll build a D that won't give up too many touchdowns on Third and Orlando 17 which will probably even out about the same...

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Posted (edited)

https://footballscoop.com/news/the-20-most-important-assistant-coaching-hires-of-the-2020-season-no-6-chris-ash-texas/

The 20 most important assistant coaching hires of the 2020 season — No. 6: Chris Ash, Texas 

Chris-Ash.jpg?zoom=1.3312500715255737&re

By Zach Barnett -    June 11, 2020

Who: Chris Ash, Texas

Title: Defensive coordinator/safeties coach

Previous stop: Rutgers head coach (2016-19)

Why he’s important: You never want to draw too many conclusions off of one game, particularly a game where the coach we’re talking about didn’t even coach. But let’s examine the 2019 Alamo Bowl.   As the clock (literally) wound down on the worst decade in the program’s modern history, Texas put together one of its best defensive performances of the 2010s. The ‘Horns limited Utah to 3.5 yards per rush, 5.5 yards per pass attempt, collected five sacks, racked up 21 yards in TFLs on rushing downs, won 10 of 14 third downs, permitted just 15 first downs and just generally kicked tail in a 38-10 win.

After playing off the ball all season, rising junior Joseph Ossai generated first-round hype in moving to an edge position in the ‘Horns’ new 4-down front, earning game MVP honors with nine tackles, six TFLs and three sacks.

And, again: It was just one game. Not only that, this one game was a de facto home game for Texas, while Utah was checked out after losing its spot in the Playoff in a Pac-12 Championship loss to Oregon.

Still, it was enough to get observers to say, Where has that been all season?  And when you get down to it, isn’t that Ash’s entire job this season?

Texas returns 82 percent of the production from a defense that will feature the most talent of any since the Mack Brown era. (Yes, the recruiting services always seem to like UT’s classes, but the school hadn’t pulled back-to-back Top 3 classes, as it did in 2018-19, since the early Mack era.)

The program has very much earned its “I’ll believe it when I see it” reputation to this point. The Longhorns closed the year strong — collecting nine sacks in their final two games after compiling just 18 in their first 11 contests — but many of those same players were lit aflame by LSU, and Oklahoma, and, uh, TCU and Kansas. TCU quarterback Max Duggan threw for a season-high 10.1 yards per attempt in a 37-27 win over Texas, and Kansas dropped 48 in Brent Dearmon’s first game as offensive coordinator.

The Longhorns believe a switch from Orlando’s 3-3-5 to Ash’s 4-2-5, with Ossai as one of the four, is the key to unlocking the talent on the roster.   “I don’t think it’s any secret that we want to be in some more four-man front,” Herman said. “If we are in a three-man front, I think our guys need to be in position to rush the passer — playing more five-technique than 4i — but if that gets the 11 best on the field, that’s what we’ll do.”

“We want to be more disruptive and I think this scheme gives us the opportunity to do just that,” Ossai told 247Sports. “The D-line or the front seven, linebackers included, needs to set the tone so that the game can be [dictated]. If you can control the line you can control the run, you can put pressure on the quarterback, you can predict the plays of the offense and you can call the game easier.   “It’s just a better game and it flows better for us if the defense can be dominant, especially up front,” he added. “We’re taking that and we’re running with it.”

“If we want to win at a high level,” Ash said, “be a team that can win championships here, it’s going to start at the front back.”

Ash, who worked with Herman at Iowa State and Ohio State, leads an almost entirely new defensive staff. Jay Valai joined him from Rutgers as cornerbacks coach, Mark Hagen was hired from Indiana as defensive tackles coach, and Coleman Hutzler left South Carolina to coach linebackers. (Defensive ends coach Oscar Giles is the lone survivor.)

“When I look up front, there are a lot of big, strong, physical players that are coming back that played a lot of snaps last year,” Ash said in February. “We have to identify who are going to be our primary pass rushers; I think Joseph (Ossai) has an opportunity to be one of those types of guys. And then I look at the secondary and the number of players that are coming back that have played snaps in games, there are a lot — 14, 15, 16 guys that have played or have a chance to play for us moving forward… It has the most players that have the potential to play of any secondary I’ve been a part of in my career.”

It’s the job of those men to make sure, after a decade of falling short, that the whole finally adds up to the sum of its parts.

“I’m not concerned about what happened in the past. The past is behind us,” Ash said. “We’re focused on the process to get this defense to where everyone would like it to be.”

 

Edited by LTtxfan

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Posted (edited)

https://247sports.com/college/texas/LongFormArticle/College-football-2020-season-most-important-players-coaches-148546317/#148546317_4

 

The 20 people who will swing the 2020 college football season

By BARTON SIMMONS      8 hours ago

 

CHRIS ASH, DC, TEXAS

7790640.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs

(Photo: Ed Mulholland, USA TODAY Sports)

Let's go with another coordinator here. In 2018, Tom Herman landed the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation and five of the top six players in the class were defenders. And yet, two years later he’s turned to a new defensive coordinator, Chris Ash, to try to unlock all that talent. The former Rutgers coach who won a national title with Herman in 2014 at Ohio State, Ash has a lot of pressure on his shoulders ... but he also has a lot to work with: Can Jalen Green become a lockdown cornerback? Does moving Joseph Ossai to defensive end result in a ferocious pas-rush? In a crowded defensive backs room, does former Top247 five-star DeMarvion Overshown reach his potential as a new-age, hybrid linebacker? If Ash can pull it out of them, his buddy Herman may finally have that breakthrough season.

Edited by LTtxfan

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Look what popped up on my YouTube today... Chris Ash running drills at tOSU...

 

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https://247sports.com/college/texas/LongFormArticle/Texas-Longhorns-football-concerns-and-confidence-for-Texas-defensive-coordinator-Chris-Ash-in-2020-148920042/#148920042_5

Horns247 Roundtable: Confidence, concerns for Chris Ash in 2020

Each week, the Horns247 staff comes together for our Roundtable discussion, where we take on some more in-depth topics surrounding the University of Texas.  This week topic focuses on the Texas defense led by first-year defensive coordinator Chris Ash. During his years spent as a defensive coordinator, Ash has fielded some solid units at various programs, including at Ohio State when he helped coach a defense that was crucial to the Buckeyes’ taking home the College Football Playoff championship trophy.

But is there reason for concern as Ash approaches his first season in Austin?

With that said, this week’s Roundtable topic is …

What gives you confidence and what gives you concern about Chris Ash taking over as defensive coordinator in 2020?  

 

BOBBY BURTON

Personnel. I think this will be the most talented and experienced overall group on the defensive side in a decade. Outside of linebacker, every single defensive position could be considered a potential strength. So Chris Ash doesn’t have to light the world on fire. He just has to get them ready and let them get after it. As an old coach often says, it’s not the Xs and Os, it’s the Jimmies and Joes. As for concerns, I think it will be Ash adapting to the level of passing games in the Big 12. There are plenty of future NFL QBs in this league.

FUCK CHIP BROWN

If you go by Chris Ash's years as a defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, Arkansas and Ohio State, it gives you a picture of a guy who knows how to scheme his talent and gets great, physical effort from his players. That's what gives me confidence.

What gives me pause is Ash has yet to scheme against Big 12 offenses - namely Lincoln Riley. But Todd Orlando's best year as defensive coordinator at Texas came in Year 1, when he had veteran players like Poona Ford, Malik Jefferson, Anthony Wheeler, etc., to carry out the mission.

Ash inherits a veteran group with nine starters back, including some real studs at every level of the defense, led by Joseph Ossai. That game experience among players should be incredibly valuable when it comes to players being able to process Ash's in-game adjustments once the season starts.

JEFF HOWE

Outside of scheme installation and personnel at linebacker, the biggest thing that could prevent Chris Ash’s defense from fulfilling what should be lofty expectations (I’ve written previously about the trend of first-year defensive coordinators succeeding on the Forty Acres) is how quickly his defense can find an identity. Even though history is on Ash’s side and the Longhorns are going to be talented, his predecessors didn’t figure out what they could hang their hat on right out of the gate.

Will Muschamp is the exception, as he is in just about every way a coordinator's success (immediate or otherwise) can be measured. The 2008 defense led the nation in sacks with 47 and had eight in a season-opening win over Florida Atlantic, but Manny Diaz (2011), Vance Bedford and Todd Orlando (2017) needed time to find what made their respective defenses elite.

Diaz ran a blitz-heavy scheme where a missed assignment could create massive creases opponents could take advantage of via the ground attack.

After Oklahoma State ran for 202 yards (7.5 yards per attempt) in a win over the Longhorns, Diaz’s stoppers allowed only 520 rushing yards (2.2 yards per attempt) over the final seven games of the season en route to a No. 6 finish in run defense nationally (96.2 yards per game allowed). Veteran personnel eventually got the hang of Diaz’s high-risk, high-reward scheme to work to the tune of an average of 7.38 tackles for loss per game (No. 16 in the country).

A 28-7 loss to Baylor in the fifth game of the 2014 season won’t be remembered as anything other than a loss to the Bears (Texas would win four in a row in the series thereafter until last season’s 24-10 loss in Waco). However, the day was one where Vance Bedford and Charlie Strong found a bend-but-don’t-break formula while holding Baylor’s Bryce Petty to a 7-for-22 afternoon throwing the football and a lowly 111 yards passing (the Bears ran the ball 60 times for a workmanlike 4.6 yards per attempt and took advantage of a largely inept Longhorn offense).

The 2014 defense not only finished 31st nationally in scoring defense (23.8 points per game allowed) and No. 25 in total defense (348.5 total yards per game allowed), but Bedford’s unit was an impressive 19th in red zone defense (75 percent scoring rate) and ranked 22nd in the country in third-down defense (35.3 percent conversion rate).

Orlando’s 2017 defense was up and down through the first six games of the season, but the switch to the Lightning package (dime personnel) as a base defense beginning with a 13-10 home loss to Oklahoma State changed the unit’s fortunes.

Utilizing Breckyn Hager as a defensive lineman, playing Malik Jefferson and Gary Johnson next to each other and getting an extra defensive back on the field successfully countered opposing spread offenses with speed and length.

When the dust settled, the 2017 Longhorns ranked third in the country in third-down defense (27.1 percent conversion rate), eighth in run defense (106.8 yards per game), 29th in scoring defense (21.2 points per game allowed) and 22nd in turnover margin (including seven defensive touchdowns, which led the country).

Unlike Ash, Muschamp, Diaz, Bedford and Orlando were able to go through the on-field installation process in spring practice. Additionally, those four former coordinators for the Longhorns had much more time to get to know their personnel than Ash will have had before the scheduled Sept. 5 season opener.

The bottom line is Ash doesn’t have a lot of time to iron out the kinks. In a pivotal season on the field as far as the longevity of the Tom Herman era is concerned, Texas travels to LSU and Kansas State and faces Oklahoma within the first five games of the season, meaning the Longhorns and their new defensive coordinator have to hit the ground running and hope things come together quickly.

TAYLOR ESTES

There’s no denying Chris Ash has seen plenty of success calling defense at the college level. While his span as a head coach at Rutgers did not go the way he would have liked, that doesn’t necessarily erase what he has done in the past when it comes to fielding solid defenses in his career. His success as a DC and in coaching to his player’s strengths is something that should give Texas fans confidence entering the 2020 season.

Also, if the way the previous three defensive coordinators have started at Texas plays out for Ash, then there’s a good possibility he will find success in Year 1. (What comes after Year 1 is where he will earn his paycheck.)

However, there’s a substantial aspect missing from Ash’s time as a defensive coordinator, and that is scheming against the type of offenses he will face in the Big 12. While I know he spent time at Iowa State several years ago, the Big 12 offenses were entirely different during his time in Ames, Iowa. Ash really hasn’t faced the explosive offensives the Big 12 fields week in and week out, which is definitely a concern, in my opinion.

MIKE ROACH

Ash has been around some big time programs, and high school coaches I speak with who have heard him at clinics claim he’s incredibly sharp when it comes to sound fundamentals. I think his experience moving Texas into a unit with a four-man front and less coverage will let the best athletes in the conference be athletes. We saw the defense thrive in a simplified look during the Alamo Bowl, and I I think that can happen again. The only concern I have is the lack of familiarity and spring this unit had to learn the system.

NICK HARRIS

What gives me confidence is that the 4-3 scheme will get pass rushers more involved which I think is paramount for success in the Big 12. With QBs like Rattler and Sanders, the quicker the defensive line is in the backfield, the better. The concern I have is his lack of recent success in his time at Rutgers, but now that he is back in his same position that he was in at Ohio State, I think the success should return.

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Longhorn Blitz Podcast: How much can Chris Ash add to a Texas defense trending in the right direction?    July 9th

It's a defensive-focused Longhorn Blitz as Rod Babers, Matt Butler and Jeff Howe discuss their expectations for Chris Ash's defense in his first year as defensive coordinator. In addition to that, they open the show with a conversation about the Texas offense in context to other elite college football offenses over the past fifteen years which includes a lot of Oklahoma.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/longhorn-blitz-how-much-can-chris-ash-add-to-texas/id1279981104?i=1000483784235

 
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On 7/7/2020 at 7:37 PM, LTtxfan said:

https://247sports.com/college/texas/LongFormArticle/Texas-Longhorns-football-concerns-and-confidence-for-Texas-defensive-coordinator-Chris-Ash-in-2020-148920042/#148920042_5

Horns247 Roundtable: Confidence, concerns for Chris Ash in 2020

Each week, the Horns247 staff comes together for our Roundtable discussion, where we take on some more in-depth topics surrounding the University of Texas.  This week topic focuses on the Texas defense led by first-year defensive coordinator Chris Ash. During his years spent as a defensive coordinator, Ash has fielded some solid units at various programs, including at Ohio State when he helped coach a defense that was crucial to the Buckeyes’ taking home the College Football Playoff championship trophy.

But is there reason for concern as Ash approaches his first season in Austin?

With that said, this week’s Roundtable topic is …

What gives you confidence and what gives you concern about Chris Ash taking over as defensive coordinator in 2020?  

 

BOBBY BURTON

Personnel. I think this will be the most talented and experienced overall group on the defensive side in a decade. Outside of linebacker, every single defensive position could be considered a potential strength. So Chris Ash doesn’t have to light the world on fire. He just has to get them ready and let them get after it. As an old coach often says, it’s not the Xs and Os, it’s the Jimmies and Joes. As for concerns, I think it will be Ash adapting to the level of passing games in the Big 12. There are plenty of future NFL QBs in this league.

FUCK CHIP BROWN

If you go by Chris Ash's years as a defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, Arkansas and Ohio State, it gives you a picture of a guy who knows how to scheme his talent and gets great, physical effort from his players. That's what gives me confidence.

What gives me pause is Ash has yet to scheme against Big 12 offenses - namely Lincoln Riley. But Todd Orlando's best year as defensive coordinator at Texas came in Year 1, when he had veteran players like Poona Ford, Malik Jefferson, Anthony Wheeler, etc., to carry out the mission.

Ash inherits a veteran group with nine starters back, including some real studs at every level of the defense, led by Joseph Ossai. That game experience among players should be incredibly valuable when it comes to players being able to process Ash's in-game adjustments once the season starts.

JEFF HOWE

Outside of scheme installation and personnel at linebacker, the biggest thing that could prevent Chris Ash’s defense from fulfilling what should be lofty expectations (I’ve written previously about the trend of first-year defensive coordinators succeeding on the Forty Acres) is how quickly his defense can find an identity. Even though history is on Ash’s side and the Longhorns are going to be talented, his predecessors didn’t figure out what they could hang their hat on right out of the gate.

Will Muschamp is the exception, as he is in just about every way a coordinator's success (immediate or otherwise) can be measured. The 2008 defense led the nation in sacks with 47 and had eight in a season-opening win over Florida Atlantic, but Manny Diaz (2011), Vance Bedford and Todd Orlando (2017) needed time to find what made their respective defenses elite.

Diaz ran a blitz-heavy scheme where a missed assignment could create massive creases opponents could take advantage of via the ground attack.

After Oklahoma State ran for 202 yards (7.5 yards per attempt) in a win over the Longhorns, Diaz’s stoppers allowed only 520 rushing yards (2.2 yards per attempt) over the final seven games of the season en route to a No. 6 finish in run defense nationally (96.2 yards per game allowed). Veteran personnel eventually got the hang of Diaz’s high-risk, high-reward scheme to work to the tune of an average of 7.38 tackles for loss per game (No. 16 in the country).

A 28-7 loss to Baylor in the fifth game of the 2014 season won’t be remembered as anything other than a loss to the Bears (Texas would win four in a row in the series thereafter until last season’s 24-10 loss in Waco). However, the day was one where Vance Bedford and Charlie Strong found a bend-but-don’t-break formula while holding Baylor’s Bryce Petty to a 7-for-22 afternoon throwing the football and a lowly 111 yards passing (the Bears ran the ball 60 times for a workmanlike 4.6 yards per attempt and took advantage of a largely inept Longhorn offense).

The 2014 defense not only finished 31st nationally in scoring defense (23.8 points per game allowed) and No. 25 in total defense (348.5 total yards per game allowed), but Bedford’s unit was an impressive 19th in red zone defense (75 percent scoring rate) and ranked 22nd in the country in third-down defense (35.3 percent conversion rate).

Orlando’s 2017 defense was up and down through the first six games of the season, but the switch to the Lightning package (dime personnel) as a base defense beginning with a 13-10 home loss to Oklahoma State changed the unit’s fortunes.

Utilizing Breckyn Hager as a defensive lineman, playing Malik Jefferson and Gary Johnson next to each other and getting an extra defensive back on the field successfully countered opposing spread offenses with speed and length.

When the dust settled, the 2017 Longhorns ranked third in the country in third-down defense (27.1 percent conversion rate), eighth in run defense (106.8 yards per game), 29th in scoring defense (21.2 points per game allowed) and 22nd in turnover margin (including seven defensive touchdowns, which led the country).

Unlike Ash, Muschamp, Diaz, Bedford and Orlando were able to go through the on-field installation process in spring practice. Additionally, those four former coordinators for the Longhorns had much more time to get to know their personnel than Ash will have had before the scheduled Sept. 5 season opener.

The bottom line is Ash doesn’t have a lot of time to iron out the kinks. In a pivotal season on the field as far as the longevity of the Tom Herman era is concerned, Texas travels to LSU and Kansas State and faces Oklahoma within the first five games of the season, meaning the Longhorns and their new defensive coordinator have to hit the ground running and hope things come together quickly.

TAYLOR ESTES

There’s no denying Chris Ash has seen plenty of success calling defense at the college level. While his span as a head coach at Rutgers did not go the way he would have liked, that doesn’t necessarily erase what he has done in the past when it comes to fielding solid defenses in his career. His success as a DC and in coaching to his player’s strengths is something that should give Texas fans confidence entering the 2020 season.

Also, if the way the previous three defensive coordinators have started at Texas plays out for Ash, then there’s a good possibility he will find success in Year 1. (What comes after Year 1 is where he will earn his paycheck.)

However, there’s a substantial aspect missing from Ash’s time as a defensive coordinator, and that is scheming against the type of offenses he will face in the Big 12. While I know he spent time at Iowa State several years ago, the Big 12 offenses were entirely different during his time in Ames, Iowa. Ash really hasn’t faced the explosive offensives the Big 12 fields week in and week out, which is definitely a concern, in my opinion.

MIKE ROACH

Ash has been around some big time programs, and high school coaches I speak with who have heard him at clinics claim he’s incredibly sharp when it comes to sound fundamentals. I think his experience moving Texas into a unit with a four-man front and less coverage will let the best athletes in the conference be athletes. We saw the defense thrive in a simplified look during the Alamo Bowl, and I I think that can happen again. The only concern I have is the lack of familiarity and spring this unit had to learn the system.

NICK HARRIS

What gives me confidence is that the 4-3 scheme will get pass rushers more involved which I think is paramount for success in the Big 12. With QBs like Rattler and Sanders, the quicker the defensive line is in the backfield, the better. The concern I have is his lack of recent success in his time at Rutgers, but now that he is back in his same position that he was in at Ohio State, I think the success should return.

fixed it

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On 7/14/2020 at 8:25 PM, LTtxfan said:

Damn this 2020 defense could be good...

Could be, especially if they practice well, scheme well, and play well.

And... if Ash can prevent 3rd & Orlando from continuing...

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Posted (edited)

Some images not showing up in article, but still interesting...

https://insidetexas.com/gameplan-is-dshawn-jamison-the-key-to-texas-defense-in-2020/

Gameplan: Is D’Shawn Jamison the key to Texas’ defense in 2020?

Ian Boyd

Jul 23, 2020 

The 2020 season has been circled for Texas since 2018, when Tom Herman signed a top ranked class that included six blue chip defensive backs. As soon as Chris Ash was hired and “4-2-5 press quarters” became the new philosophy for the Texas defense, the cornerbacks from that 2018 class became some of the most crucial players in the building.

Press quarters is an aggressive approach to playing pass defense that has been one of the more popular schemes across the college game for the last decade. Other teams that have employed that strategy include the now defunct Mark Dantonio Michigan State Spartans (three Big 10 Championships), the Chris Ash Ohio State Buckeyes (National Championship in 2014), the Clemson Tigers (National Championships in 2016 and 2018), and also the Kevin Steele Auburn Tigers (no titles but ranked top 10 in defensive FEI three years and 15th the fourth).

The scheme is to play press-man outside with the cornerbacks while two deep (but not that deep) safeties bracket routes in the middle of the field and close pretty quickly on running plays. That kind of coverage can eliminate quick throws, force the quarterback to hold the ball, and consequently make the most of good defensive line talent.

It’s a good scheme if your goal is to make the most of blue chip talent at defensive end (or tackle) and cornerback. That’s how it’s gone for Auburn, Clemson, and how it was at Ohio State for Chris Ash. Michigan State didn’t recruit as well but had a particular knack for developing NFL quality players at defensive end and cornerback without necessarily recruiting from the blue chip ranks.

Ostensibly this approach would seem to be a good fit for Texas in 2020, but it hinges on getting high level play from the cornerbacks. Texas needs to get good press-man coverage outside and ideally one cornerback in particular would offer high level press-man coverage on the boundary.

D’Shawn Jamison in 2019

Jamison is the most obvious candidate on the roster to be a great press-man corner in 2020 and indeed is atop the depth chart at boundary cornerback heading into fall camp. Recovery speed is a big key here, as is the ability to flip hips and match up tight on routes. The boundary receiver is close enough to the quarterback that even passers without NFL arms can still whip the ball in to a tight window. Jamison has the best blend of short area quickness and recovery speed on the roster to try and deny a receiver those opportunities, even if he’s only 5-foot-10, 190 pounds.

Texas rotated in multiple cornerbacks over the course of 2019 but Jamison played heavily all season with nine starts. He really started to hit his stride down the stretch when he was healthy for the final few games. His ball skills were made obvious from his three interceptions, including the acrobatic catch against West Virginia, and Jamison also forced a fumble and recovered another. He also had some big pass break-ups. A notable one came against Kansas State when he shot his hands in and knocked the ball from Dalton Schoen’s hands on what would have been a touchdown catch in a one possession game.

Texas tended to use Jamison on opponents’ speedier receivers. Against Iowa State he locked down Tarique Milton, a 5-foot-10, 183-pound burner, while Jalen Green handled the bigger La’Michael Pettway. Milton managed just 20 yards on three catches and couldn’t get free down the field. On one particular snap the Cyclones used a tight end and Pettway as the two outside receivers and Texas matched Jamison on Pettway. Jamison responded by disrupting a slant with good positioning and a push, then intercepting the pass when Pettway couldn’t get to his spot. That’s exactly the sort of play a boundary cornerback needs to make regularly.

The following week against Baylor they had Jalen Green on the 6-foot-3, 207-pound Denzel Mims while Jamison took on 6-foot-3, 176-pound Tyquan Thornton. Mims ended up with seven catches for 125 yards and a score. The touchdown came against Jamison when Baylor moved him to the wide side in the red zone and got him isolated on a skinny post with no safety help. Thornton did absolutely nothing against Jamison, although it should be noted that by this point in the season Charlie Brewer couldn’t throw outside the wide hash mark.

There was an obvious preference for matching up Jamison against smaller, speedy receivers while Green took on the bigger targets but in some limited action against the big guys Jamison held up quite well. He’s strong enough to get a good jam on receivers, fast and fluid enough to maintain good positioning and stick on routes, and his active hands are adept at smacking the ball when receivers try to bring in a contested ball. Green had a tougher 2019 season and when you combine that film with his shoulder injuries it doesn’t suggest that press-man coverage on the boundary is a fair ask of him against Big 12 opponents. Texas’ smallest defensive back from the 2018 class appears to be the man of the hour.

Chris Ash versus spread isolations

Spread offenses love, love, love the 3×1 formation because it’s exceptionally useful for isolating top receivers in space and within easy range of the quarterback.

Here’s the typical press-quarters set-up against a 2×2 formation:

D’Shawn Jamison (baby shark here) is matched up on an outside receiver in press-man coverage. On any in-breaking route and potentially even on an outside route, he’s getting help from the free safety sitting inside on the hash mark.

But here’s Chris Ash’s favorite coverage for defending a trips formation:

The goal here is to maintain the same basic rules the defense would play against a 2×2 set. The safeties key the inside receiver across from them and match them if they run deep while the linebackers focus on playing underneath. The trick is that if the free safety is eyeing that Y-receiver he may not be there to help the boundary cornerback on the backside. Bump that Y out further and the issue is exacerbated:

The normally difficult dig-post combination by the two slot receivers is now well covered, but the offense is rewarded with a ton of space on the backside for that receiver to work any number of routes in isolation against Jamison.

Ash has used a few main change-ups in his time. One is to blitz, which leads to the same outcome of 1-on-1 matchups outside and in other places, but ideally leaves less time for a receiver to beat the press and execute a route. If Jamison and the Texas cornerbacks can consistently frustrate opposing receivers’ releases and avoid getting beat on fade routes, blitzing will work much better. When the quarterback can reliably drop back and throw up a fade that gives his receiver a good chance within three seconds then the pass-rush is irrelevant. The way you stop that is by disrupting the timing of the route with press coverage, not necessarily the jam but by denying the receiver positioning and the chance to run to his spot with the timing the quarterback is expecting.

Another option is to change which receiver is isolated with a kind of “special coverage” where the free safety stays in the boundary to help the boundary cornerback and the opposite corner is left all alone in isolation against the other receiver. The trick to this coverage is that your “spur” linebacker is now playing as a cornerback on the outermost slot receiver and he gets the short straw of defending a post on the “dig-post” combination from above without safety help.

That’s a really tough assignment for anyone and certainly for a nickel who’s chosen for his role in large part for his abilities in run defense and playing underneath coverage. That said, Texas mixed this coverage in against Utah in the bowl game with Chris Adimora, he was hung out to dry on a route like this, and he came up big. 

Notice how those tricky devils motioned into it just before the snap to incur the check from Texas and isolate Adimora deep. But they came up empty when the freshman was able to stick on his man. Tyler Huntley’s poor timing is noted, but the ball was well placed. Between Adimora and Josh Thompson, Texas may have spurs with the coverage speed to make this work now and again but it’s not ideal as a plan A.

Ash’s other solution is a coverage that aims to protect everyone by yielding space underneath:

stress-coverage-vs-3x1-jpg.58268

Basically the field corner drops deep and everyone cheats inside. You’re giving away the field hitch to the X receiver or daring the quarterback to throw a fade on a rope to the X receiver that the field cornerback can’t recover to and defend. This is a great idea for a game like the 2019 Baylor contest where Charlie Brewer couldn’t hit those routes, or if the opponent flexes out a running back or blocking tight end wide to try and convince you to waste a good cornerback covering them. A cornerback who excels in zone and may end up serving as a phenomenal safety at the next level. Quandre Diggs would thrive as the field cornerback in this coverage.

However a quarterback with a solid arm will destroy this and feast on the easy money throwing underneath and outside the far hash marks.

Finally there’s this option…

jack-drop-vs-3x1-jpg.58269

By dropping eight into coverage the defense can get a bracket on the backside Z receiver with the cornerback and jack linebacker while using the safeties to lock down vertical routes from the trips side. The trade-off is now Joe Ossai is dropping into coverage again rather than blitzing the edge. This is a worthwhile call to mix in against teams running lots of RPOs and play-action where pass-rush doesn’t have much time before the ball is out, but it’s just another tool in the box.

If you don’t have a stud cover man at the nickel or play with three deep safeties, there are only so many answers against 3×1 formations from the offense designed to isolate you deep. The easiest answer that Ash has tended to rely on in the past is to have an NFL athlete equipped with good press-man technique playing on the boundary who can hold up in isolation.

If D’Shawn Jamison can be that man for Texas in 2020, their safeties will feast from the opportunity to sit on the hash marks and close on throws and runs. Then, the pass-rush will have a chance to dominate some games. Cue the shark music…

 

Edited by LTtxfan

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On 6/12/2020 at 6:52 AM, LTtxfan said:

Why he’s important: You never want to draw too many conclusions off of one game, particularly a game where the coach we’re talking about didn’t even coach. But let’s examine the 2019 Alamo Bowl.   As the clock (literally) wound down on the worst decade in the program’s modern history, Texas put together one of its best defensive performances of the 2010s. The ‘Horns limited Utah to 3.5 yards per rush, 5.5 yards per pass attempt, collected five sacks, racked up 21 yards in TFLs on rushing downs, won 10 of 14 third downs, permitted just 15 first downs and just generally kicked tail in a 38-10 win.

These stats are absolutely insane.

I really hope this guys get to show what they can do this fall.

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Longhorn Blitz: How Texas home games, non-conference schedule in 2020 could look

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/longhorn-blitz-how-texas-home-games-non-conference/id1279981104?i=1000486603593

On this week's episode of Longhorn Blitz, Rod Babers, Matt Butler and Jeff Howe examine the latest COVID-19 news and how it's impacting what Texas home and non-conference games might look like in the 2020 season. After taking a close look at the offense on last week's show, this week's episode looks at Chris Ash's defense and whether or not simpler will be better for the Longhorns.

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https://www.burntorangenation.com/2020/8/28/21405358/texas-longhorns-defense-chris-ash-preseason-camp

Chris Ash thinks the Texas defense is ahead of schedule

A deep dive into each position group and the new defensive coordinator’s take on a unit that needs to turn potential into production.

By Wescott Eberts@SBN_Wescott  Aug 28, 2020

AUSTIN, Texas — Chris Ash is happy about the progress of his defense. Set to participate in the third and final scrimmage of preseason camp on Saturday, the new Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator spoke with the media on Wednesday and told reporters that his group is ahead of schedule despite not going through spring practice.

“I can tell you right now where we’re at today — I’m very pleased and pleasantly surprised that we are, further along than what I thought we would have been. And that’s a credit to the players,” Ash said.

“They have bought into what we’re doing, they’ve spent an insane amount of time on their learning what we’re asking them to do. They did a lot of work on their own in the summer, leading up to the time that we could get our hands on them with the NCAA rules the way they were, so there’s a lot to the players for me to say that we’re further along than I thought we would be due to some of the challenges.”

One of those challenges was an almost entirely new defensive staff forming relationships with the players in their position room in a virtual environment.

More significant challenges to overcome will be more apparent on the field when the Longhorns open the season — tackling effectively and playing fast and without hesitation in the new scheme.

“Our tackling system and style is different than what they’ve been used to and without any invested reps during spring that was a concern, but I feel pretty good about where we’re at right now,” Ash said.

Ash worked with Herman to devise more one-on-one tackling drills as the coaches sought to minimize the amount of hitting in practice to keep players healthy, especially since the time away from campus during the early months of the pandemic impacted the team’s overall fitness level.

“I think the biggest thing was the players understanding what we were asking them to do in the different type of tackling situations that we’re going to see, and that they understand it,” Ash said. “They can watch film if they miss a tackle. They don’t need me to tell them why they missed it — they understand the fundamentals of it now.”

Most of that learning happened remotely in an unprecedented situation for the coaches and the players. But it’s worked out well so far.

“Have we mastered it? No, we haven’t,” the Texas defensive coordinator continued. “But I know this — in the few scrimmages that we have had, the way we tackle is showing up all over the film. Hopefully that continues as we get into games.”

After former defensive coordinator Todd Orlando wasn’t able to produce a high level of fundamental play last season, head coach Tom Herman turned over every one of his defensive assistants except for defensive line coach Oscar Giles.

Enter Ash, defensive line coach Mark Hagen, linebackers coach Coleman Hutzler, and cornerbacks coach Jay Valai.

Since arriving in Austin, Ash has focused on producing a defense that executes, plays hard, runs to the ball, and creates takeaways.

If all that sounds like coach speak, that’s because it is, but Ash plans to achieve those goals in different ways than Orlando.

Instead of relying on linebackers and defensive backs to blitz and produce pressure, Ash will play with more four-down fronts and allow the defensive ends to play off the edges and the three-technique defensive tackle to play gaps. The key edge player will be Jack linebacker Joseph Ossai, who will spend more time at the line of scrimmage in his hybrid role.

“We’re going to expect him to make a lot of plays — he’s a guy we’re going to lean on both in the run game and in the pass game, but I think he’s got a big-play potential,” Ash said of Ossai. “There’s a lot of work that he still needs to get done before the foot hits the ball against UTEP, but I like where he’s at. And he really likes what we’re doing with him up front.”

With Ossai playing at the point of attack and the defensive linemen playing a more attacking style, Ash wants quarterbacks to feel pressure as quickly as possible, a difficult task under Orlando since the defensive line was reacting to hold gaps to allow blitzers to come from distance.

Beyond the starters — Ossai, senior defensive tackle Ta’Quon Graham, redshirt sophomore nose tackle Keondre Coburn, and redshirt sophomore strong-side defensive end Moro Ojomo — Texas has quality depth in sophomore T’Vondre Sweat and the quickly-emerging freshman duo of Vernon Broughton and Alfred Collins.

“I think they’ve got a bright future,” Ash said of Broughton and Collins. “How much are they going to going to help us here early in the season? I don’t know, but I like what I’ve seen from them.

“Again, they’re big and athletic. They can use their hands — pretty disruptive guys. They can rush the passer, so when you get some guys like that you can find a place to use them somehow, some way, and hopefully we can get them game ready sooner than later.”

The defensive linemen should also have more time to get to the quarterback because the secondary will play more press coverage in Ash’s quarters scheme. Doing so places an emphasis on the ability of the cornerbacks to win with their hands at the line of scrimmage and flip their hips to run with opposing wide receivers.

At the outside cornerback spots, both Ash and head coach Tom Herman feel comfortable with the top four players — junior D’Shawn Jamison, the preseason All-Big 12 selection, redshirt junior Josh Thompson, junior Jalen Green, and redshirt freshman Kenyatta Watson II. In the new scheme, Green isn’t currently a starter, as Ash’s defense favors the three other more explosive corners.

As a Big 12 defense matures, the trial by fire for young players gradually morphs into the type of experience that allows a much higher level of production. Injured and inexperienced last year, that group should take a significant step forward this year and become a strength of the defense.

“They’ve had a lot of production throughout training camp and I can’t wait to see what they do on game day,” Ash said. “I’m really pleased about the development that they’ve had and the fit that they have in our system.”

Ash said that there’s confidence throughout the secondary, which makes sense with the return of health of junior safety Caden Sterns, the steady, physical presence of senior safety Chris Brown. With those players starting, junior BJ Foster is working as a back up, an absurd luxury for any program.

Behind the top three at safety, redshirt junior Montrell Estell has drawn positive reviews for his improvement. Recruited as a raw two-way athlete out of Hooks in 2017 class, Estell wasn’t ready to play last season when he was thrown into action due to injuries, but it’s now starting to come together for him as a fourth-year player.

Arguably the most difficult position in the secondary isn’t technically in the secondary — Ash considers the Spur position, his version of the nickel, as a part of the linebacker group. Sophomore Chris Adimora looks like the clear starter there after flashing in the Alamo Bowl.

In fact, it’s remarkable that Adimora looked good enough in his limited action in 2019 that he’s a no-brainer pick as one of the breakout players for this season. And that’s not easy at the Spur.

“In my opinion, because of what we’re asking the guy to do, he’s got to have a really unique skill set,” Ash said. “He’s got to be tough enough and physical enough to fit the run. He’s got to be athletic enough and quick enough to play man-on-man in the slot and there are not a lot of guys that can do that. So we really had to spend a lot of time going through our roster. Identifying individuals that would have that skill set to do both of those things that’s not easy to do — fit the run, play zone, play man, blitz.”

As with other positions, Ash feels confident about the progress there. And so while he didn’t want to single players out individually during the press conference, it’s obvious that if he’s pleased with the position, it’s because he’s pleased with the development of Adimora.

Look at this play against redshirt freshman wide receiver Jordan Whittington, one of the team’s most explosive players. Just like the break up in the Alamo Bowl, Adimora blankets the wide receiver in man coverage, then times up the football perfectly. How about the discard at the end, too?

Adimora has that dog in him.

At linebacker, redshirt sophomore Ayodele Adeoye recently suffered a shoulder injury when sophomore running back Roschon Johnson delivered him a staggering blow in a drill. So junior Juwan Mitchell is the starter in the middle right now as junior DeMarvion Overshown adjusts to the weak-side position.

“I really like what I’ve seen out of the unit,” Ash said. “We have had some guys in and out a little bit during training camp, but they’re all going to play and they’re all in a really good spot right now, We were able to get a look at a lot of guys throughout training camp... which has helped us develop more depth probably right now today than we thought we would have had at this moment.”

In particular, Herman has praised freshman Jaylan Ford, the late addition to the early signing period who flipped from Utah. Herman already believes that the Frisco Lone Star product is a future starter.

The season opener is now 15 days away and the talent alone on defense is worthy of optimism. So too Ash’s public interpretation of how preseason camp has gone. Whether that translates to the field on Saturday will remain an open question until there’s tangible proof between the lines, but Ash does believe that he’s learned from his unsuccessful head-coaching stint at Rutgers.

“I can tell you right now after going through the three and a half years of being a head football coach in a highly competitive conference and managing people, staff, and players and dealing with all the things that head coach deals with, I’m the best coach today that I’ve ever been.”

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The defense hasn't gotten enough love from the game. I'm scarred from last year, but the defense looked really organized. Even the true freshman seemed to know what they were supposed to do. Last year, our starters didn't know what they were doing for chunks for time. And we tackled well. I expected more sloppiness given it was the first game, no spring practice, etc. UTEP isn't a good team, but we've struggled in the past against bad offenses. Last year there were a few completions a game where a receiver caught a pass with no defender within 10 yards of them or defenders didn't understand their assignment.

We looked competent.

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5 minutes ago, Texasrocks said:

The defense hasn't gotten enough love from the game. I'm scarred from last year, but the defense looked really organized. Even the true freshman seemed to know what they were supposed to do. Last year, our starters didn't know what they were doing for chunks for time. And we tackled well. I expected more sloppiness given it was the first game, no spring practice, etc. UTEP isn't a good team, but we've struggled in the past against bad offenses. Last year there were a few completions a game where a receiver caught a pass with no defender within 10 yards of them or defenders didn't understand their assignment.

We looked competent.

Hear, hear!

UTEP obviously aren't world beaters, but I was impressed by their QB. His receivers victimized him a couple of times on some easy drops (a couple which would have meant points). However, he knew where the ball should go, and he put it in the best spot for success. Too many times over the last few seasons, the Texas defense gave up cheap points on a brain fart that let a receiver (or RB) sprint untouched to the end zone. For this game, they all knew their roles and executed.

The defense's job in this game wasn't to embarrass the opponent. What they did, they largely had to do without exotic shifts and stunts. The issue was decided early, and there was no reason to put a lot of the tricky stuff on tape. While the pass rush could have been better, this QB was making quick decision and there was no reason to risk a bust for the sake of a big hit.

You can't really win accolades against a team like UTEP, but you can sure lose them.

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It was complete domination against a trash can opponent.  I am satisfied.  I'll worry about the pass rush when the QB isn't getting the ball out in 2-3 seconds and is getting 4-5 seconds to make decisions.

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