The numbers Texas offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert’s offense has put up in the 2016 season are in part due to the multiple looks he can give opposing defenses. Gilbert can run two tight ends on the field, or five wide receivers, or a mix of both.
The offenses in the Big 12 Conference producing the video-game like numbers are led by some of the more skilled quarterbacks in the nation. One of the names competing for the title of best quarterback in the nation just so happens to play for the Longhorns next opponent, Patrick Mahomes II of Texas Tech. For any defense, he is the focal point of pre-game preparation. It remains that way for the Longhorns and senior defensive tackle Paul Boyette.
One of the most exciting teams on the Texas campus in the past year was the men’s basketball team under first-year head coach Shaka Smart. Smart, now in his second year at Texas after coming over from Virginia Commonwealth, returns with a team ranked No. 21 in the preseason AP poll, but with a lot of younger talent. Younger talent comes with less experience, and less experience often leads to mistakes.
Senior defensive tackle Paul Boyette, after spending several years in this defense, knows where and how he and some of his teammates need to line up. In this defense, the defensive end is asked to line up on the inside of the tackle’s shoulders instead of on the outside. For many pass rushing defensive ends, this is different than what they are used to at the high school level, but Boyette says adjusting to the difference is a matter of effort.
Senior Tim Cole is a member of what has been one of the most criticized units on this year’s Longhorn football team, the linebackers. Part of what has been plaguing the defense includes the opposing offensive line’s ability to get to linebackers and push them out of the way for their runner. The fix, according to Cole, is in the technique.
Senior wide receiver Jacorey Warrick continues to enjoy a renaissance season under first year offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert’s offense and under the guidance of Jeff Traylor, whose responsibilities include coaching the inside receivers. With 19 catches for 207 yards and two touchdowns, Warrick is now one of the more efficient receivers in the Longhorn offense, an offense that gets the ball to several receivers.
Before Thursday’s Texas Tip-Off, fans piled into Gregory Gym expecting to see local talent and 5-star forward Jarrett Allen and the rest of head coach Shaka Smart’s 2016-17 Longhorn men’s basketball team. While Allen was held out of the scrimmage was a precautionary measure to protect a strained hamstring, several other newcomers, including freshman guard Andrew Jones and transfer forward Dylan Osetkowski, took the opportunity to showcase their talent.
After appearing at various points last season as a linebacker, sophomore Breckyn Hager has found a role on this year’s defense in the FOX role. It has been a challenge for Hager to learn a different position tasked with different responsibilities and assignments than what he was used to.
Texas offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert’s veer-and-shoot offense is designed to stretch defenses and hopefully have them blow their assignments in order to create a big play. Against Kansas State, Texas’ next opponent, that may not be an easy task.
With two and a half seasons now under his belt, senior safety Dylan Haines has seen plenty of characters. Some of them now play in the NFL, some have graduated, some transferred and some are still in Austin with him. Sophomore defensive back Kris Boyd is one of those characters, and still draws chuckles every time a teammate mentions him.