Inside the Gameplan: Red River Recovery

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Lincoln Riley and his staff put on a very unwelcome exposé in the Cotton Bowl on some of the problems in Tom Herman’s Texas program. There are a few issues now that are more or less settled fact, many of which can only be patched up next offseason when more rigorous solutions can be applied. One such issue is the lack of bang for his buck that Herman is getting from his staff.

Herman has 11 assistants underneath him, six of which are offensive assistants and none of which are trusted to free up the head coach from doubling as the play-caller. Beyond that, Texas has two former Big 12 offensive coordinators on the support staff in Andre Coleman and Larry Fedora and regularly gets input from one of the most successful Longhorn OCs in history in Greg Davis. All of that brain power concentrated under Mensa Tom produced a 21 personnel package to use against Oklahoma that tried to surprise the Sooner defense by having Duvernay run swing screens out of the backfield off their normal run actions rather than bubble screens from the hash mark.

There’s not much that can be done about the makeup of the staff right now but certainly the ever vigilant Chris Del Conte is wondering whether the football program is meeting his standards for an efficient organization. A similar question is probably being raised about the defensive side, where the four assistants headed by the exceptionally well-compensated Todd Orlando fell on their faces once again. Scipio has gone over the obvious issues on defense pretty extensively at this point, this team is basically akin to the 2018 Oklahoma Sooners who found themselves in a position after the Red River Shootout in which they needed to find a way to salvage the defense and put something, anything together that could allow their potent offense to give them a chance to get back to the Big 12 title game and avenge their loss.

Texas needs to follow a similar prescription on defense and quickly get back on track offensively. Texas can’t afford another offensive dud if they want to mimic Oklahoma’s 2018 run to the title.

So what can Herman and his staff do from here on out?

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History major, football theorist.