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Texas’ big adjustment on defense in 2018 was somewhat unexpected. The 2017 season was defined by the formation of the “lightning package” and playing with six defensive backs moving around to create the “dirty dime” effect that often clouded both the Texas cornerbacks (bringing them into the run support) and the opposing QB’s reads as they tried to make sense of it all. Throwing the ball against dime packages has always been a difficult, high level skill because it’s harder to pick up blitzes or spot coverages when so many players on the field have the ability to end up in so many different positions after the snap.
But in 2018 Texas played a lot more nickel and often focused on moving star safety Brandon Jones closer to the action where he could play in the box and close on the ball rather than dropping back 20 yards every other snap like he’d done in the lightning package. That meant freshman boundary safety Caden Sterns was typically rotating deep over the top and senior cornerbacks Kris Boyd and Davante Davis were covering verticals without help. For 2019, things will look different again with the dime package moving back into the main picture and Kris Boyd heading off to the NFL to be replaced by sophomore Anthony Cook.
Unless the staff moves Brandon Jones into a new position, Texas figures to regularly man the key boundary safety and corner positions with some of the following sophomores; Anthony Cook, Caden Sterns, DeMarvion Overshown, and B.J. Foster.
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