In Super Bowl LIV, the San Francisco 49ers nearly took down Pat Mahomes’ Chiefs thanks to a dominant base pass rush that allowed them to restrain the lethal Kansas City passing game. Nick Bosa looked like the MVP of the game up until the 4th quarter, when KC started employing tempo and Mahomes made a few plays, leading to the sapping of energy from the pass rush and the inevitable avalanche of Chief scores.
Texas’ defensive backs warmed up before the season-opener with Louisiana Tech wearing shirts reading “There’s only one DBU” in large, burnt orange letters. One week later, LSU and eventual Heisman winner Joe Burrow marched down the field over and over versus those same defensive backs. Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, TCU, and West Virginia followed in the Tigers’ footsteps as UT’s 8-5 season dragged on.
Texas fans finally got their wish in the 2019 bowl game against the Utah Utes. Star linebacker Joseph Ossai, who’d spent much of the season playing as a nickel or weak inside linebacker, was finally able to play on the edge and produced six TFLs and three sacks in a dominating performance.
In his sophomore season, linebacker Joseph Ossai was second on the Longhorns in tackles (81), tackles for loss (7.5), and interceptions (2). He did this bouncing between the boundary linebacker and rover positions, often playing both over the course of any of Texas’ 12 games.
Recruiting success/fail rate is directly tied to the head man's job security and program profile. A staff of good recruiters can mitigate the damage caused by negative perception, and program branding will always help a blue blood, but there's no staff that will fully overcome it. Recruiting "witches" are normally fan fiction, anyway. Program trajectory is what matters above all else.