2020 Baylor Postmortem: Defense/Special Teams

Baylor's offense was as bad as I promised they would be and the Longhorn D got a confidence boost after some tough spots against the last few opponents. The Bears were missing two starting offensive linemen and Charlie Brewer looks like he's permanently depleted from the beatings he's taken over the last few years, but encouragingly, Texas didn't make many mental mistakes and Chris Ash honed in on the handful of competencies that the Baylor offense has.

Texas 27, Baylor 16: Longhorns show improvement where Herman wanted it most

Following Texas’ loss to Oklahoma, Longhorns head coach Tom Herman identified four specific problem areas he wanted to address before playing Baylor: rushing offense, rushing defense, red zone defense, and beating man coverage. In the Longhorns’ 27-16 win over the Bears, his team made progress not only in the areas he identified, but in other areas as well.

Gameplan: Competing lame ducks in Austin

Vegas’ opening line for the upcoming Baylor game was Texas -10.5. It has since moved to Texas -8.5, perhaps due to a complete collapse of faith in betting Longhorn fans that their head coach has any real control over the direction of the program. When the athletic director is meeting with the players and giving them clear expectations for what’s expected of them after games and it contrasts with public statements made by the head coach days prior, that’s a sign the head coach is essentially a lame duck.

Tom Herman and the “save us, Sam Ehlinger” offense

A recurring theme is now evident in Texas’ conference games. The Longhorns sputter on offense with a big play here or there and limited production in the run game, while the defense gives up just enough to where the Longhorns need to mount a comeback in the late stages of a game. Texas’ corresponding efforts in the final stretch of conference games is based on spread passing and lucky bounces.