We're at the midway point in the season for Texas and the Horns stand at 3-3. We've seen progression in spots and regression in others. But there's one element you can't deny; it's Charlie Strong's best start since he arrived on the 40 Acres. I present my 3rd annual Texas Midseason Awards in 2016.
AUSTIN -- Texas coach Charlie Strong significantly simplified the defense during the second week of his dual role as head coach-and-coordinator, he said Monday. Strong also addressed chronic miscommunication issues last Saturday by fitting defensive players, for the first time, with wrist bands listing the defensive sets.
AUSTIN -- Texas needed its defense to show up and it did. Too bad the offense didn't leave the locker room until the 2nd half, but thankfully for Longhorn Nation and Charlie Strong, they did too. Texas exploded for 21 third quarter points behind the arm of Shane Buechele and legs of Devin Duvernay and D'Onta Foreman, and its defense did the rest in a 27-6 win over Iowa State on Saturday night at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Recent developments at the cornerback position have me wanting to reset the conversation from the program on down to the class of 2018. Texas fans know who DBU is and don't need articles from the media to write it to affirm that belief. We know the crown isn't up for grabs on a yearly or even quadrennial basis. Hell, even when the product is poor on the field Texas is still putting defensive backs in the NFL at a better rate than most.
Late in the 2015 season, Texas discovered something very promising about its young roster of DBs with Holton Hill and Davante Davis. They emerged as legitimate cornerbacks and allowed Texas to field guys outside who are 6-foot-2, 180 and, 6-foot-2, 191 respectively. Between the two of them, there’s a chance Texas will have some key building blocks to base the 2016 defense around.
One of Charlie Strong’s selling points is his proven track record of developing talent. There’s no finer examples on Texas’ defense than the recent emergence of former understudies DE Bryce Cottrell and NT Paul Boyette, Jr. The influx of quality depth is how you turn a program around, defensive coordinator Vance Bedford said Wednesday.
AUSTIN -- Charlie Strong has a more immediate concern than losing his locker room; he may need to heal a splintered one. For the second straight week, older players pointed fingers at younger ones. This time, three underclassmen returned volley Monday on social media.
AUSTIN -- Texas had to show progress and give its fans hope, coach Charlie Strong said earlier this week. The Longhorns’ 42-28 win Saturday against Rice featured RS-freshman Jerrod Heard’s first collegiate start and snapped a horrific 3-game skid. But it begs the question: are we having fun yet?
The frustration of Longhorn fans after viewing the latest installment of the Leprechaun horror series can probably best be summed up as severe disappointment that this program is still so far away from measuring up to the national programs that Texas has always called peers.