While Texas RB D'Onta Foreman was celebrating going to the Houston Texans in the 3rd round, the other Longhorn prospects were in wait-and-see mode. As soon as the 2017 NFL Draft ended, five UT football players received phone calls. Four signed undrafted free agent deals, while one will attend two mini-camp tryouts.
Following Patrick Mahomes first drive leading the Red Raiders to the end zone, Texas needed to respond quickly in order to set the tone for the game. Luckily for Texas, junior Jake Oliver was ready to keep the offensive battle going, taking one of the first throws of the game, making a defender miss and scampering into Red Raider territory on a 52 yard reception.
The offenses in the Big 12 Conference producing the video-game like numbers are led by some of the more skilled quarterbacks in the nation. One of the names competing for the title of best quarterback in the nation just so happens to play for the Longhorns next opponent, Patrick Mahomes II of Texas Tech. For any defense, he is the focal point of pre-game preparation. It remains that way for the Longhorns and senior defensive tackle Paul Boyette.
Senior defensive tackle Paul Boyette, after spending several years in this defense, knows where and how he and some of his teammates need to line up. In this defense, the defensive end is asked to line up on the inside of the tackle’s shoulders instead of on the outside. For many pass rushing defensive ends, this is different than what they are used to at the high school level, but Boyette says adjusting to the difference is a matter of effort.
In preparation for Saturday's game against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Texas had several leaders available to the team, including one who was available to the media following a weekend arrest, a quarterback trying to take another game in Boone Pickens stadium, and two defensive linemen who keep preaching pressure.
There’s an art to figuring out how to learn details about different teams at Big 12 Media Days. Coaches are generally fairly cagey, primarily looking to avoid taking damage rather than accomplishing anything particularly positive or God forbid saying something illuminating about the team.
On the other hand, if you have a DL that can win the point of attack and withstand double teams you buy time for speedy linebackers and safeties to check off their assignments and still arrive in time to make the tackle before the runner has picked up a major gain. Or, if you can get an extra guy in the box you can tip the scales back in your own favor. Generally you need both to really shut down one of the better Big 12 running games.
Last week we talked about what life without Hassan Ridgeway could look like in 2016 and it wasn’t a particularly exciting topic. Pending the signing and development of more DL, Texas has a fairly thin depth chart in terms of players that are ready to play as a 5- or 4i-technique strongside end, double team-eating nose tackle, or disruptive 3-technique.
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.
If your glass is half-empty, it can be argued that the Longhorns have done little more than upset an arch-rival and beat a bad Kansas State team. But several players are convinced Charlie Strong has finally flipped the program’s 5-year foray in mediocrity. And they can summarize the difference in two words: team chemistry.