Texas plays its best opponent of the season on All Hallows Eve. Undefeated Oklahoma State is getting better on offense with a healthy Spencer Sanders returning and their depleted offensive line learning to cope, but they're currently undefeated and sitting in the driver's seat of the conference race due to the play of their defense. If Texas wants to get out of Stillwater with a win, Sam Ehlinger better put on a Superman cape for four quarters, or the Texas offensive coaches need to come up with a better offensive game plan against blitzing press-man coverage than the lazy efforts they've rolled out against the Cowboys' slack jawed cousins in Norman for the last two years.
The Texas offense decided to match their white throwback uniforms to a little throwback offense paired with an opportunistic downfield passing game. 12 personnel ruled the day and the Longhorn spent most of the game with two tight ends on the field ex-stablishing the run and then hitting Baylor over the top when they busted coverages. The early part of the contest featured what I can only term "Hurry Up Inside Zone" (including an outside zone run for 3 yards on 3rd and 6) which led to a couple of Longhorn punts. Texas diversified with Sam's legs and hit some downfield shots and then things opened up a bit.
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.
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.
Texas returns to action Saturday when they welcome the Baylor Bears to Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium. The Inside Texas Staff offers predictions, thoughts on Waco, keys to the game, and more in the Roundtable.