Akina Discusses Oklahoma State Offense

When facing Oklahoma State's offense, you have to be prepared for the Cowboys' balance.

So when assistant head coach/defensive backs coach Duane Akina says the Longhorn defense is working on "a lot of everything", it shouldn't come as a major surprise.

"It's another prolific offense right there, so it's balance once again," Akina said. "Obviously, (Justin) Blackmon, his numbers are outstanding. He's a great receiver. Their quarterback is a great player so you have to make sure you have some answers for them. They're going to throw the football. You look at last week, 52 throws in a game, and we'll probably see something similar to that."

Akina went on to say that Blackmon measured up with any receiver in the nation.

"He's as good of a player there is in the country," Akina said. "I think that some people can say that [about] the guy we saw last week (Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles), because of the numbers he's generated over his career. But that's how this conference has been. It's been much like when I was in the Pac-10 for all those years. It's changed to a much more receiver, quarterback dominated league like the Pac-10 when I was there, and it has been a lot of fun to work in."

But while Blackmon might be the most talented player, it all revolves around the 28-year-old Brandon Weeden.

"He's seen quite a bit," Akina said. "You have to try change your looks and move around. He's seen a lot more. There's a better chance, like last week, that the ball will get out of his hands when he sees pressure. And you have a veteran receiving corps. We have to do a good job of changing some things up. Maybe play some zone, some man and mix it in."

It all shapes up for another big week for the Longhorns' young secondary members, the second week in a row that they'll have faced a Heisman candidate quarterback and a record-setting wide receiver.

"I think any time you play in a setting like that, it is an important time to help them grow," Akina said. "I'm proud of the guys. They really did play well, and as I said, the only number that's important in the passing game is always yards per attempt and they're right at a good setting. How they finished the game was outstanding. In the third and the fourth quarters they played extremely well, and we just need to continue to grow on that. How they started the game, actually, was well done. The first play was negative.

"What has helped us be an outstanding secondary is that we have made tackles all year long," Akina said. "We turn a 10-yard out cut into a 40-yard gain and yet they walked out with three points. And that's the resiliency that you want to continue to build in your team, and we finished that way. Seven points and great execution in the last two quarters of the game, but we need to continue to build on that. There are a lot of positive things that you can continue to build on."

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