Texas Passing Defense Faces Challenge

Perhaps no assistant coach this week faces as big a challenge as Duane Akina, who has to try and slow down a bevy of Baylor wide receivers.

Robert Griffin III gets most of the press, and rightfully so, because of his level of production, Akina said.

"It's hard to find guys with those kinds of legs that can throw the ball like that," Akina said. "Where he's unique is throwing the ball vertically. Their formations force you to defend the field horizontally but their speed forces you to defend the field vertically. He's outstanding. What the staff does up there, they give him the chance to be successful. They're well-coached, not only the quarterback but the receiving corps is a well-coached group across the board. You're seeing this across the conference. Like I've been saying all season, [players] generating great numbers. We have to do a good job keeping the ball in front of us."

Players like Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright make that prospect difficult, however.

"They do move him around," Wright said. "You can't really get a bead on where he's going to be. They are constantly looking for a match up, like a lot of good offenses do that have that kind of a weapon. He's well-coached, and they get a lot of chances. They're on the field quite a bit."

On the receiving group as a whole, Akina said "they're smaller, but they can really run."

"It's a little bit out of the old run-and-shoot concept," Akina said. "It doesn't matter how big they are. They do a nice job of really making you defend the whole field. That's the biggest thing with them.

"I think both of us [Baylor and Texas] are the same way," Akina said. "We're always looking for some matchup. They're looking for matchups and we're looking to stay out of those matchups. It's going to be a situation where we'll look at where they are going, where are they putting their people. They have really outstanding receivers and we can pick and choose. When you have guys that are averaging 18 yards per catch, 16 yards per catch, 15 yards per catch, those are phenomenal numbers across the board. I'm not sure which one we should match up with at times.

"So I think we just have to get in, we have to play, make sure we do a good job disguising our pre-snap looks," Akina continued. "Make them have to see the game on the run. We have to understand that they're going to make some plays. They've done it all year. We can't get impatient, and we just have to keep swinging. They're going to land some jabs. We just have to land the knockout punch. "

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