Longhorns Looking for Balance

When looking for an ideal offensive output from the Longhorns, don't focus as much on the Kansas and Texas Tech games.

Because while the Longhorns ran the ball up-and-down the field in those contests, Texas coach Mack Brown said Thursday that the Longhorns are looking for some semblance of balance.

"What we did against Texas Tech and Kansas is not what I want offensively; it's half of what I want," Brown said. "I would have liked to have thrown for 250 yards during both of those games and still be able to run the ball, because in our best offense, we scored 50 points a game, we averaged 250 rushing and 250 passing."

Brown said that any thoughts that the Longhorns were trying to build an offense that didn't rely on the quarterback were false.

"We want a great quarterback, and we want a quarterback that can run and throw," Brown said. "That hasn't changed. But we would like to have an offense where if the quarterback is sick, the quarterback gets hurt or the quarterback has an average day, it doesn't lose a game for Texas. And because of that, we'd like to be very balanced."

Brown said the Longhorns haven't had that sort of balance since Jamaal Charles graduated, though he said that even those teams with Charles weren't necessarily balanced in that they relied too much on the big play, and had too many negative plays. Instead, the best offensive model, according to Brown, might be the 2005 Longhorns.

Still, Brown acknowledged that the ramped-up emphasis on the running game was for a reason. After all, he said, look at the top four teams in the BCS: LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State and Stanford.

"All of those really can run the ball, all of them," Brown said. "Three of the four, you know the quarterback's name really quickly as well. You might not know one of them because you'd have to look it up because he's younger, but there aren't many people that play for it all that can't run the ball and stop the run at some point in some way."

Brown conceded that part of the Longhorns' problems occurred when the running backs were injured, and Texas couldn't throw the ball. He cited those games as the need to create balance because "if you're one-dimensional, a good football team can take something away."

"You've got to be good enough to do both," Brown said.


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