RBs Looking to "Fix Problem"

Texas co-offensive coordinator discusses running backs and avoiding placing blame.

Texas entered the Oklahoma game with the intention of establishing the power running game. And Texas co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite acknowledged that that wasn't what the Longhorns did.

"We didn't run the ball very well, obviously," Applewhite said. "And when you get behind, you have to throw the football, but we didn't run the ball near [as] effectively to be able to sustain some drives and get some scores to where we could've continued to go back to it. The run game is so multi-faceted that sometimes it's a lineman, sometimes it's a back's feet in the hole, sometimes it's to make sure you are in the right play, that you have the formation correct, and there are just a lot of different things.

"The main problem is like we talk about: 'Let's not fix the blame, let's fix the problem,'" Applewhite said. "That is what we have been focusing on this week and everybody holding their group accountable. Don't worry about the big picture, that's not what you were hired for, so just worry about your position and getting those guys better."

Applewhite declined to talk about the injury condition of starting running back Malcolm Brown, but said that being forced out was bothering the top running back.

"It's hard for him," Applewhite said. "He is not a loud guy, but I can tell. Still waters run deep. He is a quiet guy. He internalizes most of it, but I know he wants to be out there and this is irritating him."

Instead, many of Brown's carries have gone to true freshman Johnathan Gray, though Applewhite said Gray didn't get many chances against Oklahoma.

"A lot of his opportunities were late and obviously, the game dictated that," Applewhite said. "There were some times where I thought he stuck the ball in there on a couple runs and had some good runs, and then there were some times where there was more there than what he ran for.

"Quite honestly though, that's in every game," Applewhite said. "I have never met a back or quarterback who has ever hit every single one of them. But I did not walk out of the game thinking he was not ready for this. He was ready for it. We ran a play and had the formation switched around early in the game, and the 'wild,' he ran right at them and didn't duck for a split second."

Now, Texas will play against a Baylor defense that has struggled, but also one that forced the Longhorns into turnovers a year ago.

"Any opponent, you try to talk to your offense because I think more times offenses lose games than they do winning," Applewhite said. "You go to that game last year where we out-rushed them, out-passed them, we out first-down them, we out time possession them, but we had too many turnovers. We had six turnovers. That is why we lost the football game. So what we talked to our guys about is. "Let's not lose the game before you even get a chance." Too many times we did good things last year, but when the series doesn't end in a kick, whether it be a field goal, punt, or touchdown, you are off to some bad things. And especially if you are playing [against] an explosive offense."

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