Shawn Watson's Tuesday Dimes

Longhorns quarterbacks coach/assistant head coach for offense Shawn Watson talks Tyrone Swoopes, UT's offensive line, Daje Johnson and more.

1. Watson said that Daje Johnson returned to practice on Tuesday after suffering a hamstring injury against Baylor, which required an MRI on Sunday.

Johnson tweaked the injury on a deep pass attempt at the start of the second half, Watson said. Texas’ quarterbacks coach also said that he didn’t think the injury was serious but didn’t say whether or not he’d play against OU.

Johnson only recorded one rush for five yards in the first quarter against Baylor.

Watson said Johnson was “quite involved” in the game plan against the Bears.

The speedy receiver had an 85-yard punt return against Oklahoma in Texas’ 36-20 victory last season.

2. Watson didn’t make any excuses for Swoopes after Texas’ quarterback said he was a bit nervous against Baylor after taking a few early hits.

"It's just in the job description,” Watson said. “The great ones just stand in there and play. You just have to come back. It's part of it. It's right there in the first paragraph. It goes along with the turf. You've got to come back. Anybody who has ever played the position has to go through that. It's just part of it. It's in the job description. It's right there in the first paragraph."

3. Watson said that one of his main focuses with Swoopes this week was for Swoopes to keep his eyes focused where they needed to be.

“I had a method in which I teach him. He got off of that,” Watson said. “We've got him reeled back in. He'll be fine."

Swoopes, who had been fairly accurate and was doing a good job of not making poor decisions, saw his accuracy dip against the Bears completing just 16-of-34 passes for 144 yards and two interceptions.

4. Watson couldn’t really pinpoint anything when he was asked what Swoopes did better in practice than he did in the game. Swoopes, Watson said, is usually very consistent during practice. He wasn’t against Baylor and that is just part of the growing pains of a young quarterback, Watson said.

“It's just a matter of going through that rough patch and coming through it,” he said.

5. Watson was pleased with what he saw overall from Texas’ offensive line, which only gave up one sack to a very stout Baylor defensive front.

“They did a ice job,” Watson said. “Did a fairly decent job of keeping Ty clean. The offensive line played much better because they are communicating better. They are learning to play the game with their eyes."

A big reason for their improvement seemed to have been the moves made on the right side with Kent Perkins moving from right tackle to right guard and then Darius James making his first start at right tackle. Mostly all of Texas’ big gains against Baylor came behind those two.

ICYMI, I’ve posted some developing news on our message board about another change that could be coming against OU.

6. These are the types of games that evoke the best of trick play ideas. Will Texas run any? Well Watson isn’t going to say but he did mention having several in his hip pocket, especially when trying to develop a younger QB.

7. Watson was asked what kind of offense he wants to run at Texas and he said he wants to run what he ran at Louisville.

“I want to get after people that way,” Watson said.

Watson said the read option aspect of that offense is key and he believes Texas has the players to run that effectively.

8. If Texas gets into the red zone against Oklahoma, especially inside the five, you could see the Longhorns stay in shotgun after back-to-back weeks with a costly turnover near the goal line.

Watson mentioned that it was important to understand what exactly defenses were showing that close to the goal line, especially in this league. Big 12 defenses tend to play quarters that close to the goal line, which allows safeties to play the run. You have to know where they are and adjust accordingly.

9. Watson was very complementary of Oklahoma’s defense.

"They have a really nice scheme and highlight their players,” Watson said. “They built that defense to defend against speed offenses. It looks simple but it's well put together."

Watson said that TCU took a lot of deep shots against OU, and that he could remember at least five that were designed deeps.

TCU QB Trevone Boykin threw for 318 yards and two touchdowns against OU and completed passes of 21, 34, 29, 39, and 19 yards.

10. Joe Wickline has been in the news this week due to his reportedly not sticking around after the games for the “Eyes of Texas.” Charlie Strong addressed the situation on Monday by saying he understood the importance of that song to UT and that it wouldn’t happen again.

Watson was asked about his relationship with Wickline and said that they were on the same page.

“We are fine,” he said.


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