Strong Calls out Longhorns Defense

Charlie Strong called out UT's defense for its performance against Iowa State, in which the Cyclones gained 524 yards of total offense.


Hey, whatdoyaknow, no update on Desmond Harrison. We've been reporting that Harrison will likely redshirt. Heard that from a couple of sources.


Jason Hall is day-to-day. Boy, did Texas miss him in the back end on Saturday. ISU took advantage of Adrian Colbert. Snyder/Waters/Lockett definitely will try to do the same if Colbert's still in there. The Longhorns need Hall back desperately this weekend. "I hope we get him back," Diggs said.


Charlie Strong somewhat came to Cedric Reed's defense a little bit today. Reed just isn't putting up the types of numbers he did last season - 32 tackles (7th on team), 4 TFL's (same as Diggs), 1.5 sacks (same as Bluiett). Strong basically said that, yes, Reed does have to step up, especially when he is going up against single-coverage, which he is getting a lot of this season. But Strong put the rest of the DL on notice too saying that they all have to play better. He actually singled out the entire Front 7 saying Texas had too many missed tackles against ISU. "It can't be four or five guys. It has to be all 11 guys," Strong said.


Strong gave a lot of credit to freshman Roderick Bernard for the team's improvement on special teams. Strong keeps hinting that once Bernard finds that crease on kickoff return - he gone. Bernard is a great story. Really humble kid. First person from his family to go to college. Picked up a Bama offer later in process but never wavered from UT pledge. Texas is lucky to have him. There was some thought that he might move to DB but I think he's plenty enough dangerous on offense to make an impact later in his career.


Strong applauded the performance of the offensive line again. They are improving and that's one reason that Tyrone Swoopes has gotten better - he has confidence in those guys a lot more than he did a few weeks ago. "We're squeezing every drop out of them," Strong said.


Strong said that Darius James didn't do anything to not play against Iowa State. He just said Camrhon Hughes had a really good week of practice and wanted to reward him for it.


Strong said he told the defense that they weren't playing to the standard that UT coaches have set. He said that he pulled out five plays and made them watch them over and over, then he asked if there were imposters wearing their jerseys. It's all about accountability with Strong.


For what it's worth Diggs said he wasn't happy with the defenses performance (obviously) and that he was tired of hearing/talking about it. Said he promises the defense will put forth a better effort this week in a tough environment. "We had a bad game. We will get it fixed." Not lost with Diggs was how well ISU played on that side of the ball. "You have to give those guys credit.


Speaking of Diggs, he's having a career year this season. Why? He's healthy. Diggs played most of last season with a foot injury. Fully healthy this go-around, Diggs is fourth on the team in tackles (41), has 4 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 INTs and 1 pass break-up.


Diggs had high praise for KSU's uber-talented WR Tyler Lockett. "He runs every route. He runs really quick. He's really shifty. Comes from a good football family." You'll notice Jake Waters throws Lockett open a lot. He can practically throw the ball anywhere with the confidence that Lockett will get to it and make the play. Texas will have its hands full with arguably the best WR in the Big 12.


To say Charlie Strong admires Bill Snyder would be a huge understatement. Strong said that he called Snyder when he got the Louisville job and asked him how he did it because he wanted his program to be just like Snyder's at KSU. Best piece of advice Snyder gave Strong: "Coach Snyder said you always have to be yourself. You can't be anyone else."


What was most concerning about the defense for Strong? Fundamentals. "It's all about fundamentals, technique and alignment. "That's what upsets you." Not very promising considering it happened past the midway point of the season.


Strong said it's been fun to watch John Harris develop. "He's become the go-to guy." Harris, if you'll recall, contemplated quitting prior to the season because he wasn't getting a chance. Les Koenning told him to give this coaching staff a chance. Now, after losing weight and getting into better game-shape, Harris has hauled in 40 receptions for 607 yards and six TDs.


Strong said that Joe Wickline is responsible for putting in more designed QB runs for Swoopes. It's something OSU's QBs did a lot of when Wick was there. Swoopes had 94 yards rushing against ISU. Strong said it is nice to see Swoopes run more north-and-south. "We added the quarterback runs, and those have really helped Swoopes. When he can become a dual threat, it adds another dimension."


Apparently John Harris felt disrespected at the end of the game on Saturday when he lined up and noticed that ISU was choosing to play man-to-man coverage against him. Via a tweet from Bob Ballou, Harris said: "They really put him 1 on 1 with me? I was like - are you serious?"


The admiration for Dylan Haines continues to rise by the day. Of course it doesn't hurt to return an INT 74 yards for a TD either. "Everybody is taking notice of Haines," Strong said. "That's the kind of guy you like to see play. He plays hard, gives you everything he's got."


Haines said he didn't have any scholarship offers coming out of high school and that he knew that UT was the place for him because his dad played football here and his mom ran track. Said the best thing that happened to him was the coaching change because Strong was going to let you play if you proved yourself.


Haines picked up his scholarship offer during fall camp but said that he was going to stay regardless of if he was ever put on scholarship or not.


Haines said that Texas' defense started missing keys and drops in zone coverages against ISU, and that was a big reason why the Cyclones were able to pick apart UT's D.


Marcus Johnson hasn't had the type of season that many thought he would, including himself. He has just 19 receptions for 241 yards. He said this season has been a big learning experience for him, and a humbling one at that. "Everything happens for a reason." Johnson said that you could see his growth with every game and particularly against ISU when he picked up his first TD of the season.


Malcolm Brown said that it was good to see Tyrone Swoopes start to make more plays with his feet. We kind of joked with him about Ty's speed and asked him to describe it. He laughed and couldn't put a full sentence together. "I'm not sure he enjoys [running[ or not," Brown laughed.


It's pretty amazing to think that Texas hasn't had a 100-yard rusher in a game this season. Swoopes nearly got there against ISU. Is it frustrating? Brown didn't say. He said it's up to the RBs to just contribute how they can.


Hmm, Jerrod Heard just sent out a tweet saying "4.3." I wonder if there was any intent there to remind people that, yes, there is a Texas QB on this roster that can run really, really fast.


Longhorns 2015 QB commitment Zach Gentry's junior highlights


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