How Much Has The Texas Longhorns Defense Progressed With Head Coach Charlie Strong Calling Plays?

Charlie Strong shook up the Texas defense when he demoted defensive coordinator Vance Bedford and took control of calling plays. The Longhorns have shown steady progress defensively, and the players credit it to a simple solution.

Whether you want to agree with it or not, the Texas defense has gotten progressively better since the Oklahoma game.

The Longhorns' D was giving up an average 6.4 yards per play and roughly 40 points through the first five games of 2016.

Charlie Strong took over control of the defense from Vance Bedford after the Longhorns were embarrassed in Stillwater, Okla. in a 49-31 loss to Oklahoma State.

The defense struggled in the first showing with Strong at the helm, which ended in a 45-40 loss to rival Oklahoma.

But since OU, Texas has improved. The Longhorns have held opposing offenses to an average 5.2 yards per play and roughly 21 points over the last three games.

When asked the reason behind the recent progress, Texas players linked it to a specific change: simplification.

"The play calling has been simple," defensive tackle Chris Nelson said. "It's been less thinking and more playing."

Sophomore DE/LB Breckyn Hager had similar remarks.

"He has just been keeping it simple," Hager said of Strong's defensive philosophy.

"He's really making sure we understand everything in practice.

"If there's somewhere we messed up, he will focus on it two to three times if he needs to.

"He really just makes sure that we understand the concept of the defense he is running."

Whatever the reason may be, there's no doubt the Longhorns need to keep it up this weekend against the nation's No. 1 passing offense in Texas Tech in order to have a chance of leaving Lubbock with a W.



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