Reese and Davis talk CU

The Texas coordinators talk about Colorado:

Carl Reese on Colorado's offense: The Texas defensive coordinator said he expects the CU offense to run the ball "at least 50 times." When the Buffs get the running game going, Reese said, they'll give the Horns the same offensive look as a run, pulling the LBs and safeties towards the line of scrimmage to play the run, then they'll play action and try to throw over the defenders head, particularly to TE Daniel Graham. "They lull you to sleep," Reese said. "The No. 1 thing when they throw the football is play action. Very seldom do they get in passing sets and throw the football. First down is really big. On first down, we've really got to take some risks to stop the run and put them in second-and-long (and third-and-long)." Third-and-long and hurry-up situations are the only time the Buffs will line up in passing formations (four-wides with QB Craig Ochs in the shotgun) to throw the ball. The rest of time, it'll be off play action. "They're an old-fashioned football team like you'd have seen 15 years ago," said the DC. "They pound you, throw when they have to and use a lot of play action (when they do throw)." Reese called TE Graham the "best tight end in the league" and the player who "makes play action work" for the Colorado offense. Ahmad Brooks and Nathan Vasher, and at times one of the LBs, will face the task of stopping Graham, according to the defensive coordinator. The Buffs will also run reverses off of play action, he said. Are you getting the idea yet how important Reese believes play action off running game success is to Saturday's opponent? The UT D-coordinator said the Horns will probably primarily play a 4-3 scheme -- "pack some guys up there (at the line of scrimmage), take care of gaps and force them into throwing game," he added. "It'll be a real fist fight at linebacker and along the front." Regardless of which of CU's four tailbacks, ranging in size from 195 to 225 pounds, are in the game, the Buffs run the same hammering offense, according to Reese. He said they'll run the toss and the sweep as well as the power stuff up the middle, in an attempt to wear down the defense. Reese also said the Colorado coaches have simplified the offense after overwhelming Ochs last year as a freshman. The Buff QB's job now basically entails handing off, with very limited reads in the passing game.

Greg Davis on Colorado's defense: The offensive coordinator said the CU defense's overall philosophical approach, like its offense's, is to be physical, at least in the front seven. Davis said he expects to see a lot of pre-snap movement between alignments and multiple formations (including an odd-front alignment with a DT over the center and a five-technique where the DEs line up on the outside edge of the OTs) from the Buff's front in its 4-3 base. Of the front four, DE Tyler Brayton stands out as a "strong, active" lineman, according to the coordinator. Davis said the loss to injury of outstanding ILB Jashon Sykes has "gotta hurt some" along the front seven, but he admits, even with the loss of Sykes, the CU defense still gives up few rushing yards and it "gives (them) up grudgingly." In the defensive backfield, the Buffs are similar to Oklahoma State, blitzing infrequently and playing mostly zone and soft man coverage. The OC said Colorado blitzes approximately 20-percent of the time, "way low" compared to most college teams today. CB Donald Strickland is a "really good cover corner," Davis said, and the Buffs play him in a lot of places, including at linebacker in dime coverage packages. The coordinator called 6-1, 215-pound SS Michael Lewis "a really good player" and another DB who functions as a linebacker in dime packages. Of the teams that Colorado has faced through six weeks of the season, Fresno State, the only team that has beaten the Buffs so far, has an offense that most resembles the Texas O, according to Davis. The Bulldogs, although prevailing on the scoreboard, totaled just 287 yards of total O. The Aggies last week racked up the most yardage allowed by the CU defense this season (376), with almost all of it coming through the air. Davis said "A&M didn't try to run the ball," instead throwing it 50-plus times, something he said his offense, in an attempt to remain two-dimensional, does not intend to do.


Horns Digest Top Stories