Davis: Conservative Game Plan? 'Absolutely'

Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis conceded Tuesday that his game plan was, indeed, "conservative" in Texas' 12-0 loss to OU but is not apologizing for a strategy intended to make it a four-quarter game.

"Was it conservative? Absolutely," Davis said. "We thought it was a game plan that would give us the best opportunity to win. Obviously, we were wrong. But, for three-and-a-half quarters, we were right. The most disappointing thing to me is we didn't make the plays when we had the opportunity to make them in the first half. It's disappointing that we didn't because the field goal was in hand -- and we assume that we're going to make those (FGs)."

It was a game plan that Davis said was predicated upon playing to team strengths. Texas has averaged 313 ypg (NCAA No. 2) on the ground this season.

"We felt our strength was in our running game, in our tight ends and with Vince Young on the zone read," Davis said. "That's what we've been featuring and we didn't want to abandon the run."

The operative phrase throughout Davis' weekly round table discussion with print media was "my responsibility." For example:

"Was the cornerback blitz a factor? Yes. We did not handle it properly and that's my responsibility. I'm not going to get into who was supposed to do what (and) when. Each (blitz) is different, but it's my responsibility to make sure we do it right."

Did QB Vince Young become unsettled when the passing game didn't click? VY was 8-of-23 passing for 86 yards Saturday as Texas' passing game (157.2 ypg) is now ranked No. 102 out of 117 Division-I programs

"It's my responsibility to get him more comfortable," said Davis, who added that VY is throwing to the right receivers. "We just have to continue to grow with the passing game."

It's a juggling act, Davis said, when deciding whether to keep his TEs on the line of scrimmage for pass protection or to release them as receivers. TE David Thomas, who lined up in the early going at wideout, has not recorded a reception in the past two OU games. Even so, he remains Texas' leading receiver this year in total yards (223 on nine grabs, nearly 25 yards-per-catch).

"You take those two guys totally out but you can't be unprotected all the time," Davis said. "You do have to juggle: keep one in and free the other one, or let's get them both out. There has to be a juggling so you're not totally at the mercy of having to throw quick, having to throw hot."

The same-old-song around Bellmont Hall this week is that the WRs just need time to grow, keeping in mind that Texas will continue to emphasize the run.

"We're not throwing it 40 times a game," Davis said. "If you're throwing it 40 times a game, they're gonna develop quicker because they're going to get more opportunities. They're gonna get more looks. But that's not us right now. We're not giving them enough reps for them to be making huge strides."

RS freshman SE Limas Sweed, however, may have matured the most during the OU game and is poised to finally become the other WR opposite FL Tony Jeffery (who injured a shoulder late in the game Saturday. "We'll have to see how that is," Davis said). True freshman Nate Jones has started the past three ballgames at X-receiver.

"I thought Limas stepped up in the ballgame and did some good things," Davis said. "Obviously, the (24-yard) catch everybody saw. I thought he grew in the ballgame. I was pleased with that."

Young echoed the sentiment. I asked him Tuesday afternoon if any of the receivers showed evidence of having grown up in a hurry for having participated in a game like OU.

"Limas made a great play," VY said. "The same route against Arkansas that he didn't adjust to, he adjusted to in the Oklahoma game. I'm proud of them guys making plays. They've just got to keep it up."

Davis, a lightning rod for criticism the past several years, is taking plenty of heat this week following Texas' first shutout in nearly one-quarter century. Preparing for Missouri's league-leading defense (259.4 ypg, NCAA No. 8) provides a sufficient distraction.

"The neat thing about sports jobs is that you get immersed quickly in the next game and you don't get involved with all the surrounding things," Davis said. "You go back to work immediately on the next game, and you have to."

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