Davis: Gameplan Was 'Too Simple'

At times during previous seasons, Texas coaches have scaled back the offense hoping that a simpler game plan would jumpstart the rushing attack. Now, with a struggling passing game, Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis said Tuesday his gameplan against Missouri might have been "too simple."

"I think we were probably too simple this past week, to be perfectly honest, in terms of what we could carry," Davis said. "That’s a balancing act. We asked (QB Vince Young) on Sunday if there were some things that he liked that we didn’t have in the plan. And he had some thoughts about things that he liked that we didn’t have in the gameplan. We’re not going to carry 75-to-100 throws when we’re going to throw it 25 or 26 times (per game)."

Davis confers with key offensive players regarding play selection each Thursday, soliciting their input and preferences for specific down-and-distance situations.

"Usually what we do is formulate the plan for what we think is acceptable by down-and-distance," Davis said, "and then I like to get their feedback about which of these do you like and which ones are you more comfortable with."

For example, Davis presented Young with a list of plays for the opening drive against Missouri. Young picked ‘Go 65 Zone 259’, or a right sideline pass to FL Tony Jeffery. The result was a catchable ball that fell incomplete and, unfortunately, foreshadowed Young’s poorest passing day as a Longhorn.

"Through the first four weeks of the season he was completing more than 64 percent of his passes," Davis said. "He’ll be fine."

TECH DEFENSE WAS FIRST TO SLOW ‘ZONE READ’

Texas Tech entered the 2003 shootout with the Horns saddled with the Big 12’s worst defense but it was the first regular season unit to slow Texas’ yard-chewing zone read rushing offense. The Red Raiders finished No. 109 (of 117 D-I teams) in total defense last season, surrendering an average of 460 ypg (games at Ole Miss and N.C. State had something to do with it). These days, Tech is giving up 325 ypg (NCAA No. 39).

I asked Davis what Tech did defensively last year to frustrate Texas’ ground game in the second half, eventually resulting in the must-pass-to-win scenario in which backup QB Chance Mock saved the day in the final 2:06.

"One thing they did was they gave (Young) lead reads and the other thing they did was they brought pressure from the secondary for the quarterback. It’s like option football and you take the quarterback and force the ball to be pitched. We really have no idea, when we call a zone read, who’s going to get (the ball) and, quite honestly, we don’t even care because we think both of those guys (Young and RB Cedric Benson) has a chance to get some explosives."

By the time the 2003 Texas Tech game arrived on the schedule, it had become clear to Longhorn opponents that former SE Roy Williams wasn’t going to be the featured weapon in Texas’ arsenal. The difference was Texas at least had a receiving threat in 2003, which presented foes with second thoughts about sticking nine in the box.

"We’re just going to have to mix it up because, obviously, we’re going to run the zone read," Davis said. "We’re just going to have to mix it up and find some different ways to do it."


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