Davis Consulted Big Ten Teams, NFL Colts About OSU

Texas Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis huddled with coaches from Big Ten schools, as well as from the Indianapolis Colts, to develop a winning game plan for Ohio State.

Some of those conversations began six months before the September 10 tilt in Columbus. Of particular concern was how to scheme against a Buckeye linebacking crew that is generally considered the tops in the country.

An added wrinkle that proved effective in Texas’ 25-22 win in Columbus was the play-action pass out of the shotgun formation designed, in part, to siphon the linebackers toward the LOS. The Horns also unveiled a five-wide look for the first time since QB Chris Simms was behind center (2002).

"We felt like we’ve done some good things (offensively)," Davis said Tuesday, "but we felt like some things we’ve done were not up to par. We felt like we hadn’t done as good of a job of stretching the field as we’d like."

The added emphasis on play-action out of the ‘gun and in a three-wide set stems from a conversation Davis had with Colts QB coach Jim Caldwell. The Buckeyes all but dared QB Vince Young to put the ball in the air, and the junior responded with his second-best outing for passing yards (270) as a Longhorn. (VY threw for 289 yards at Kansas last season.)

Davis also conferred with coaches from Michigan, Illinois and Purdue in scheming to beat the Bucks. Davis met personally with Wolverine QB Coach Scott Loeffler in Austin last March. That’s when the Michigan assistant was one of the guest speakers at Mack Brown’s annual clinic for high school coaches.

"Coaching circles are pretty small," Davis said.

Did the Ohio State staff confer with Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops regarding the Horns.

"I’d be surprised if they didn’t," he said.

More than half of the time Saturday, Young located secondary receivers as the Horns were matched against the best DBs they will face this regular season. There were times when RB Jamaal Charles was the fourth receiver on a set play. The freshman tallied a game-high six receptions for 69 yards. At this stage in his career, Young recognizes at the snap of the ball if his top two targets are covered.

"He can immediately eliminate No. 3 if he knows No. 1 and No. 2 are gone," Davis said. "What you’re seeing from Vince are quicker decisions."

Davis also had high praise for Charles, particularly the freshman’s mental toughness. The Port Arthur product is one who prefers that his actions speak on the field

"He’s very unassuming," Davis said. "It’s hard to get a conversation out of Jamaal. It’s always ‘Yes sir’, ‘No sir’, or ‘I’ll do better, sir.’"

Charles could log his first start Saturday against Rice if RB Selvin Young is not fully recovered from a "tweaked" left ankle. The junior, in essence, has missed the second half of Texas’ first two ball games this season.

"We’ve got to get Selvin well for the stretch drive and as we near conference play," Davis said. "It’s been an aggravating thing for us and for him because it’s well one day but not the next."


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