Chiles to RB?

Backup Texas QB John Chiles is taking snaps at RB; it's a week-long trend that will continue as top-ranked Texas prepares for No. 11/12 Missouri, according to offensive coordinator Greg Davis.

"We'll continue to do that," Davis said, "but he'll continue to work as a backup quarterback. John spent about 20 minutes last week at each practice with (RB coach) Major (Applewhite)."

Earlier this month, coaches reported that the Q package -- the scheme put John Chiles and starting QB Colt McCoy on the field at the same time -- would factor less into the game plan because it had not been as productive as they had hoped. The approach allowed Chiles to line up in the slot or motion to the backfield. There was also talk, earlier in the month, of Chiles seeing limited time at WR.

It underscores the dilemma of how best to utilize Chiles, considering that McCoy is not only the team's leading rusher (348 yards) but also leads the nation with a 79.4 completion percentage (131-of-165 for 1,557 yards, 17 TDs, 3 INTs). So far, Chiles' inclusion in Texas' committee of running backs appears to have met with his approval.

"I talked to John after our meeting Sunday and he was excited," Davis said. "He wasn't excited because he had two carries for 1 yard."

Chiles has netted 87 yards on 31 carries this season, including a 25-yard TD run against Rice.

In addition, Texas expects to continue to lean heavily on its four-and-five wide receiver sets that proved effective in the team's 45-35 win Saturday against Oklahoma. Texas went with an 11-personnel grouping (one RB, one TE) approximately 18 times during its 70 snaps from scrimmage. The Horns had not gone five-wide since Roy Williams, B.J. Johnson and Sloan Thomas wore the Burnt Orange five years ago.

"We liked it and we're going to keep looking at it," Davis said.

RB Chris Ogbonnaya is well-suited for the four-wide sets. Recruited as a WR, Ogbonnaya has good hands, is adept at blitz pickups and has proven the past two ballgames that he can get the tough rushing yards in the second half. The senior rumbled for 127 yards on 15 carries (8.5 ypc), but it was his fourth-quarter, 62-yard run that all but sealed the deal in Texas' upset. He added 27 yards on four receptions.

Texas "appeared" to have run four-wides at Colorado but -- in fact -- did not, Davis said.

"We went with four receivers," Davis said, "but not four wide."

Oklahoma's base pass defense is to roll a safety to the single-receiver side, but it left either Jordan Shipley or Quan Cosby in man coverage.

"We're definitely going to keep that in our offense," McCoy said. "We played a lot in that (formation) against OU, probably more than we expected. It gives us a chance to get Jordan and Quan deep in the same formation. We can spread the field a little more, but we've got to continue to develop our running game through that."

Texas ran 33 snaps with at least one TE on the field. The group, as a whole, did not grade particularly well the past two ballgames as the Horns continue to adjust to Blaine Irby's season-ending knee injury.

"They played much better," Davis said. "They were fresh."

Horns Digest Top Stories