Texas defense facing another tough test
October, 12, 2011
By ESPN.com staff | ESPN.com
After Saturday's 55-17 win over Texas, Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles decided to drop some knowledge on a secondary that struggled throughout the day.
"The media doesn't watch film like we do, and doesn't see the matchups we can expose," Broyles told reporters. "They're young. We knew there would be spots in the secondary they'd leave open."
Texas has experience at safety with senior Blake Gideon, but had almost none at cornerback entering 2011. The Longhorns gave up over 300 yards in the first half on Saturday, but it won't get any easier this week when Oklahoma State comes to Austin with the nation's No. 2 passing offense, ahead of No. 5 Oklahoma.
What kinds of things could Broyles have seen to tip him off on how to exploit youth?
"Either you’re scared to get beat deep or you’re playing slow. Those two things kind of correlate," Weeden said.
It was a little early this week to say whether that was the case with new corners Quandre Diggs and Carrington Byndom at Texas, but despite the statistical struggles, Texas wasn't burnt deep against Oklahoma. It also took bad angles often and gave up yards after the catch.
"We made some mistakes, obviously, but that’s also an encouraging thing, that we made mistakes that are correctable," Gideon said. "There’s certain things you can’t correct like effort, intensity, passion, things inside of players, so it was encouraging that we kept fighting to the end, every single player."
Didn't pass that test against Oklahoma? Fine, here comes another one. Weeden threw for 288 yards and five touchdowns last week against Kansas before being benched with five minutes left in the half. Oklahoma State led, 56-7, at the break.
"We get better every week," Weeden said. "That’s part of being a good offense. Early on, my play the first couple of nights was subpar, and I feel like I kind of made it my goal to get better every week and make this offense better every week. I think we have."
Weeden's completing just under 76 percent of his passes this season, which for obvious reasons, is alarming to Longhorns coach Mack Brown.
"That was the height of what Colt [McCoy] was completing when he was here to lead the nation," Brown said. "We’re playing two of the best teams in the country here back to back."
The Longhorns secondary looks a bit overmatched after last week's debacle, but Texas at least pinpointed the problems.
"You just have to try to disguise more, and we did not get to the quarterback," Brown said. "Sometimes the uptempo caught us when we were disguising and caught us off guard. You just have to hope that, especially your young corners, have another week to see a great passing attack and they improve, because of the speed this team will put on you."
Don't expect that to change. If anything, OSU might make it more difficult on the Longhorns.
"We’re executing and our tempo is something we take pride in," Weeden said. "We’re moving fast and we’re really not letting defenses dictate what we do."
Episode 2 of Year of the Quarterback’s latest series “Depth Chart” airs Wednesday night at 7 ET on ESPN, featuring Oklahoma State.
Tweets from https://twitter.com/ESPNCFB/lists/big12