Texas’ defense finally had a solid outing on Saturday against Iowa State, but head coach Charlie Strong is still waiting for the Longhorns to play a complete game.
During its three-game losing streak, Texas’ defense was giving up points more often than Jos. A Bank has sales. The opposition was piling up yards like leaves on a New Hampshire lawn in October. Opponents’ scoreboards were lighting up like Times Square on New Year’s Eve, registering scores of 50, 49, and 45. What would Iowa State be able to do against the Longhorns?
It turns out not much.
The Longhorns defense played its best game of the season in the 27-6 win against Iowa State, holding the Cyclones to 280 total yards. For head coach Charlie Strong, the effort gave Texas a boost going into the rest of the season.
“You definitely gain some confidence when you play well and you play an opponent like Iowa State that came in over their last two games averaging over 40-plus points,” Strong said. “But you still have to match that game, you can’t just let one game define and all of a sudden say, ‘Hey, we’re back.’ We still have a lot of games left and we need to continue to get better.”
The much-maligned defense tackled and executed better, and kept the Cyclones from finding any sort of comfort zone on offense.
“Everything is a rhythm, and you have to make sure that you can keep it on offense and don’t let them get a rhythm because offenses are always trying to gain rhythm while a defense wants to disrupt a rhythm,” Strong said. “We were disruptive and just need to continue to play like that for 60 minutes.”
Strong has made some changes, including demoting defensive coordinator Vance Bedford, and taking over the play-calling after the defense started the season giving up 39.6 points per game. For Strong, though, he won’t be happy until he sees a complete effort from his team.
“You have to play a complete game. That’s what we haven’t done. We’ve played a half or played a quarter and then all of a sudden it was explosive, but we need to continue to improve.”