Texas head coach Charlie Strong has taken over defensive play calling duties as he looks to turn around the Longhorns horrific start to the season.
The Texas defense has been bad this year, and it’s a major part of the reason that the Longhorns sit at 2-2 heading into the annual rivalry game against Oklahoma this weekend. Head coach Charlie Strong, who made his name in the college coaching world for fielding tough defenses, has decided to take over play-calling duties, and with that, demoting coordinator Vance Bedford.
“You have to do what’s best for the program,” Strong said. “I have been a defensive coordinator. I’ve called plays. It’s a rhythm.”
The defense needs something, as it has surrendered 47 or more points in three of the four games so far this season and is giving up 429.3 yards per game. Scratch out the 41-7 victory over UTEP, and that number rises to 526 yards per game.
This move, a lot like Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn dropping offensive play-calling responsibility, might be a last ditch effort by Strong to save his job; one that is close to being taken away after not meeting expectations in his first two and a half seasons in Austin.
In the 49-31 loss to Oklahoma State this past Saturday, the Longhorns looked as if they were only taught how to tackle previously in the day, missing out on offensive players and not being able to wrap up.
“You look at the first throw for a touchdown, we have guys around [the receiver],” Strong said. “You can’t break down in the open field. And the throw right before the half, we had five guys around and just didn’t make the play.”
The challenge will be as tough if not tougher this Saturday as the Longhorns face a Sooners team that can light up the scoreboard with the best of them. Oklahoma averages 492.5 yards per game while scoring 39.5 points per game.
If Strong can’t make a difference and quick for the Longhorns’ defense, he might be looking for another job soon.