AUSTIN (KXAN) — Saturday’s annual Orange and White Spring Game will be the public debut of the Longhorns’ new-look offense.
“[Fans are] gonna see an up-tempo offense,” offensive lineman Marcus Hutchins said. “A better offense than we had last year, especially up front. I think it’s something that fits us.”
Last season, in Charlie Strong’s first year as the Longhorns’ head coach, Texas ranked 110 out of 125 teams in total offense. The Longhorns averaged just 137.4 rushing yards per game, good for 98th in the country, and 199.9 yards passing per game, which tied for 88th in the country.
The need for change was most obvious in the season finale, a 31-7 blowout to Arkansas in the Texas Bowl, where the Longhorns managed just 59 yards of total offense.
“It just allows us to go out there and play aggressively,” said Hutchins, a senior offensive tackle. “I think that was something that we [were] missing last year, was just aggression and the speed. But I think … this offense and this speed and tempo will fit us even better.”
While the move to an up-tempo, no huddle offense is a change from last season, it’s not completely new for some of the veterans on the team.
“It’s what we ran, like, two years ago, so it’s nothing new to me,” running back Johnathan Gray said. “I’ve been in this offense and I like it, and I think it’s effective.”
One of the biggest weaknesses for the offense last fall was the offensive line, but in spring practices, it’s a position group that has impressed some.
“They’re looking pretty good,” Gray said. “Those guys know what we have to get done. I would say, what I’m surprised is, we gave them an offense, and they knew it as an up-tempo offense, and those guys tho themselves ready for what we want to accomplish this season. Those guys are gonna open up holes for us and keep Tyrone [Swoopes] protected.”