After struggles against LSU, focus turns to young cornerbacks

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Giving up nearly 600 yards of total offense and 471 yards passing naturally brings about a bunch of questions for the Texas defense — especially the secondary, and, more specifically, the young cornerbacks.

But instead of questioning or benching freshman Kobe Boyce and sophomore Jalen Green, defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, doubled down on his support of them.

“I, myself, went in there and talked to the group,” Orlando said of his meeting with the cornerbacks. “I told them, I was emotional, too, I was like, ‘I love this group. I love how hard they play, I love how much they care and I’m gonna help you. Just keep going, just keep swinging. Keep going, keep fighting because we’re really close to breaking through to the other side.'”

Those young corners won’t have nearly as tough of a challenge against Rice. The Owls are more of a running team and utilize multiple tight ends — far different from what they saw against LSU.

But even last week’s struggles aren’t too big of a surprise. Cornerback is a notoriously lonely position, often requiring guys to play man-to-man against receivers.

“There are gonna be a small amount of growing pains with some of that,” Orlando said. “Those kids know what we do at times is put them by themselves. Our guys know the kind of pressure they’re put on and whether or not they can hold up or not. I didn’t see [any doubt] on Sunday.”

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