AUSTIN (KXAN) — After four games, the Longhorns have developed a pair of different identities on the defensive side of the ball.
Texas has been solid against the run, giving up 122 yards per game, which ranks fourth in the Big 12. But against the pass, they’re the worst in the league as the only team to surrender over 300 yards on average. Those two disparate performances haven’t gone unnoticed by defensive coordinator Todd Orlando.
“The hang your hat on is I think we’ve been decent in the run game,” Orlando said. “That’s the one thing that I think our front seven have taken a lot of pride in,” Orlando said.
When it comes to third down conversion, just like defending the pass, Texas is struggling. The Longhorns rank ninth in that category, ahead of only Kansas in the Big 12. This isn’t a new issue for the Longhorns. Orlando’s defense was in the NCAA’s bottom half of third-down defense in 2018.
“The number one thing I want to see us do is just finish plays in the back end,” Orlando said. “When that ball goes up, I want to be on the sidelines going like, ‘You know what, there’s an 80 percent chance of us coming down with this football.'”
As far as what the defense will see on the field, it’s different than what they’ve seen recently against the Mountaineers. WVU has both a new quarterback and head coach, but Neal Brown does come from the same Air Raid coaching tree as his predecessor, Dana Holgorsen.