Texas defense tries to find its way back to playing to UT standard

Local Sports

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Everyone can agree — the Longhorns didn’t play up to the standards of the program in a dangerously close win against Kansas.

Texas head coach Tom Herman spent more than half of his Monday press conference discussing the defense and it was warranted. The defensive ranks are depleted with cluster injuries in the secondary which is throwing preseason second and third-string players into the spotlight.

The result is about what you would expect.

Missed tackles, missed assignments and missed opportunities to get off the field.

Kansas converted on over 50% of its third down attempts as Carter Stanley and Pooka Williams marched the Jayhawks up and down the field in the second half for six touchdowns and 569 yards of offense.

The Kansas offense is very good ranking in the top 35 in the yards per play efficiency metric, but the Texas defense made them look like a top 10 offense at 6.6 yards per play Saturday night at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

“We’ve got standards at the University of Texas that we need to play to and we didn’t on that side of the ball. We expect to play much, much better especially defensively,” Herman said.

It doesn’t seem like Texas will get relief or reinforcements in the secondary for the upcoming game at TCU.

Herman said sophomore defensive back Jalen Green practiced Sunday, but will be evaluated through the week. However, DeMarvion Overshown and B.J. Foster are both banged up with shoulder injuries. Both played against the Jayhawks with mixed results.

While Kansas created explosive plays around the field, it was clear Foster was struggling to make tackles with a bad left shoulder.

Herman said Overshown is dealing with shoulder soreness that may be more. Overshown will be evaluated this week. Sophomore safety Caden Sterns will not be available. Herman didn’t provide an updated timeline for the talented defensive back.

It’s hard to think where this Texas would be without its top 10 offense. Sam Ehlinger and the rest of the skill players have delivered the goods in six of seven games. For the rest of the season to be a success, they won’t be able to let off the gas.

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