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October 13, 2010

Breaking down the Texas Longhorn defense

Nebraska Opponent Defensive Scouting Report

Team: Texas Longhorns
Location: Austin, Texas

Colors: Burnt Orange & White
Enrollment: 50,170
Conference: Big 12 (South Division)

Head Coach: Mack Brown (Florida State, 1974), 217-103-1 in 27 seasons, 131-29 in 13 seasons at UT
Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers: Will Muschamp

2010 Record: 3-2 (1-1 Big 12)
National Ranking: None (receiving votes)
Series Record vs. Nebraska: Texas leads 9-4

Game Date: Saturday, Oct. 16
Game Time: 2:30 p.m. CT
Stadium: Memorial Stadium (81,091) in Lincoln, Neb.
TV: ABC
Radio: Husker Sports Network


Up Front: Texas' front four has played a huge part in the Longhorns' defensive success this season. DE Eddie Jones (6-3, 260) is third on the team with 31 tackles and has teamed with NT Kheeston Randall (6-5, 295) to produce a combined 17 TFLs. Jones and DE Sam Acho (6-3, 260) also lead the way with 4.0 sacks apiece while newcomer reserve Jackson Jeffcoat (6-5, 238) has added 2.5 sacks. Jones and Jeffcoat also pace the squad with seven and six quarterback hurries, respectively. The four, along with starter DT Alex Okafor (6-4, 258), have helped UT hold opponents to just 104 rushing yards per game to rank 19th in the country.

The Middle Men: WLB Keenan Robinson (6-3, 239) and SLB Emmanuel Acho (6-2, 240) have been making plays all over the field this fall. Robinson leads UT with 50 tackles while Acho is second with 40 stops, including seven TFLs. Robinson owns one of the team's three interceptions this fall while Acho has four pass breakups and four quarterback hurries to go with a pair of forced fumbles and a recovery. MLB Dustin Earnest (6-3, 232) also starts and has added 10 tackles.

In the Back: S Kenny Vaccaro (6-1, 201) is fourth on the team in tackles with 28 and third with 21 solo stops despite starting only twice this fall while S Blake Gideon (6-1, 205) has added 27 tackles with a TFL and an interception. CB Aaron Williams (6-1, 195), CB Chykie Brown (6-0, 194), S Christian Scott (6-1, 215) and CB Curtis Brown (6-0, 184) have helped UT rank eighth nationally in pass defense this year by allowing just 150.2 yards per game.

Kicking It: P John Gold (6-3, 208) and PK Justin Tucker (6-1, 185) have each punted at least 10 times while combining for nine fair catches and eight punts downed inside the 20. Gold has averaged 42.8 ypp on 13 kicks with a long of 62, one of three kicks over 50 yards. Tucker's 10 kicks have gone 38.3 ypp, including six stopping inside the 20. Tucker also handles kickoffs and has had seven touchbacks in 28 attempts.

Return Game: D.J. Monroe (5-9, 171) has brought back nine of UT's 17 kickoff returns, averaging 22.1 ypr with a team-long of 32 yards. Four other players also have combined for eight returns, averaging 15.6 ypr. Aaron Williams (6-1, 195) and Curtis Brown (6-0, 184) have split the punt return duties. Williams has nine attempts for 7.7 ypr while Brown has been more effective by gaining 12.4 ypr on seven returns.

They Said It: "He's faster than anybody who's chasing him. They have 17 drives of five plays or less, including four against Kansas State. He's a guy who scares you to death. Every time he touches the ball, he has a chance to score, and he has amazing composure for a freshman. I'm very impressed with him." - Coach Mack Brown about his defense matching up with NU freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez

Quick hits

*** Texas enters the week ranked sixth nationally in total defense, allowing just 254.2 yards per game. The average is first in the Big 12 Conference with Nebraska ranking second at 275.0 ypg.

***UT has held opponents to just 2.63 yards per carry, allowing just 520 rushing yards on 198 attempts. The Huskers come into the game gaining 7.74 yards per attempt with 1,688 rushing yards on 218 carries. No other league team is averaging more than 4.9 yards per carry.

*** The Longhorns have held opponents to just 20.0 points per game, a mark that ranks 36th nationally and is fourth in the league behind Missouri (11.2 ppg), Nebraska (12.8 ppg) and Baylor (19.83 ppg).

***Texas leads the league with 3.2 sacks per game and 8.8 tackles for loss per contest. The Longhorns have 44 TFLs (38 solo) for a total of 219 yards lost.

*** While UT's front has gotten pressure on opposing quarterbacks, it has not translated into turnovers as UT ranks 11th in the league with just three interceptions entering the week. UT is 10th in turnover margin at -1.0 with just seven turnovers gained while losing 12.


Texas Longhorns 2010 Schedule/Results
9/4 Rice, W, 34-17
9/11 Wyoming, W, 34-7
9/18 at Texas Tech, W, 24-14
9/25 UCLA, L, 34-12
10/2 vs. Oklahoma, L, 28-20
10/16 at Nebraska, 2:30 p.m.
10/23 Iowa State, TBA
10/30 Baylor, TBA
11/6 at Kansas State, TBA
11/13 Oklahoma State, TBA
11/20 Florida Atlantic, TBA
11/25 Texas A&M, 7 p.m.


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