Tracking the Longhorns: Oct. 31
Oct. 31, 2012
Co-offensive coordinator/running backs coach Major Applewhite
Assistant head coach/defensive backs coach Duane Akina
On Texas Tech QB Seth Doege: I think they are throwing it much better this year then they did a year ago. You can see it has been an emphasis for them in the offseason, and they have done a nice job. Even if there is one-on-ones downfield, they are just going to take their shot. You just take your shot - he's covered, they have some big receivers, throw the high-straight ones and see what happens. I think they have done a nice job with that.
On Texas Tech sophomore TE Jace Amaro: We are expecting to see them all. We are not sure, but we are expecting him to be back in the game. I'm sure when Texas comes into town or anyone comes into town after being out, he is going to want to play. He is going to do whatever it takes to get himself on the field. He is a good player, and I'm sure if he can go then they are going to want him out there for the run and pass game.
On working on spacing and making solo tackles in practice: I think with the nature of some of the offenses you see in this conference, there is a lot of spacing out there. What you have to do is really work hard at swarming the football and not leaving people in one-on-one tackling situations. I think the emphasis has been to swarm to the football and reduce open-field tackling situations and everyone understanding the leverages. It is not only how you pursue the football, but the angle and the approach, too. I thought we did a great job with that last week. We let one get out of the box, but in today's football I wish that you would leave a game with zero missed tackles. Until we can find a defense that does then we would know the recipe. I thought they really did a nice job with it last week, and we continue to work on that and continue to get better on that.
On junior CB Carrington Byndom's confidence: He's been steady all year. I don't believe his confidence has dipped. I see no signs of it. We play an aggressive style of defense, and he is still up there challenging. I can't remember him being in a tough situation in this last game against Kansas that warrants him to lose some confidence, so we will find out this week. He will have some good matchups this week against good receivers and another team that throws the ball really efficiently. I think they are third in the nation, so not many people have slowed him down that have lined up against him.
On Texas Tech picking up the tempo on offense: Yea, they up the tempo. That is the personality of this league really. It is a good concept for offensive coaches. They do a good job of running the football, throwing the football and I think they do a nice job with all the receivers. All the receivers do a nice job of blocking down field along with running routes. This is a good receiving corps. [They have] a nice balanced attack, and they have the ability to run the football. You can see they have really made an emphasis of it. I think it has helped their defense. It's part of [Texas Tech Head coach Tommy] Tuberville's plan; he is a defensive guy by nature. I think having that run game in their system, they still want to throw it. But they will run it, and I think a lot of it was to help their defense in the off-season.
On where senior S Kenny Vaccaro will play this week: We played a lot of base defense because of the nature of the offense they were running. We weren't looking at four wide-outs all game or five, so we weren't in our six DBs [defensive backs] quite as much. We ran some nickel, but when we run our four DBs, it gives Kenny a chance to play on top, which is good for him. It shows how complete of a football player he is. I've got to say that he is playing as well as any safety/defensive back in the country right now. With the job descriptions we are giving him right now, [they] are very similar to what we gave [former Longhorn and current NFL Oakland Raider S] Michael Huff when Michael was here. Just mentally and physically the things that he is doing, I think a lot of people really don't understand. He is playing outstanding. The wrinkle we put in the second half there to slow down the three [running] back offense, which they hadn't shown much or hardly at all. Kenny kind of ended up playing middle linebacker in that thing. He just continues with his job description, and his resume continues to grow as one of the best I've been around.