Report: Strong taking over Longhorns defense

AUSTIN, TEXAS - A day after the Texas Longhorns’ defense was shelled by Oklahoma State, it looks like a change is coming to the coaching staff.

According to KVUE news partner the Austin American-Statesman, Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong will take full control over the defense and defensive play-calling. Strong made his name as one of the top defensive coordinators for years before becoming a head coach at Louisville.

If Strong does indeed take over defensive play calling, it would be a demotion for current defensive coordinator Vance Bedford. However, after Bedford’s defense was rocked by another Power 5 conference team, a demotion shouldn’t be a surprise to Longhorns fans.

Texas is currently ranked dead last in scoring defense in the Big 12, giving up 38.3 points per game, which also ranks Texas 116th in the nation in scoring defense, below teams like Akron, UTEP, FIU, and Arkansas State.

Against Power 5 conference teams, Texas is giving up 48.7 points per game after surrendering 47 to Notre Dame; 50 to Cal; and 49 to Oklahoma State last Saturday. The loss to Oklahoma State was Strong’s 10th loss of 18 points or more since he took over as head coach.

Longhorns star linebacker Malik Jefferson said the defense doesn’t have faith in the defensive plan.

“One of the problems we’re facing is we’re not believing in what we do,” Jefferson told the Austin American-Statesman. “I’m not saying we don’t believe in each other as a team. We go out there and have a lack of confidence when we play games.”

If Strong takes over defensive play calling duties, it will be the second time in two seasons that one of his coordinators has been demoted. Last year, Shawn Watson was relieved of play-calling duties after a disastrous outing against Notre Dame. He was later replaced with Sterlin Gilbert in the offseason who has led Texas’ offense to relevance again.


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