Who Needs to Step Up vs. Oklahoma State

Jillian Kushner

The Defensive Backs

If Texas players want to claim DBU (Defensive Back University), they are going to need to play like their predecessors — Earl Thomas, Kenny Vaccaro, Michael Griffin, Michael Huff, and Aaron Williams. Aside from junior safety Kevin Vaccaro and sophomore corner Antwuan Davis, the secondary was unimpressive against Cal. They allowed 268 passing yards, and California junior quarterback Jared Goff only had 10 incompletions and no interceptions.

The Defensive Line and Linebackers

The Golden Bears had 280 rushing yards against Texas’ defense. California junior running back Khalfani Muhammad had 164 yards alone on 10 attempts — the defense could not stop him. The Golden Bears were 5-for-13 on third down conversions and 2-for-2 on fourth down conversions. This is a huge defensive weakness, and it is not a secret anymore. Oklahoma State will take advantage of this weakness and continue to expose it. The big men up front need to be more aggressive and stop the opposing offense.

The Defense

Texas’ defense has been exposed after three games this season. It allowed Cal to score 21 unanswered points in the third quarter Saturday. While this can be blamed on the players, the coaches deserve blame as well. When things are clearly not working to stop the offense, changes need to be made. Defensive coordinator Vance Bedford has to make some changes to the defense, since it appears none have been made so far. The defense allowed 527 yards against Notre Dame and 462 against Rice. These yards, added to California’s 548 yards, expose Texas’ weak defense. Texas is ranked No. 118 in the FBS in total defense — only nine spots away from dead last. Texas' rush defense is ranked No. 119 out of 127. Texas ranks slightly better in red zone defense, tied for No. 85. All these rankings and numbers add up to one thing — a weak defense. With Charlie Strong, a defensive-minded head coach, people expect more from Texas. The offense is finally doing its part, and now it’s time for the defense to do the same.