When Will Muschamp accepted the head coaching position at Florida last December, Texas fans were left stressing over what seemed to be the only sure piece of the football program. With the defensive situation up in the air, it certainly made for a December to remember. Mississippi State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was hired by Texas, bringing an electric energy and an attacking defense with him.
So with the season halfway over and with the Longhorns holding a bye week, now’s the perfect time to take a peek at Florida to see how former Texas defensive coordinator and head-coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp is doing at the helm of the Gators.
In terms of total defense, the Gators are ranked No. 12 in the country, allowing 291 yards per game. The Longhorns, on the other hand, have allowed 321 yards per game up to this point, ranking them No. 24 in the nation.
Texas struggled last weekend containing the run, allowing Oklahoma State running back Jeremy Smith to gain 140 yards and two touchdowns. The Gators had their own problems earlier in the year with another talented running back, as Alabama’s Trent Richardson racked up 181 yards and two touchdowns.
All of that aside, the Longhorns are allowing just 122 yards per game, putting them neck-and-neck with the Gators, who give an average of 121 yards a game.
In the pass-defense department, Texas ranks No. 55 in the country, allowing 216 yards per game, while Florida sits at a stingy No. 12 nationally, holding opponents to 176 yards through the air per game. Remember though, the Longhorns have played two of the most dynamic passing offenses in the country the past two weeks.
When Texas lost Muschamp to the Gators, it lost one of the best in-game defensive adjusters in the country. Without missing a beat, Diaz stepped into a high-pressure role and has produced a defense worthy of the Longhorns’ prestigious standards. As the games go on and as the players continue to become more familiar with the defensive schemes, expect Diaz’s defense to make a lot more noise.