Texas Longhorns will have new defensive coordinator, starting quarterback

Posted Friday, Sep. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
More information Texas vs. Ole Miss 7 p.m. Saturday, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium TV: Longhorn Network Radio: KRLD/1080 AM Head to head
Texas Ole Miss
Total off.580510.5
Pass off.334.5271.5
Rush off.245.5239.0
3rd down 39.3%51.6%
Pts allowed23.524.0
Total def.512.5339
Pass def.185.5229.5
Rush def.327109.5
3rd down 38.5%46.7%

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The first time Greg Robinson made a debut as Texas’ defensive coordinator, the Longhorns pitched a shutout.

He served as the Longhorns co-defensive coordinator in 2004, a season that began with a 56-0 win over North Texas and ended with a Rose Bowl victory over Michigan.

Robinson takes over in the same role under much different circumstances now, replacing a reassigned Manny Diaz after Texas’ 40-21 loss to BYU last week.

“We got whipped,” coach Mack Brown said. “The schemes have been good. We’ve been very inconsistent at executing those schemes. We all need to pick up our game and do better.”

Texas’ embarrassing defeat to BYU saw the Longhorns (1-1) surrender a school-record 550 rushing yards. Saturday, they host a Mississippi team also capable of lighting up a scoreboard.

Robinson, who helped the Denver Broncos win back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998 as their defensive coordinator, inherits a unit that is allowing the third-most rushing yards in the country. He’s responsible for turning around a defense that has not shown much improvement since allowing more yards than any other team in school history.

“He really does a good job of teaching the guys to strip the ball and he’s so fundamentally sound,” Brown said. “His first official thought is, ‘We have to tackle better.’ And we all know that. He worked more about effort and tackling than anything else.”

While Robinson will help the Longhorns try to rectify problems on defense, Texas will try to overcome a pair of injuries on offense.

Sophomore Daje Johnson is out with an ankle injury he suffered last weekend. He had 129 total yards and two touchdowns in Texas’ season-opening win over New Mexico State before leaving the loss to BYU on the Longhorns’ opening possession.

David Ash on Friday was ruled out of Saturday’s game after suffering head and right shoulder injuries in the fourth quarter against the Cougars. Brown had said earlier in the week that Ash could be a game-time decision.

Senior Case McCoy will start, with true freshman Tyrone Swoopes serving as McCoy’s backup. McCoy’s last win as a starter came in Texas’ 27-25 triumph over Texas A&M in College Station two years ago, but his teammates and coaches believe in him.

“I’ve got a tremendous amount of confidence in Case and this team has a tremendous amount of confidence in him,” co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite said. “We’d like to play Case. He’s a very sharp coach’s kid.”

Ash’s status was one of many things that contributed to a tumultuous week on the Forty Acres. With the Longhorns in the midst of a 23-17 won-loss stretch since 2009, Johnson injured and Diaz dismissed, running backs coach Larry Porter was accused of paying players when he was an assistant at Oklahoma State from 2002 to 2004.

Porter denied the claims made in the Sports Illustrated report.

Multiple Longhorns players, meanwhile, denied that this season can’t be successful.

“Our season is not over,” senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat said. “We’re 1-1. We can still go 11-1. Keep believing in us. We will get this corrected.”

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