College Confidential

No. 11 Texas to rely on defense, kicking game in first road trip

As he prepares to take his team on its first road trip of the season, Texas football coach Charlie Strong knows two essentials he is counting on to surface in Saturday’s game at California (9:30 p.m., ESPN).

“You’ve got to pack your defense and your kicking game when you go on the road. That’s the key,” Strong said during Monday’s conference call with Big 12 coaches. “We’ve got to keep the team focused and ready. I think we have a more mature football team right now.”

No. 11 Texas (2-0) has a chance to secure its first undefeated run through its nonconference schedule since 2012 with a victory over the Golden Bears (1-1). Texas heads into the contest ranked fourth among Big 12 teams in total defense, allowing 326 yards and 27 points per game.

Strong said he is more concerned about Bears’ quarterback Davis Webb, a graduate transfer from Texas Tech who has thrown for nine touchdowns this season, than he is about the late kickoff time for a Texas audience.

“It’s a 7:30 kickoff there. I don’t think the time change will make that much of a difference even though it will be later back home,” Strong said. “Webb has done a good job of managing their offense. He’s an outstanding player and he’s done well in their first two games.”

For a second consecutive week, Texas quarterback Shane Buechele was selected Monday as the Big 12 newcomer of the week. Buechele, a freshman from Arlington Lamar, completed 22-of-27 passes for 244 yards and four touchdowns in last week’s 41-7 victory over UTEP.

Jimmy Burch: 817-390-7760, @Jimmy_Burch