Brown has concerns for Longhorns offense
Mack Brown’s immediate concern is implosion, and his
long-term concern is about explosion, but whichever direction the plosion goes,
he is worried about his offense.
Speaking Monday on the Big 12 coaches teleconference, the Texas football coach
said he was concerned about his offense turning the ball over against Wyoming
in the season opener (implosion) and anxious about his offense’s ability to
generate big plays in general (explosion).
“The one thing that concerns me so far about our defense, playing Wyoming
this weekend, they were 10th in the country (last year) in forced turnovers
with 31, and we have not forced many turnovers in preseason camp,” Brown said. “You’d
like to think your offense is protecting the ball better. But again it’s a
concern for the defense because you usually win ballgames by the turnovers your
force and by protecting the ball.”
In that swoop, Brown characterized the 2012 Longhorns. Hoping for the offense,
but counting on the defense.
Which is a lot like last year. The Longhorns ranked 11th in the country in
total defense, but just 54th in total offense and 86th in passing offense. They
return one of the country’s most formidable backfields, but clouds of dust do
not a Big 12 championship make.
“We’ve got to do a better job of producing explosive plays,” Brown
said. “You can’t just run the ball for 4 yards a play and win all the
games. … We’ve got to create more explosive plays in the passing game, which
would come from the quarterback position.”
Which would come from David Ash. The 6-foot-3 sophomore split time with Case
McCoy last season, but won the starting job this year. UT fans can be forgiven
for being nervous about starting a guy who completed 56 percent of his passes
and threw twice as many interceptions as touchdowns last season.
Because Brown seems just as concerned.
“We need to have better offensive play,” Brown said. “Therefore
the quarterbacks do need to play better. They’ve talked about that. The thing
we need to do is score more points. This is a point-driven league and you start
looking at the number of points that are scored, and we averaged in the upper
20s last year. That’s not enough. When we won the national championship we
averaged 50. We averaged 40-plus for a long time. We need to get back to those
Texas topped the 40-point mark just three times last season, against UCLA,
Kansas and Texas Tech. In the Longhorns’ five defeats they averaged 17 points
and had two losses in which just 18 points would have won the game.
Brown expects to be better on offense in 2012 if for no other reason than Texas
is no longer starting a freshman quarterback.
“Everybody on offense should be better this year than we were last year,”
Yet, Monday said a lot. Here he is getting ready to play Wyoming, and he is
worried the defense won’t get enough turnovers.