Ole Miss vs. Texas: Let’s Talk Defense

The Texas defense is looking for a bounce back game against Ole Miss.
The Texas defense is looking for a bounce back game against Ole Miss.

After all the negative talk, chatter and stories about this Longhorns football team over the past few days, I feel that it is important to look ahead. We have a new defensive coordinator and a renewed focus. Call me an optimist, but I believe that Texas Longhorns football will bounce back and be the team we all expect them to be. It starts this Saturday against Ole Miss. Here is to new beginnings.

Ole Miss is an interesting opponent and a hard one to gauge. In game one against Vanderbilt, they throw the ball almost 50 times, featuring a pass-first attack. In game two against Southeast Missouri, they run the ball 50 times, racking up 272 yards on the ground. In that game in particular, nine different players had a carry. Which team will show up on Saturday?

Greg Robinson has 6 days (two days remaining) to prepare his squad. Anyone who has attended practice can feel the sense of urgency (see YouTube video below). Coach Robinson knows that all eyes are going to be on his defense. He is taking every opportunity to coach these players up. Fundamentals and intensity seem to be the focus.

(See Also: A Quick Rundown of Greg Robinson)

It would be smart for Robinson to prepare his team to be tested on the ground ... especially early on. The Longhorns' struggles against the run are no secret. It would be a massive coaching failure were the Rebels to dismiss the potential opportunity for a sustained ground attack. For  Ole Miss, first drive, first play is going to be a run. You can take that to the bank. Coach Robinson will have his guys ready for it. You can take that to the bank too.

Assuming that Ole Miss starts out running the ball but finds little success, they can very quickly flip the switch and be come a pass-first team. If this happens, it becomes a strength -vs- strength game, a fast-paced spread offense against a talented and deep secondary.

Aside from the defense, there are other question marks for the Longhorns. The biggest of which is the health of David Ash who is listed as questionable and will be a game-time decision. Let's keep our fingers crossed for David. He is tough kid who makes this team better when he is on the field.

Every team goes through adversity. It is part of football ... it is part of life. The manner in which you get back up, dust yourself off and proceed forward can prove to be the ultimate character builder. Texas has far too much talent to underperform any longer. This is their opportunity and I believe that they will seize the moment on Saturday. #HookEm!

When: Saturday, September 14, 8 p.m. ET

Where: Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas

TV: Longhorn Network

Austin Radio: KVET 98.1 FM/1300 AM

Satellite Radio: XM Radio, Ch. 202; Sirius Ch. 117; XM Radio, Ch. 970 en Espanol.

James Schleicher

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.