Texas Football Faces Another Challenge


Saturday night in Arlington, the Texas Longhorns Football team will go against another athletic quarterback when they face the UCLA Bruins and junior quarterback Brett Hundley. To say that this is going to be a big test for a team that was shredded on the ground by BYU is an understatement. 

This could also be a huge statement game.

"The quarterback -- he reminds me a lot of Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers," defensive coordinator Vance Bedford tells Burnt Orange Nation. "Big, strong, athletic and -- I must admit -- one of the best arms that I have seen. I had the chance to go against Matt Stafford when he was at Georgia, a first round pick for Detroit, Ryan Mallet at Arkansas. This kid (Brett Hundley) has that type of arm. The entire field is wide open. He could be on one hash and throw the out cut and, I'll tell you what, it looks like a bazooka. He's a special talent."

Big arm? Check.

"Another strong runner for us, you're right, in Hundley," said Charlie Strong on Monday. "The thing about it, I think he threw for 396 yards against Memphis the other night and they beat them by seven. But a really strong runner, a really good football player..." 

2023 Texas Longhorns Football Season Tickets

Dangerous in the open field? Check.

So what does a defensive coordinator do to neutralize a talent like Brett Hundley? Man-to-man defense tends to leave plenty of opportunity for the quarterback to break the pocket once the coverage turns its back to cover the receivers.  Because of this, one may expect that answer to be QB spies and lots of zone defense, but according to Coach Strong, they will do many of the same things they did against BYU ... that means plenty of man defense and a healthy dose of blitzing.

"We're going to have to mix it up with some zone and man, but just try to get him off balance and making sure that we blitz him," Strong said. "We have to go attack him and we have to go blitz, what you call the blitz, and guys got to hit their gaps and be gap sound and have gap integrity, and we didn't get that done the other night."

Making Hundley feel uncomfortable in the pocket and forcing him to make bad decisions with the ball seems to be a smart strategy. Against Memphis, Hundley was blitzed in the 4th quarter and pressured quickly, resulting in a pick-six. Coach Strong and company have likely looked at tape of that game (a game in which UCLA only won by 7) and will try and mimic some of the things that worked for Memphis.

One thing that we know is that Coach Strong will not accept the kind of performance his team gave us against BYU. While Texas (the underdog) may not leave with a victory against the number 7 team in the nation, I am confident that we will see a different Texas team in Arlington. We will be competitive and we will play Longhorns football.



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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *