Texas defense playing for the rebound

September, 29, 2010
9/29/10
9:28
AM CT
video Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator Will Muschamp hasn't had many bad days since joining Mack Brown's staff. Count last Saturday was one of them. And maybe the worst.

UCLA ran its zone-read attack all over Muschamp's highly ranked unit and afterward the fiery coach counted up 15 missed tackles. Muschamp said you could have taken the team's first three games and not found that many misses. Inexcusable for a team with such lofty goals as the Longhorns.

No. 21 Texas will face a much more balanced offense Saturday in the Red River Rivalry against the No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners.

"They have a lot of balance. The two things that jump out at you are the two playmakers. [Tailback] DeMarco Murray and [wide receiver] Ryan Broyles are outstanding players," Muschamp said. "They do a great job of getting them the ball in space and letting them make plays. They're a balanced offense like they have had in the past. They want to be able to run the ball and also be able to throw it. Play action – get the ball out of the quarterback's hands especially early in the game. They do a nice job with their balance."

Both players have put up dynamite numbers despite the fact that the Sooners have struggled to put away three of their four opponents and are fortunate not to be headed to the Cotton Bowl with an unexpected early loss like their nemesis to the south.

Murray is averaging 109.0 yards a game, having gained 483 yards on 105 carries with seven touchdowns. Broyles' marks might be even more eye-catching: 41 receptions (next-highest on the team is 16) for 482 yards, an average of 120.5 a game, with four touchdowns.

Broyles will be a major challenge for Texas' heralded secondary and particularly cornerbacks Curtis Brown, Chykie Brown and Aaron Williams.

"He's got separation speed. That's the first thing that jumps out at you," Muschamp said of Broyles, a junior the Sooners nabbed from their own backyard in Norman, Okla. "He's very good with the ball in his hands. They do a really nice job of getting the ball in different places, lining him up in different spots. You've always got to have great awareness of where he is."

Texas' hopes of winning the Big 12 South depend on it.

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