For nearly a year now I have been contributing Chalk Talk to explain the technical breakdown of Longhorn plays and systems. This week I planned to cover the ‘lack luster’ kicking game, but as I wrote, I realized how wrong I was. Baylor put it to Texas... they just changed their plan.

As I researched my intended topic, I found that Texas was only forced to punt one more time than Baylor, and had two of punts of 50+ yards. The Longhorns only kicked off one time, but it was a good kick as Baylor only returned it twelve yards. Texas won the time of possession battle, they completed more than twice as many passes as Baylor and only trailed in total offense by 54 yards which begs the question… what happened?

Baylor converted 4 of 6 fourth downs and on one of the two failed conversions the entire Baylor sideline thought it was 3rd down. That equates to no respect for the Texas defense.

Forget what Briles said in press conferences. The Bears only threw the ball 22 times for 7 completions – it was a different BU offense. In each one of Baylor’s previous wins they completed an average of 25 passes per game. Last Saturday the Bears completed just 7. Baylor averaged 41 passing attempts per game as compared to the measly 22 attempted on Saturday. The Baylor offense had, in the past, relied on a relentless tempo as well as crisp constant completions to find offensive success. Last Saturday, Baylor chose to attack a consistent shortcoming of the Longhorns…second half stamina.

The up-tempo offenses that college football has become accustomed to seeing brought a revamped defensive philosophy called ‘platooning’. Platooning refers to the way teams constantly rotate new defensive lineman and linebackers into the game to give different looks as well as ‘fresh legs’.

Texas currently lacks the depth to roll different lineman in and out for the entire length of a game. (No matter how good Malcom Brown is he can’t take on a double team on every play.)

In the first half Baylor chose to wear down the Longhorns with a barrage of different plays. Baylor slowed their tempo to make Texas’ lack of depth seem like a non-issue. In addition to a slower pace Baylor used a wide array of plays run from a wide array of formations. In the second half however, Baylor stuck to the ground game. With Texas still attempting to adjust and cover all the possible plays and reads Baylor just ran the ball straight ahead and we all know what happened.

So, as much as I planned to write about the kicking game this week, Baylor made adjustments to my plan. That’s what good coaches do – they adjust.

How Charlie Strong and Vance Bedford adjust to compensate for the defense’s stamina will be an interesting storyline throughout the second half of the season.