The Harsin effect
Yesterday we wrote an article about Texas' defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and Texas Tech's offensive coordinator Neal Brown being two very good coordinators who happen to be young as well. The inbox ([email protected]) received more than a few notes saying that it was wrong to leave Texas' co-offensive coordinators Bryan Harsin and Major Applewhite out of that conversation (both of whom have yet to turn 35).
Hard to argue with the stats and productivity that Harsin (who is calling the plays) and Applewhite are getting from their squad which features a bunch of young guys (the following starters are all freshmen: WR, RB, QB, C, LT) and they have 3 other Sophomores starting as well.
This season, the Longhorns are running the football again, averaging nearly 220 yards per game on the ground (and their doing it primarily with two freshmen running the ball against defenses that know that the freshman QB isn't likely to hurt them too badly through the air. Texas is 17th in the nation in rushing offense but only 90th in passing. They are 40th in scoring whereas they ranked 82nd last year.
We noticed that Texas only had 57 runs of 10 or more yards all of least season (12 games). This year they already have 55 through 7 games...even though everybody is jamming the box. Impressive improvement under Harsin and Applewhite.
Saturday Texas takes on Texas Tech which has given up a large number of long rushing plays and it 114th in the nation in rushing defense. It will be interesting to see how Harsin and Applewhite try to attack Tech's defense and control the clock (and the game).