October 18, 2006

Breaking down the Texas Longhorn defense

Who: Texas Longhorns
School Location: Austin, Texas
School Colors: Burnt Orange and White

2006 Record: 6-1 overall, 3-0 in the Big 12
National Ranking: No. 5
Conference: Big 12 (South Division)

Head Coach: Mack Brown (Florida State, 1974): In 9th season at Texas (89-20, 4-1 vs. Nebraska)
Co-defensive Coordinators: Gene Chizik and Duane Akina

When: Saturday, Oct. 21, 2006, 11 a.m. (CDT)
Where: Memorial Stadium - Tom Osborne Field
Radio: Pinnacle Sports Network
Series Record: Texas leads 6-4.
Base Defensive Formation: 4-3

On The Line: Without a doubt, the strength of the Texas defense is its front four. Seniors Tim Crowder (6-4, 270) and Brian Robison (6-3, 275) line up at the end positions. Crowder has recorded 14 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and 7.5 quarterback sacks. Robison has made six tackles for losses and three sacks. Junior nose tackle Derek Lokey (6-2, 275) and junior tackle Frank Okam (6-5, 315) have clogged things up in the middle, combining for 35 stops.

Linebackers: Sophomore middle linebacker Rashad Bobino (5-11, 230) and senior strongside linebacker Robert Killebrew (6-2, 230) are the most experienced starters in the Texas linebacking corps. Bobino is third on the team in tackles with 36. He also has a pair of sacks, four quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery. Killebrew has 20 tackles, two QB hurries and two fumble recoveries. Junior weakside linebacker Scott Derry (6-3, 230) has been a solid performer for the Longhorns, recording 31 tackles.

In the Secondary: The last time Nebraska and Texas played each other (2003), the Huskers had a set of twin brothers in their secondary - Daniel and Josh Bullocks. This year, it's the Longhorns who have the twins - senior strong safety Michael Griffin (6-0, 205) and junior free safety Marcus Griffin (6-0, 205). Michael Griffin has a team-leading 62 tackles along with one interception, four pass break-ups, two fumble recoveries and a blocked kick. Marcus Griffin has made 36 tackles, an interception and a pass break-up. Senior left cornerback Aaron Ross (6-1, 192) is second on the team in tackles (46), first in interceptions (4) and pass break-ups (10). Senior Tarell Brown (6-0, 200) is the right cornerback.

Punting the ball: Senior punter Greg Johnson is averaging 41 yards per kick. Thirteen of his kicks have landed inside the opponent's 20 yard line.

Longhorn Quick Hits

***Texas is ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 Conference in rushing defense (47.71), total defense (258) and turnover margin (+1.43). The Longhorns are second in scoring defense behind Nebraska, giving up 13.71 points per game.

***Saturday's match-up will mark only the third time in the history of college football that two programs with at least 800 wins will square off against one another. Texas ranks third for all-time wins with 806 and Nebraska is fourth with 800. Michigan has 856 wins and Notre Dame has recorded 816.

***Texas has won 18 straight Big 12 Conference games.

***The Longhorns' trip to Lincoln is their first true road game of the season and their first journey this season outside the state of Texas. The Longhorns have won their last 15 road games and 27 of the last 28.

***Nebraska is 1-4 against Texas since formation of the Big 12 Conference. The Huskers' lone victory against UT since formation of the conference came in the 1999 Big 12 Conference Championship game by the score of 22-6.

Texas Schedule
Sept. 2 - North Texas (W, 56-7)
Sept. 9 - Ohio State (L, 24-7)
Sept. 16 - Rice (W, 56-7)
Sept. 23 - Iowa State (W, 37-14)
Sept. 30 - Sam Houston State (W, 56-3)
Oct. 7 - Oklahoma (W, 28-10)
Oct. 14 - Baylor (W, 63-21)
Oct. 21 - @ Nebraska
Oct. 28 - @ Texas Tech
Nov. 4 - Oklahoma State
Nov. 11 - @ Kansas State
Nov. 24 - Texas A&M

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