3 Areas the Texas Longhorns Need to Improve Against Rice

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Nov 8, 2014; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray (32) reacts against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the first half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

1) The run game — or lack thereof

29 carries for 60 yards… That was the Longhorns rushing numbers on Saturday in South Bend. While the total number was pitiful, running back Johnathan Gray actually didn’t fare too bad, carrying the rock eight times for 40 yards.

The issue, though?

Texas did not commit to the run. With a young offensive line that saw two freshmen start, run the dog-on football coach!

Hopefully this week the change in play callers will spark more of a commitment to the run game. For me, I’m hoping to see more zone reads incorporated into the offence.

Whether it be Jerrod Heard or Tyrone Swoopes, Texas needs to utilize the zone read more this week. Take a look at what the zone read did against Notre Dame when Heard ran it late in the first quarter.

Gray manages to rip off 11 yards on this play through his athleticism. But either way, the zone read is a different look that the Texas offence can use to not only establish tempo, but also to help their quarterbacks make easier reads.

Granted, though, the good folks over at Horns247 pointed out on there weekly podcast two weeks ago that there were a number of times last season where the Horns ran the zone read, but Swoopes would hardly ever keep the ball. Regardless of how gaping the hole was, Swoopes handed the ball of time-and-time again. Either way, Heard looks like the better fit in zone read situations because his legs are a legitimate threat.

Next: Special Teams