3 Areas the Texas Longhorns Need to Improve Against Rice

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Sep 5, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Texas Longhorns kicker Nick Rose (23) reacts after missing a field goal in the second quarter against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

2) Special teams

I’m sure Longhorns’ fans are sick of hearing this by now, but special teams has been an eye sore for the better part of a year. It seems like each week there is some mental error on special teams that costs the Horns.

Last week it was 10 men on the field, previous weeks it’s been lane coverage, while other weeks it’s been just simply catching a punt. Statistically, the Longhorns’ special teams ranked in the back half of almost every analytical ranking last season.

  • No. 89 in field goal efficiency
  • No. 80 in punt return efficiency
  • No. 111 in kick return efficiency
  • No. 84 in punt efficiency
  • No. 97 in kickoff efficiency
  • No. 114 overall

To put it in basic terms, Texas needs to avoid playing negative football on special teams, or else they’ll trickle down a similar path this season.

Of course, turning special teams into a strength would be fantastic, especially when you consider how young Texas is, but it seems unrealistic. Instead, it’s not so much about helping themselves. It’s more about not hurting themselves. Making improvements to areas such as lane coverage, having 11-men on the field, and holding your blocks will go a long, long way for this team.

Next: Turnovers