Although it’s not known for the level of play on the defensive side of the ball, the Big 12 could have a solid group in Austin with Texas football in 2018.
Texas football boasted a solid group on the defensive side of the ball in 2017 under first-year defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. This defense had a strong season last year under Orlando and also first-year head football coach Tom Herman, especially in the turnover department. Texas forced two turnovers per game exactly in 2017.
A lot of that was thanks to a huge season from then senior safety DeShon Elliott who racked up six interceptions. The 3-2-6 scheme from Orlando last season allowed for some easier interceptions for the defensive backs, and that’s where the Longhorns drew most of the turnovers altogether.
There were four other Horns that managed two interceptions last year including Holton Hill, Davante Davis, Kris Boyd, and Antwuan Davis. Since the Orlando scheme was a large reason why Texas had so much success in the turnover department and pass defense, having him in the coaching staff again this year is huge.
Moreover, Texas returns a lot of experience on the defensive side of the ball despite some big losses like linebacker Malik Jefferson, defensive tackle Poona Ford, and Elliott. Returning starters like senior defensive backs in Kris Boyd and P.J. Locke III can guide the Horns through all those tough losses on this side of the ball.
Even in the areas where the Horns have bigger defensive losses, it has some proven upperclassmen ready to step in and make an impact in a starting role.
Here’s a look at the five reasons why the Texas Longhorns will boast the top defense in the Big 12 for the 2018 campaign.