The Texas Longhorns have two weeks to prepare for their Big 12 opener against Oklahoma State on Sept. 29 and will use the extra practice time to shore up a defense that allowed 31 points on Saturday.
UT scored 66 points and had 676 total yards against Mississippi, but the Rebels burned the Longhorns on several long-yardage plays. Texas allowed a 75-yard touchdown pass, a 48-yard touchdown run, a 36-yard completion and a 30-yard rush.
"We are giving up too many big plays," UT head coach Mack Brown said. "It happened some to us early in the season last year."
In each of their three games this season, the Longhorns (3-0) have missed tackles that resulted in big plays for the opponent.
"We still have some tackling concerns. I think the front is playing really well but we've missed tackles at linebacker and in the secondary," Brown said. "There were nine missed tackles [against Ole Miss], two of which accounted for 97 yards. You take that out, you take scores out. We can't continue to do
that with this league, the way that people score [in the Big 12]. We just have to keep working on it."
This week's bye will give the Longhorns plenty of time to work on tackling.
"We're taking each play out and showing the guys the nine plays we missed tackles," Brown said.
"We're showing them exactly what happened and what we need to fix so we can improve it. We'll just go back to work on those issues."
Linebacker Jordan Hicks will be limited in practice this week. The junior left Saturday's game in the second quarter with a hip injury.
Running back Joe Bergeron and kicker Anthony Fera will also be limited in practice. Bergeron
suffered an apparent shoulder injury in the second half on Saturday. Fera pulled his hamstring in fall practice after transferring from Penn State. He has not played this year.
"You can let them get some stuff done but you hold them out of the some of the hitting this week,"
Brown said. "Let them get rested. The open date is used for a couple things, and that's one of them. We will know more [about their health] on Sunday."
By Austin Laymance/Special to the Star-Telegram