Interesting story here about how Charlie Strong has had to ditch his preferred offensive philosophy and embrace a spread attack because that’s about all that coming out of the state’s high school systems.
But as Strong heads into Year 2 off a 6-7 debut, he has already conceded that his initial plan won’t work. When Texas debuts at Notre Dame on Sept. 5, the Longhorns will be another convert to the speed-and-spread style of football that has become rather homogenous in the Big 12. He’s not trying to re-create Louisville on a bigger stage; the Texas of 2015 is trying to emulate Auburn. Texas is no longer setting the agenda for football in the state; the Longhorns are adjusting on the fly just to keep up.
“It was just so hard; the scores were coming so quickly and it’s hard to match,” Strong told USA TODAY Sports. “I’d say probably 95% of the high schools in this state are all from the spread. A young man coming in here has been accustomed to the spread, so let’s not bring him in and all the sudden change it when he’s grown up with that the whole time. In the recruiting process, kids want to see that. They want to see you’re going up-tempo, so it’s almost like for recruiting alone, you had to go in that direction.”
That’s a heck of an admission from a Texas coach, but it’s also reality.
That’s also a little strange. If Strong were that wedded to his offensive scheme, why not look outside the state of Texas for a quarterback who fits it better? Maybe I’m a bit jaded from watching where Richt has plucked his starting quarterbacks over the years, but it’s not as if Strong wasn’t able to do that very thing with Teddy Bridgewater at Louisville. Is it that unthinkable for the Longhorns to have a non-Texan starting quarterback?