After an embarrassing loss on the road at Notre Dame to open the 2015 season, Texas head coach Charlie Strong has shaken things up in search of a way to fix the Longhorns offense. Jay Norvell will now be the sole play-caller on the Texas coaching staff, with Shawn Watson being stripped of play-calling responsibilities. Watson will concentrate his efforts solely on the quarterbacks moving forward.
Norvell was hired by Texas as a receivers coach after previously serving on the coaching staff at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops. His latest stop at Texas is the ninth different program or team he has been with since serving as a graduate assistant at Iowa in the mid-1980s. Norvell will look to turn things around on offense by bringing more balance to the offensive gameplan. Start looking for Texas to try running the football a bit more, something Strong commented on the previous day in lamenting the dreadful performance Texas had at Notre Dame Saturday night.
Texas had just 163 yards of total offense in South Bend. Sure, Notre Dame’s defense is a pretty tight group, but that number is embarrassingly low for a program like Texas. The Longhorns converted just two of 14 third down attempts and averaged just 2.1 yards per rushing attempt. Texas held on to the football for just over 20 minutes to Notre Dame’s 39:10 advantage in time of possession. Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes completed seven of 22 pass attempts for 93 yards and running back Johnathan Gray carried the football just eight times for 40 yards.
This also should be interesting news to the folks in Stillwater. Oklahoma State may now be entitled to a nice paycheck from the University of Texas as a result of this coaching shakeup in Austin. An ongoing legal dispute between the two Big 12 programs is focusing on the coaching responsibilities of former Oklahoma State offensive line coach Joe Wickline. Wickline was hired by Texas and then sued by Oklahoma State for a breach of contract. Oklahoma State claims Wickline’s move from the Cowboys to Longhorns was a lateral move, which would mean Wickline broke his contract. Strong and Texas have stated Wickline was responsible for some of the play-calling duties. With Wickline not in the fold for play-calling duties amid the coaching staff changes at Texas, it would seem to mean Oklahoma State is due some money.
Texas and Oklahoma State are scheduled to go to a pretrial conference on October 23. Perhaps this may avoid the hassle.