Each day, as a countdown to fall camp opening on Aug. 2, we are going to provide you with a number that was important in 2011 and let you know why it will be important in 2012.
Inside the number
It took 11 games for the Texas defense to finally break.
Until Robert Griffin III, Kendall Wright and Baylor, the Texas defense had not allowed a touchdown pass of more than 20 yards. Twenty-two seconds into the game, Griffin hit Wright for a 59-yard score. It was the longest pass play given up in 2011.
Where it counts in 2012
As Texas prepares for 2012, there is reason to believe the secondary will be just as stingy on long touchdown passes or, perhaps even stingier. The reason for Griffin’s early success was that the safety, Blake Gideon, bit on the play fake. Then he did not have the speed to make up for his mistake.
Texas returns everyone in the secondary except Gideon. His replacement, either Adrian Phillips of Mykkele Thompson, will have more speed but less experience than the four-year starter. That speed should make up for a lot of mistakes. Kenny Vaccaro, a senior, will be alongside to help make up for many other mistakes.
The defensive line will also be a huge asset to the secondary. Texas will go as many as 10 deep across the line with both starting ends being next-level players. The pressure the line should apply to quarterbacks will be tremendous. That means a shorter time to throw the ball, which means more underneath, quick routes, which means no one should get beat deep.