'Remember November'

AUSTIN, Texas -- Improvement comes in small doses for a Texas defense coming from a place they never thought they would be.

The Longhorns finished the 2011 season with the nation's No. 11 defense. With probable future NFL players Kenny Vaccaro, Alex Okafor, Quandre Diggs, Jackson Jeffcoat and others, the suspicion was that, in coordinator Manny Diaz's second year, this defense would dominate. The assumption was, too, that they would need to dominate, because the offense was thought to be a work in progress.

Before the season, words like "turnovers," "dominate," "pressure," and "impose" were used when considering what this team might be able to do.