Doyle, Hutchins among three who need to step up

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Taylor Doyle

Prior to the Red River Showdown, redshirt junior Taylor Doyle had made three starts at guard this season. But last Saturday, Doyle lined up at center against Oklahoma for the first time in his collegiate career.

Doyle made a couple of errors but played well given the hostile environment. It was especially impressive as Doyle didn’t play center in high school and didn’t start to snap the ball for Texas until the new coaching staff arrived.

“[Doyle] did a really nice job,” said Shawn Watson, quarterbacks coach and play caller. “He was a hard spot for us that we needed, especially against the nose guard that we were playing. I thought he battled and held his own and did a really nice job for us. Center is like quarterback; it’s a hard transition because now you’re captain for the entire offense — the entire offensive line’s blocking patterns.”

After a solid performance against the Sooners, it will be Doyle’s responsibility to continue to play at a high level. The offensive line has been a liability for Texas this season, and Doyle could be the answer at center. He needs to step up and prove he can anchor the offensive line.

Marcus Hutchins

Hutchins, a redshirt junior, had a rough day at the Cotton Bowl against the Sooners. Oklahoma threw all sorts of looks at the left tackle from DeSoto, Texas. Whether it was linebacker blitz or defensive line stunt, Hutchins struggled to protect sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes.

The Longhorn offensive line has continued to improve throughout the season, but Hutchins appeared to regress against Oklahoma. He needs to needs to step up at the tackle position and protect Swoopes.

Adrian Colbert

Redshirt sophomore safety Adrian Colbert made some costly mistakes on special teams against Oklahoma. His first mistake was failing to contain his gap after slipping on a kickoff return, which resulted in a touchdown. Colbert followed up that mistake by running into Oklahoma’s punt returner before he was able to field the ball, costing Texas penalty yards that resulted in the defense yielding a field goal.

Head coach Charlie Strong said Colbert and the special teams can’t afford to take plays off.

“You don’t take a play off with special teams,” Strong said. “You have offense, you have defense and you have special teams, and that’s not the time to take a play off.”  

Colbert’s mistakes were big and cost the Longhorns 10 points. He needs to step up on special teams and help prevent the big play.