Bedford says Texas' freshmen, pass rush continue to make strides

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Texas freshmen earning more playing time

Defensive coordinator Vance Bedford said Wednesday that the team’s freshmen are maturing and gaining more confidence. With the mental growth, those freshmen will see the field more.

“When you get older, you get confidence, and you feel a little more intelligent,” Bedford said. “You learn how not to do certain things and how to do certain things. We’re moving in that direction now with a lot of young guys.”

Bedford particularly praised the play of freshman cornerback Holton Hill. Hill played significant time in the Longhorns’ last two games, and he’s earned his coaches’ trust.

“You look at Holton Hill — he’s started two games — he’s gotten better and better,” Bedford said. “You can see a young man that’s growing as a football player and maturing.”

Hill and his freshmen teammates are undoubtedly making an impact for Texas’ defense. However, they are still young, and Bedford said growing pains are expected.

“They all still make freshman mistakes,” Bedford said. “They make bumps and they have to grow up and learn what to do all the time to be consistent.”

Longhorns focusing on rushing the quarterback

Texas’ defense controlled the line of scrimmage in its 24-17 victory over the No. 17 Sooners. The Longhorns penetrated Oklahoma’s backfield and sacked junior quarterback Baker Mayfield six times. Now, Texas looks to build on its attacking style.

“We need to be aggressive,” Bedford said. “I said 'let’s put pressure on the quarterback and see can he make a play'.”

The Longhorns haven’t been successful at rushing the quarterback all season. Texas ranks just No. 59 in sacks, and Bedford said the team has missed around 10 to 15 sacks this season. Yet, after consistently getting to Mayfield, Texas’ defense has confidence that it can make big plays going forward, according to Bedford.

“We’ve pressured quite a bit this year, but we just haven’t been able to make plays,” Bedford said. “I think you saw us take a step in the right direction [against Oklahoma].”