AUSTIN – Stepping in front of cameras and microphones for a post-scrimmage availability on Saturday, Tom Herman wasted no time praising the Texas defense for winning their third fall scrimmage.
“Defense flew around,” Herman said in his opening remarks. “Was really really impressed with the ones and the twos on defense.”
The win means Todd Orlando and the defense end fall camp with a 3-0 record against Tim Beck and the offense. Offensive players were forced to do extra calisthenics for a third consecutive Saturday following a scrimmage loss to their counterparts.
With three scrimmage victories under the defense’s belt, Herman was asked on Saturday if it’s encouraging to have seen Orlando’s unit take it to the offense each of the last three weekends.
“Very much,” Herman said. “We’re gonna win with great defense.”
The Texas defense has been far from great each of the past two seasons. That’s why Orlando, who was a finalist to be Herman’s replacement at Houston before Major Applewhite was hired as the successor, came with Herman to Austin as one of his most important hires.
Orlando’s Houston defenses were stout as his 2016 unit finished fourth nationally against the run (100.2 yards per game allowed) while ranking 13th in the country in total defense (319.6 yards per game allowed). The Cougars also finished 14th nationally in both tackles for loss and sacks with 11 of their sacks coming against Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson in a 36-8 thumping Houston put on Louisville in November.
That was a nice encore to a 2015 campaign that saw Houston lead the nation in takeaways (35), rank eighth nationally in rushing defense (108.9 yards per game allowed) and finish 20th in the country in scoring defense (20.7 points per game allowed).
If the Longhorns are going to start winning football games at a…