Texas defensive coordinator Vance Bedford (center) and linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary (right) are rebuilding a defense that allowed more than 30 points per game in 2015. (RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Football

Notebook: Vance Bedford serving more pressure

Posted October 21st, 2015

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Story highlights
  • Bedford said Texas sent pressure on 18 of OU's first 20 snaps
  • After making his debut against OU, freshman safety DeShon Elliott is in line for increased playing time
  • Texas announced there are 14,000 unsold tickets for Saturday's game against Kansas State

Vance Bedford is no fool.

Against Oklahoma, Texas’ defensive coordinator dialed up immense pressure, and the outcome was a big win and a breakthrough for his beleaguered unit.

So bank on more of it being served against Kansas State this week.

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“We need to be aggressive,” Bedford said Wednesday. “We have a lot of young kids, so in order to be aggressive, you have to call an aggressive game.”

By Bedford’s count, Texas blitzed on 18 of OU’s first 20 snaps, an astounding ratio that had quarterback Baker Mayfield’s head spinning. It set the tone for a six-sack effort, which accounts for nearly half of the 13 sacks Texas registered through six games.

“We said this needs to happen,” Bedford said. “We didn’t know how well we’d match up with their receivers, so our thought process was let’s see if we can put pressure on the quarterback and see if he can make a play.”

Bedford clarified that bringing pressure has been a fixture on defense, but “we just haven’t made plays.” He figures there have been 10 to 15 missed sacks.

Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson (46) sacks Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) during the first half at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Texas won, 24-17. (Brandon Wade/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)
Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson (46) sacks Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) during the first half at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Texas won, 24-17. (Brandon Wade/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

Against OU, freshman linebacker Malik Jefferson recorded his first two sacks, including one on the Sooners’ final drive. Bedford said the plan is for Jefferson, who has started every game at inside linebacker, to move to the edge in attacking situations.

More than meets eye: Bedford said that Kansas State’s quarterback — whomever that might be come Saturday — concerns him even after last week’s 55-0 loss to Oklahoma. The Wildcats executed a double-move on each of the first two drives, but Joe Hubener missed his intended targets. Connect on those throws, and who knows what might’ve transpired?

“All of a sudden it’s 21-0 and they have to throw the football and the game is out of hand,” Bedford said.

Hubener was pulled for wide receiver Kody Cook, but all indications are that Hubener will start.

Elliott progressing: Bedford said freshman safety DeShon Elliott made “a couple” of interceptions in Tuesday’s practice and could be ready for more playing time. Elliott, a headliner in this year’s freshman class, made his debut against OU and forced a fumble on special teams. He did not play in the first five games because of a foot injury he suffered during preseason camp.

“He’s a guy, if he knows what to do, he can make a play,” Bedford said. “DeShon is a guy as the season goes on, there’s a good chance you’re gonna see him get some playing time.”

Fellow freshman safety P.J. Locke is also in line for increased snaps, Bedford said.

Unsold tickets: There are 14,000 unsold tickets for the game, according to Texas. That shouldn’t be a major surprise considering there were 15,000 unsold tickets the week of the Oklahoma State game and because of Saturday’s rainy forecast.

Bedford rejected excuses about the weather.

“Get your butts in the stands and fill it up,” Bedford said. “Don’t watch on TV.”

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