In Red Raiders rout, Texas Longhorns pulled a sack out of Pete Kwiatkowski's 'old bag of tricks'
DeMarvion Overshown donned a black cowboy hat and went to work last Saturday.
With Texas now giving players more freedom when it comes to their pregame wardrobes, Overshown walked down Bevo Boulevard wearing a black jacket, a black shirt and black pants. The senior linebacker added a big belt buckle to his outfit and tied a black bandana around his neck.
The ensemble — think Zorro meets Kool Moe Dee's take on the "Wild Wild West" — was certainly a talking point when Overshown later met the media following the 70-35 win over Texas Tech. He said putting together his outfit is "part of my preparation." He promised to wear something different ahead of each game.
Overshown, however, wasn't responsible for the new look on the Texas defense last weekend. In the third quarter, the Longhorns stacked three defensive linemen and had them rush Texas Tech quarterback Henry Colombi from a standing position. The unique formation led to a sack near the goal line.
"It was in (defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski's) old bag of tricks and he pulled it out," Overshown said. "When I first saw it on the game plan, I was like, what's this? It's crazy."
Texas was leading 42-14 when Tech faced a third-and-20 play from its own 10-yard line. Texas' Ray Thornton lined up as an edge rusher near Tech's right tackle.
Thornton was the only Longhorn on the line of scrimmage. Standing up in front of Texas Tech center Dawson Deaton, though, was 302-pound Alfred Collins. Standing directly behind Collins was Jacoby Jones, who is normally used as an edge rusher. Keondre Coburn, a 346-pound nose tackle, stood behind Jones.
As soon as the ball was snapped, the three defensive linemen blitzed out of their "I" formation. Collins quickly got to Colombi for his first sack of his sophomore season.
"I was just hoping it worked, which fortunately it did," linebacker Luke Brockermeyer said. "I know a lot of people got a laugh about that one."
On the play, Coburn said it was his responsibility to cause confusion and bull-rush the center. He joked with reporters that he kept thinking to not stumble and fall during the play. The chance to not be in a three-point stance was also a welcomed change.
"I was like a linebacker," Coburn said.
Texas coach Steve Sarkisian does not let his assistants talk during the season, but after the game said Kwiatkowski's call on that play provided a "chance to let those guys work the normal game that they would work and get some one-on-one rush opportunities."
Brockermeyer revealed that the odd alignment has been dubbed the "Wild Card." Texas players noted that Kwiatkowski ran a similar play while he was the defensive coordinator at Washington.
Texas had practiced the Wild Card before they ran it against Texas Tech. Overshown insisted that "it happened at practice exactly like it happened during the game."
"It was a fun play," Coburn said. "We worked on it all practice. The fact that we actually did it in a game surprised me and I was very excited to do it."
Texas has nine sacks this season. Sixty-one teams are averaging more sacks per game than UT (3-1, 1-0 Big 12). Through the first four games of its 2020 campaign, Texas sacked five different quarterbacks.
The Longhorns next face a 2-1 TCU team that's allowing 1.7 sacks per game. In last year's 33-31 loss to the Horned Frogs, Texas registered only one as TCU quarterback Max Duggan threw 30 passes and recorded 17 rushing attempts.
Texas at TCU, 11 a.m., ABC, 104.9