4 Things That Texas Football Needs To Do To Show Progress In Year 2 Under Charlie Strong

Year one of the Charlie Strong era with the Texas Longhorns was all about changing the culture, with the team's bowl berth standing as an added bonus during a 6-7 campaign that seemed more about the long run than short-term success. However, year two's fate will be more predicated on production and wins, as we begin to see just what we have with Strong at the helm in Austin.

Here's 4 Things That Texas Football Needs To Do To Show Progress In Year 2 Under Charlie Strong.

1. Maintain Consistent, Effective Quarterback Play

The Texas Longhorns went 5-4 in Big 12 play with substandard quarterback play from Tyrone Swoopes down the stretch (and honestly for most of the season). Whether Swoopes can maintain the job as the incumbent or the more explosively athletic Jerrod Heard secures the job, the difference between contending for a lower-tier bowl game and fighting it out for one of the Big 12's premier postseason destinations will be the passing game. If the eventual competition winner can do a passable job managing the offense and opening up opportunities for the running game with fewer defenders in the box, Texas could be a dark horse Big 12 title contender.

2. Luck Out Injury-Wise On The Offensive Line

We can't condemn Swoopes too much for his late-season swoon seeing that the offensive line in front of him was more akin to a revolving door than an actual O-line. Injuries plagued the unit all season long, forcing Charlie Strong to mix and match based solely on necessity. There's a wide-open competition ongoing for three open positions, and if the Longhorns can nail down a depth chart this summer and shirk the injury bug as the season progresses, the offense's skill-position players will benefit greatly.

3. Cut Down On Non-Offensive Touchdowns Allowed

Charlie Strong's first year with the Longhorns was a defensive coup, with Texas finishing 25th in total defense with 348.5 yards allowed per game. However, while the defense kept Texas in many games that it probably shouldn't have been, the team's 39 touchdowns allowed were third-worst out of any team in the Top 25. Why is that? Non-offensive scores. Texas gave up nine non-offensive touchdowns in 2014, the worst in all of college football. Whether it's turnovers or special teams blunders, Texas needs to get the fundamentals down and stop handing away points to the tune of nearly five per game.

4. Go 2-1 Against The Oklahoma/TCU/Baylor Trio

Charlie Strong's best chance of making a definitive statement in 2015 is upending by two of the three projected powers of the Big 12 in 2015 -- TCU, Baylor and those guys out there in Norman. Beating Oklahoma alone would be fantastic in it's own right, especially after taking the Sooners to the limit in a 31-26 barn-burner last October. However, the Sooners were annihilated by TCU/Baylor by a combined score of 76-17, meaning that a win over one of those squads (coupled with a rivalry win over OU) will likely be the ticket to a TRULY special year two for Strong.

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