The physical nature of spring practice continued for the Texas Longhorns on Thursday, as the first-team defense worked against the first-team offense in goal-line drills.
Judging by the three clips opening the above video, the jumbo package features junior H-back Andrew Beck and an offensive lineman working from the fullback position. However, the first-team defense was able to hold the line of scrimmage on three consecutive plays to keep junior running back D'Onta Foreman out of the end zone.
In the zero-sum game of spring practice, it's tough to tell whether that says more good things about the defense or more bad things about the ability of the offensive line to create displacement in those situations, but it is worth noting that senior linebacker Tim Cole is still the starter alongside sophomore Malik Jefferson.
Junior safety Jason Hall also makes an appearance, so it looks like he too has held onto his starting job for the moment, as has senior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes.
It's also the case that the first-team offense was using the third-team left tackle in those situations with sophomore Connor Williams and junior Tristan Nickelson both out with injuries. Still, that doesn't explain the lack of push from the other four spots.
The running backs then worked on blitz pick-up drills, with Foreman winning a rep against Cole, sophomore Chris Warren losing a rep to Jefferson, and redshirt freshman Tristian Houston losing a rep to early enrollee Demarco Boyd, who has remained on the defensive side of the ball despite all the talk about him ending up at fullback.
In other reps, sophomore Anthony Wheeler beats a walk-on running back, Foreman once again stymies Cole, Warren recovers to stop Jefferson, sophomore Edwin Freeman de-cleats Houston, and Jefferson wins the rubber match against Warren. In the final two reps, junior Roderick Bernard stops Wheeler and Jefferson gets the better of Foreman.
After missing the start of the spring, it's good to see Freeman back in action, though sophomore running back Kirk Johnson does not appear to be practicing at this time.
Given Jefferson's ability to win these match ups against a number of different players, it provides more evidence to support the argument that the defensive staff should use the rising sophomore in a variety of different blitzing roles pressuring the quarterback, whether it's from the edge against offensive tackles or attempting to isolate him against running backs.