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Rule change has helped cause Texas delay of game penalties

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The Longhorns plan on using more “call-it-and-haul-it” plays to open drives.

Baylor v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

On the second offensive series of the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday, it happened again to the Texas Longhorns — the play clock expired before the offense snapped the ball, resulting in another delay of game penalty to open a drive.

For the fifth time this season.

A new rule change instituted by the NCAA is partly to blame. As soon as the ball is dead on a kickoff, the 40-second play clock starts in an effort to shorten the length of games.

Texas has tried to get the play called quickly and the offense out onto the field this season. However, if the defense is late getting onto the field, the referee is supposed to reset the clock. At times, that hasn’t happened, leading to those delay of game penalties.

Longhorns head coach Tom Herman said that he’s talked with referees about why they aren’t resetting the play clock when necessary, but also admitted that the staff needs to change how it approaches play calling to open drives.

“Pretty much you can’t check on the first play of a series, because by the time they get out there and they give the defense time to get out there and the play clock’s been running, almost you’re out of time. You just have to get out there and snap the ball.”

So expect to see more “call-it-and-haul-it” plays from Texas for the rest of the season — plays that work well against virtually any defensive call.

Herman would prefer to give sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger the ability to make checks at the line of scrimmage, but until the referees start to consistently reset the play clock when necessary, the Longhorns will be calling it and hauling it to open drives.

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