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Notes from Charlie Strong's Baylor week press conference

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The head coach spoke with the media on Monday.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

As usual, Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong was candid when speaking during his usual game week availability as the Horns prepare to host the Baylor Bears on Saturday.

Here are the highlights and a note on the Oklahoma game time:

-- The kick against the Sooners is set for 11 a.m. CT, the typical time slot for the annual grudge match in the Cotton Bowl. The game will air on ABC.

-- Strong didn't offer an update on the status of junior wide receiver Daje Johnson and senior offensive tackle Desmond Harrison. The two players weren't ruled out for the Baylor game and Strong said that he plans on sitting down with both of them this week, leaving open the possibility that the two could return from their suspensions.

-- Comparing the Baylor offense to watching a video game, Strong noted that Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty doesn't get sacked (zero sacks on years) and doesn't make bad decisions (one interception in 101 attempts). The Texas head coach was extremely complimentary of the offensive attack for the Bears. Strong compared Petty to former Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel.

-- Strong laughed when told that the Horns are a two-touchdown underdog against Baylor and said that the Horns will have to play above their heads to win the game.

-- The ability of the Baylor receivers after the catch is part of what makes them so dangerous. The offense operates in so much space, that one missed tackle can result in big gains, which Texas can't afford to give up. Strong knows that the offense can't hang with Baylor, so the team won't be trying to match tempo.

-- Losing senior center Dominic Espinosa was a major blow to the offense, which is struggling because of the personnel, not the scheme, according to Strong, who also cited the example of sophomore offensive lineman Kent Perkins having to play out of position at tackle even though he's better at guard. Didn't blame the running backs for the struggles of the running game and said that they are probably frustrated.

-- The use of the speed option drew some criticism after the game and Strong said that it failed because sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes wasn't checking it to the correct side of the field.

-- The Fox position in the defense is a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end position that calls for a player versatile enough to put their hand down and rush the passer and then drop into coverage on zone blitzes. Strong said that opponents have been trying to isolate the position in one-on-one coverage with wheel routes from the running backs out of the backfield and that junior Caleb Bluiett has been doing an excellent job at the position Bluiett started for the first time this year against Kansas and spent some time lined up as a linebacker.

-- Strong wants Swoopes to do a better job of standing in the pocket and delivering the ball downfield because he has been sacking himself at times by bailing and getting on the perimeter too early. Texas will have to throw the ball deep to have success against Baylor.

-- The meeting with Roger Goodell hadn't been scheduled as of Saturday evening and Strong said that he knows Troy Vincent, who got into touch with him. Strong said that Goodell visiting was "big" and said he told the NFL commissioner that colleges are sending players of questionable character to the NFL and that giving them money accentuates the problems with their decision-making. Better preparing players for the next level is something that falls on the colleges, according to Strong.

-- Texas is recruiting every day and just need to close out on some in-state prospects who will make decisions in the near future, said Strong. He understands that the Horns have to land top recruits to change the program's trajectory.

-- Strong is enjoying watching senior linebacker Jordan Hicks, who is playing hard and having an unbelievable year, according to his head coach.