Following Friday morning’s news that Houston has named offensive coordinator Major Applewhite as its next head coach, the next coaching domino to fall likely becomes Todd Orlando joining Tom Herman’s staff at Texas, per FOX Sports Bruce Feldman:
HUGE ripple effect of Major Applewhite getting Houston is not only Lane Kiffin>LSU or USF but Todd Orlando now expected to become #Texas DC.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 9, 2016
Houston Board of Regents chairman Tilman Fertitta expects that scenario to play out, too.
Immediately following Herman’s hire at Texas, Orlando’s name was frequently tossed around as a likely option to fill the void at defensive coordinator in Austin, alongside LSU’s Dave Aranda, who elected to remain in Baton Rouge. A wrinkle was thrown into the mix when Orlando was named Houston’s interim head coach for its bowl game against San Diego State. Orlando was a candidate to replace Herman as Houston’s head coach, as were Les Miles and Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
Now that Houston has settled on Applewhite, there’s seemingly nothing keeping Orlando from following Herman to Austin, aside from Applewhite potentially trying to retain him, which seems less likely.
Orlando served as Houston’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach last season the play-caller for one of college football’s premier defensive units. During his lone effort as Houston’s defensive coordinator, the Cougars ranks 10th in total defense (3,900) and third in rushing yards per game (97.9). Houston also ranked 11th in first downs allowed (200) and was among the best in the country at generating tackles for loss and getting off the field on third down.
Prior to his tenure at Houston, Orlando was the the defensive coordinator at Utah State, where he led Aggies to a top 20 defense that ranked 14th in passing yards per game (180.4).
Orlando employs a multiple 3-4 defense, which would likely translate to Texas as some form of a double-fox defense. The ‘Horns would probably utilize three-down sets with hybrid athletes at the second level, which is where the athleticism of Breckyn Hager, Malcolm Roach and even Jeffrey McCulloch could come into play.
The athletes are certainly in place if Orlando is to join Herman at Texas. With aggressive blitzing schemes from various alignments, how Orlando utilizes those athletes could be dangerous for opposing offenses.