Texas keying on Cal's Keenan Allen

December, 23, 2011
12/23/11
9:00
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AUSTIN, Texas -- Last time out Texas wanted to make sure Robert Griffin III didn't have a Heisman moment.

The Baylor quarterback had several -- the 59-yard pass in the first five minutes of the game being a rather large one -- and won the Heisman in large part because of his performance against Texas.

Now Texas is pinpointing another breakout player to stop, Cal's Keenan Allen. The wide receiver averages 105 yards per game and has topped 1,200 yards this season. He is 12th nationally in receiving yards per game and behind two players Texas has already faced, Baylor's Kendall Wright and Oklahoma' Ryan Broyles. The Texas defensive backs didn't fare too well against either of those. Wright had 166 yards, including the longest touchdown pass given up by Texas, the aforementioned 59-yarder. Broyles had 122 receiving yards and a 40-yard catch.

Like Broyles and Wright, Allen has chemistry with his quarterback. Only in this case, the quarterback also happens to be Allen's brother. The pair have turned routine plays into explosive ones such as the short hitch route against Washington, Allen took 90 yards for a touchdown.

It's that type of ability that has Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz worried.

“To me, he would be right up there with some of the top guys we have defended,” Diaz said. “He has size, which is always an issue. He is going to be taller than anyone we have covering him. He has great hands and a great ability to run after the catch.”

Then there is Jeff Tedford and the Cal coaching staff to contend with. Tedford has long been recognized as one of the better offensive minds in the country. Much like Texas co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin, there are many times when Tedford defies convention with his schemes.

That has prompted confusion among opposing defenses and could do the same for Texas.

“They will line him up all over the field,” Diaz said. “They will motion him out of the backfield and do all different types of things to get him the football. He is without a doubt one of the premier wide receivers in the country.”

Carter Strickland | email

Reporter, HornsNation

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