Clearly Malcolm Brown didn’t have much room to run against Oklahoma.
In fact, in the last two games the freshman’s production has dropped off. He rushed for 110 yards at UCLA, 63 against Iowa State and 54 against OU.
Texas wants to feature the run. With offensive line issues, that might not be happening anytime soon. But what the Longhorns still can feature is Brown.
To date, Brown has caught only two passes -- one went for negative yards against UCLA. The other was a 19-yard gain against the Sooners.
Where Brown could be successful in the passing game is on short screens and dump passes. If a team is getting a huge push, such as Oklahoma did, let Brown slip in and grab the dump pass for big yards. Not only does it potentially give Texas an opportunity to have their most dynamic runner with the ball in his hands. But it also plants a seed in the defense’s mind that it might not want to pin its ears back every time.
What is holding Texas back from doing more of this is that Brown is not quite there yet with his hands or his playbook.
"It’s not really about the whole, 'me catching the ball,' " Brown said. "It’s more of the protections. The older guys, they kind of have that down a little bit more. Coach [Bryan Harsin] has more trust in them. That is one thing that we need on those third down plays. Fozzy [Whittaker] and Cody [Johnson], those guys know it, and they’ve been around it four or five years. So just having them in the game is a little bit better than having a freshman who is just coming in."
But even Whittaker has not been used that much in the screen game. The senior had one catch against Oklahoma for 15 yards. He had two for six yards against Iowa State.
D.J. Monroe has not caught a pass in the past three games. He had a 26-yard reception against BYU. Johnson has one catch on the season.