Despite an offense that struggled with a devastating series of injuries and inept QB play as well as a young secondary that was repeatedly burned by some of the Big 12's elite passing attacks, All-American voters did not overlook the often dominant play of the Texas Longhorns front-seven.
Okafor, a 6'4 260 junior, was a highly touted recruit out of high school, but he struggled playing as a defensive tackle under former Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. New DC Manny Diaz shifted him back to the perimeter, where Okafor dominated, racking up 47 tackles, including 10 for loss, as well as 7 sacks.
Acho, a 6'2 240 senior, emerged as a star this season after the graduation of his older brother Sam. Given a lot of responsibility as one of the defense's only seniors, Acho covered sideline-to-sideline, finishing with 102 tackles and 3 sacks this season.
All-American awards typically correlate with a team's success, so for a 7-5 team to produce two speaks to how well Okafor and Acho played this season.
For more coverage of Texas football and the 2011 Holiday Bowl, check out Burnt Orange Nation.