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What happened to the Texas defense?

The Texas defense has been a huge disappointment this season. Barking Carnival looks at possible reasons for this.

Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE

The Texas Longhorns' awful defense in 2012 has been a mystery to many fans. SB Nation Longhorns blog Barking Carnival contributor lists his own five reasons why the Texas defense got so bad in such a short amount of time, hitting the proverbial iceberg.

Linebacker play is the first problem listed. The Longhorns lost two linebackers to the NFL, but they were mid-round picks and not considered irreplaceable. However, replacement linebackers Steve Edmond and DeMarco Cobb have been disappointments in the middle of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz's scheme.

This lack of production at linebacker has also led to a lack of production in Diaz's preferred method of stunting and on first and second downs to produce negative plays, which in theory leads to getting the offense off the field easier on third downs.

Outside of Kenny Vaccaro, the secondary play has been a huge disappointment, as well, as has the team's overall quality of tackling, But the final reason nobis60 lists is a simple one -- the Longhorns have faced a murderer's row of offensive teams:

"While it would be asinine to try and explain away our poor play solely by pointing to our schedule, simply ignoring the extremely high quality of offenses we've faced is just as asinine. The Big XII is an absolute crucible for defenses like no other league in the nation. While some defenses like Tech, KSU, OU and to an extent TCU are holding up extremely well at the midpoint, if anyone besides KSU is in the Adjusted Top Ten at season's end I'll be tremendously impressed."

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.