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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Charlie Strong had to do something.
After one game — the third straight humiliating loss dating back to last season — Texas ranked dead last nationally in total offense and tied for last in scoring.
So Strong reshuffled his offensive staff, stripping lead play-calling from assistant head coach Shawn Watson and whatever was left from offensive line coach Joe Wickline, and turning the unit over to wide receivers coach Jay Norvell in search of some inspiration Saturday night when the Longhorns (0-1) face Rice (1-0).
Doing so meant Strong rejected two of his biggest staff hires at Texas to lean on a first-year assistant who hasn't called plays in almost 10 years. It also showed Strong is desperate to avoid a second-consecutive losing season.
Strong is two seasons into a five-year, $25-million guaranteed contract, but losing to Rice would turn up the heat to levels few thought possible so soon.