Coach Akina is now faced with stopping the Aggie option and it should be interesting to see how he defends it. Most DC's completely scrap their foundation schemes and revert to teaching assignment techniques with a revamping of alignments in order to give their group an even opportunity for success against an attack that has almost died in most football minds. Motion and deception make playing standard spread schemes risky against the option and allow angle blocking advantages to defenders reading and reacting instead of free-flowing to their assignment immediately after the snap. UT hasn't played assignment football against the Aggie option in several years and it's probably less than 50/50 that Akina will push to teach a new assignment scheme even though he has proven his teaching skills with our zone pass coverages.
Most DC's want to start an option defense with a solid foundation against the home-run part of the option, which is the keep-pitch for most option offenses. Most will simply align a defender in both alleys and not depend on pursuit to fill the alley. Most will turn the alley defender's stance to face straight on at the QB which makes any block on him come from the inside. These two alley aligned defenders have QB on the option and always read the TE's block/release to get quick key knowing it's either QB on run or TE short/flat on pass.
Most DC's will have playside CB/safety games as primary contain with the other having WR coverage. Most DC's would also coach the flowside LB to run directly from dive to pitch knowing the QB has been assigned. Most DC's would probably play extra heavy on dive to Lane's alignment in a three back set with a three technique regardless of formation strength and the DE either closing or crashing with a definite dive "assignment". Most DC's would eliminate any thoughts of the mug "give-up" this week because you lose numbers in pursuit without any chance of evading the O-Lineman.
Most DC's would try to make McGee beat them throwing the ball. The one receiver that must receive maximum coverage is Bennett. If we watch last year's film, it should be very clear that Akina should not align our SLB on Bennett. It was bad enough to lose the LOS in that battle but disappearing off the screen shouldn't be overlooked when making that decision.
If Akina decides to use our regular spread schemes against the Aggies option maybe he will have plans C and D ready in case we under-estimated our ability to cover all three options with "busy" pursuit. We beat Tech with our two OLB's in coverage and containing but it's a bit of a lottery whether they can do the same against the Aggies option.