It's still a mind-boggling mystery how Manny Diaz' squad went from 15th in total defense in 2011, to 77th in 2012, and if you think it gives you a headache, you can imagine how it makes the guys responsible feel.
"We don't harp on it, but we learn from it. We know what we did last year wasn't up to our standard, so this year, our first thing is to be physical, do the right thing, and do the little things right," Adrian Phillips said in regards to last year's sub-par season.
"Nine wins isn't good enough, so we're just trying to get better each year, so we're not having nine wins anymore," said Jackson Jeffcoat.
Improving upon last season is really the only option, so what's the game plan? The guys say they're stepping up conditioning, physicality, effort, tempo, execution, and letting the worst defensive season in school history light a much needed fire underneath them.
"Guys have been intense, guys have been coming out, working hard, and they want to get better. Everybody wants to get better, and I feel a different kind of attitude this year, and I like what I'm feeling, and we're going to build on that," added Jeffcoat about the new intensity the defense has been displaying so far this season.
"We have better experience on the defense, we're coming out working everyday with a better mind set, in order to be the best defense we can be, and out coaches are pushing us to be that best defense."
As much as coaches and fans want to avoid a 2012 repeat, the players are even more set on making up for that scarring season. They say they're ready to put in the work to do so, and adamant on sending a different defensive message this time around.
"How tough this defense is and how physical we play, that's the big message we want to get across," said Jeffcoat.
"Texas has always been that great school, and that's what we're trying to get back to. That's my drive to get out here everyday, and get back to where we need to be," said Whaley.
"Just number one, everybody wants to be number one, but people don't want to go through camp, they don't want to go through the practices, they just want to show up for the game, but, we're going to be number one in practice, and by the time the game comes, we're going to try and be number one. That's our standard and that's where we're going to keep it," said Phillips.
We'll see just how much translates to gameday, starting August 31.