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Senior running back Fozzy Whittaker remembers calling his teammates about Harsin when the hiring was announced.

“As soon as he came in and introduced himself and who he was and what he planned to do with this offense, everybody was all in,” Whittaker said.

Harsin has certainly injected some razzle-dazzle into the Longhorns, using constant motion, misdirection and trick plays to keep defenses guessing.

The Longhorns’ first touchdown pass of the season came against Rice on a reverse pass from wide receiver John Harris to Jaxon Shipley. Last week against Iowa State, another play started with a running back taking the snap, flipping it to a wide receiver who tossed it to the quarterback, who then threw back to the wide receiver for a touchdown. Harsin calls that one the “Matrix.”

The trick plays work because the Longhorns practice them every day, building confidence to call them on Saturdays.

“He’s got four or five of those that he runs every day,” Brown said. “The players get really excited. What’s next? What’s unique? What’s he gonna show? He creates explosive plays sometimes by imaginative plays.”

Harsin said repetition builds his trust in the players to make the plays work, and he is flexible to making changes. Harsin said it was the players at Boise State who practiced the behind-the-back handoff on the Statue of Liberty play and convinced him they could pull it off.

Oklahoma players say they have to be ready for anything on Saturday.

“They do a lot of trickery stuff, and they’re not afraid to do it either. Especially off the big play. If, say, they got a turnover or anything, a sudden change, they’ll go for a trick play,” Oklahoma nickel back Tony Jefferson said.

Unlike previous years, when Texas seemed to play it safe early in the season to hide plays from the Sooners, Harsin has been willing to open up his playbook.

That’s been Harsin’s pattern over the years. Back in 2006, Boise State ran the Statue of Liberty play in a regular-season game against Idaho and it presumably was on game film for the Sooners to study during bowl preparation.

Brown likes Harsin’s approach because the trick plays are born out of a tough running game. A halfback pass or a pass off a reverse sweep only work if the defense is forced to respect the run and bites on a ball fake.

Texas is averaging 206 yards on the ground compared to 150 last season. Some of the biggest runs have come out of a wildcat formation — Texas calls it the wildhorn, of course — with Whittaker taking a direct snap.

“He’s tough,” Brown said of Harsin. “He really wants to run the ball and when we don’t, he’s unhappy.”