Photo CC: Michael C. Johnson-US PRESSWIRE(Michael C. Johnson-US PRESSWIRE – US PRESSWIRE)
Well, its conference time, and the Longhorns are here. The first word that comes to mind about the opposition – solid. QB Sam Ehlinger has cemented himself as a top-five QB and has emerged as the leader they’ve wanted him to be. Texas is finally showing up without screaming the old broken “Texas is back” record. They know better than to do that in 2020.
Where the defense goes, so goes an offense. That seems especially true this year with the Horns. Look for the Longhorn secondary to test Tech very early and often. You can bet Longhorn coaches watched the tape of last week’s secondary debacle with delight. Texas comes in with three BIG-12 first team preseason picks in juniors LB Joseph Ossai, CB’s D’Shawn Jamison, and Caden Sterns. Last week’s 59-3 romping of UTEP was just a warm-up and a demonstration of all-around depth. Be prepared for Texas to pressure Bowman each time he drops back. This is not HBU. It’s the university that proclaims it to be “CBU”.
As of now, embattled RB Sa’Rodrick Thompson is still listed as playing despite being entangled with a racing charge. That doesn’t sit well with consistency. He might get carries, but don’t expect much output.
With the Horns defense better as a whole, get ready to hear the longhorn fight song quite a bit. After an absolutely horrendous start to the year vs Houston Baptist, Tech coaches know this game could be a disaster. Texas comes into the Jones with an aspect Tech can’t overcome – an absent Tech-style crowd. Sam Ehlinger will come into Lubbock and should use Tech’s weak secondary and COVID-restricted crowd against them.
The Horns come in with a loaded receiving corp which had six different WRs gain 40+ yards. Joshua Moore and Tarik Black lead will each be a threat to go over 100 yards this weekend.
The Horns offensive backfield by committee effort is in Keaontay Ingram, Roschon Johnson, and Bijan Robinson. The running depth is strong, but Ingram is the feature of the three and is on the verge of a breakout game. Mark it down that Ingram gets more tries vs a Tech front that has shown zero continuity.
Sam Ehlinger – What makes him more dangerous is his continued development as a passer. He’s clearly more mechanically sound. UTEP’s defense had only one quarterback hurry the entire game. Yes, you heard that right. That’s about as close to a perfect game when it comes to QB protection. With Houston Baptist’s Bailey Zappe having his way and throwing for 400+ yards two weeks ago, look for the Horns to keep picking that HBU scab open with a more talented offensive line performance.
The scab could bleed even harder if Tech’s receiving corp isn’t prepared for the quality coverage they are about to see. Bowman will be making quicker decisions, so the receivers will need to adjust. Could Tech catch a Longhorn team overlooking them? Nope, not this time. The Longhorns need a big win in Lubbock to begin conference play. Tech might score one early, but the Horns will adjust and take advantage of prior HBU exploits.
How has Wells prepared the team? Keep those expectations in check Raiderland – HBU was just two weeks ago. That should-have-been-loss won’t go away anytime soon… The Longhorns can easily win by 4-5 touchdowns.