Texas Longhorns Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Texas season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Texas Longhorns Preview
Head Coach: Steve Sarkisian, 2nd year at Texas, 5-7
9th year overall, 51-42: 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 5-7, Conference: 3-6
Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Texas Top 10 Players | Texas Schedule & Analysis
Texas Longhorns Preview 2022
It shouldn’t have been a shock in any way that Arch Manning decided to take his talents to Austin, just like it shouldn’t have been surprising when Quinn Ewers decided to transfer there from Ohio State.
It shouldn’t be anything less than expected for the program to bring in high-end NFL-caliber players just by getting up in the morning.
It shouldn’t be asking for the world to get a Texas defense that can tackle, or a starting five on the offensive line that can pass protect, or for the program to simply go to a bowl game.
And now this football team that’s got more money and more power and more resources than anyone wants to go to the SEC?
How about first beating Kansas again?
Texas can’t win a Big 12 championship lately, all while being lapped by Baylor, and Iowa State, and Oklahoma State, and now it thinks it can go compete with Alabama, and Georgia, and LSU, and Florida, and – yeah, let’s go there – Texas A&M?
Yeah, it absolutely can, and this is the season to take the big step to get there.
Forgetting that the program is insane for not going to the Big Ten – or staying put in the Big 12 – rather than spending life beating its head against the SEC wall, it’s going, and if it can’t somehow happen next year it’s definitely going to be in 2024. But first, it really does have the talent in place to win big now.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian has a slew of all-star talents across the board, and he’s got the skill guys that could and should be as good as any in the country outside of Alabama and Ohio State.
Other than having to play the Crimson Tide, the schedule isn’t bad, the excitement is there with Arch on the way and the needle pointing up, and …
Enough of being college football’s sad trombone the moment any adversity strikes. You’re Texas. Go win the Big 12 this year.
You’re Texas. Go make the SEC worry about you.
You’re Texas. Go ahead and be awesome at college football already.
Get there faster.
Texas Longhorns Preview 2022: Offense, Defense NEXT
Texas Longhorns Preview 2022: Offense
The whole point of having a head coach like Steve Sarkisian is to crank up the offense to a dominant level. That might be coming as the talent continues to build, but averaging 424 yards and 35 points per game – as solid as that might have been – wasn’t enough.
Worse yet, the offense stalled way too often over the second half of the season as the team fell apart.
There’s no excuse this season.
Talent-wise, Texas might have the best skill players in the Big 12 and have NFL-caliber parts as good as any in college football. The line is experienced enough to be better, the coaching is in place, and …
Texas has a quarterback, and it’s not Arch Manning quite yet. The program has to wait a year for the superstar to show up, but first, Quinn Ewers gets to show what he can do.
Every bit the prospect that Manning is, Ewers comes in from Ohio State as one of the most talented quarterbacks the program has ever had. It’s his job with Casey Thompson off to Nebraska, and Hudson Card is established as a great second option.
The receiving weapons are fantastic. Xavier Worthy is a First Team All-Big 12 talent coming off a 62-catch, 981-yard, 12 touchdown season and second-leading receiver Jordan Whittington is back. Isaiah Neyor is a big-time target and great get from Wyoming – who averaged 22 yards per catch in his two seasons and scored 12 times last year – but he suffered a knee injury in preseason practice and expected to be lose for teh season.
Top tight end Cade Brewer is done, but Ja’Tavion Sanders is a big-time talent ready to show what he can do, and Jahleel Billingsley is a great one coming over from Alabama.
The passing attack might get all of the attention with all the fun parts, but Texas will revolve everything around the best running back in college football.
Bijan Robinson averaged 5.8 yards per carry and 1,127 yards with 11 touchdowns – and with four receiving scores – despite being banged up over the second half of the year and out for the final two games. When he’s right, he’s got the ability to carry the team on his own.
The offensive line has to be better in pass protection and it needs to be far more consistent. It was good for a ground game that averaged 199 yards per game, but its main job will to keep Ewers from getting popped.
Tackle Christian Jones is the best of the bunch at either spot – he’ll likely work on the right side – there’s good size across the board, and Cole Hutson is a big-time prospect at guard.
Texas Longhorns Preview 2022: Defense
Defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski had a year to try building up the D. Now it has to be far, far stronger after finishing 100th in the country and allowing 31 points per game.
The run defense that got hammered for 202 yards a game and gave up over five yards per pop needs to start tackling. The talent is in place, the experience and options are there, and the transfer portal and recruiting class helped. The production has to follow.
The linebacking corps should be the strength early on. DeMarvion Overshown led the team with 74 tackles, Luke Brockermeyer was second with 70 stops, and ends rusher Ovie Oghoufo has to be more of a factor in the backfield. Getting Diamone Tucker-Dorsey from James Madison was a great signing for the rotation.
Where’s the pass rush from the front four? Texas only came up with 20 sacks last season, and most of the work was done by linebackers – no one came up with more than 2.5 sacks.
Moro Ojomo is a quick interior presence, Keondre Coburn is a 336-pound all-star on the nose, and Alfred Collins made plenty of plays at the end. there’s too much size and too much depth for this group to be so mediocre again.
The lack of pass rush didn’t help, but the secondary has to make more big plays. BJ Foster led the team with three picks, but he’s gone to Sam Houston State.
Ryan Watts comes in from Ohio State to work at one corner job on the other side of good veteran D’Shawn Jamison. Honorable mention All-Big 12 safety Anthony Cook and Jerrin Thompson made tackles, but they need to do more when the ball is in the air.
Texas Longhorns: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats NEXT
Texas Longhorns: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats
Texas Longhorns: Key To The 2022 Offense
Be more consistent.
There were times – like in the first half against Oklahoma – when the offense looked and played exactly like was supposed to.
There were other times – like in the second half against Oklahoma – when it looked and played like it couldn’t do anything right.
The attack that was almost perfectly balanced as it hung up 70 on the board against Texas Tech couldn’t throw against a mediocre TCU secondary a week later.
It couldn’t run for stretches even when Bijan Robinson was in the mix, and it hit over 200 yards on the ground in the two games when he was out late in the year.
The passing game couldn’t get to 180 yards in four of the last six games, but threw for 280 against Baylor and rolled against Kansas, and …
You get the idea.
There’s more than enough talent to get off the bus knowing that 400 yards of total offense and 35 points – a consistent 35 points, and not heavy-loaded like last year – are on the way every time out.
Texas Longhorns: Key To The 2022 Defense
Find a pass rush already.
This is inexcusable.
The run defense has to be far better, and there have to be more big plays from the secondary, but it all has to start with a pass rush that didn’t show up for long stretches last season and averaged a pathetic – considering the talent on the front seven – 1.67 sacks per game.
But, to be fair, the pass rush has been an issue for years – it hasn’t been great since the 2016 defense blasted away for 41 sacks.
Failing to get more than one sack in six games isn’t okay. There has to be steadier pressure, even more tackles for loss – that actually wasn’t quite as big a problem – and quarterbacks can’t be so comfortable.
So with that in mind …
Texas Longhorns: Key Player To The 2022 Season
Edge Ovie Oghoufo, Sr.
An okay pass rusher in his three years at Notre Dame, he earned Honorable Mention All-Big 12 honors last season making 42 tackles with two sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, and two quarterback hurries in his hybrid role on the outside.
That was great. Now he needs to at least double the pass rushing production.
The defensive line is big and needs to hold up against the run. It’s Oghoufo in the Buck position who has to get to the quarterback after failing to come up with a sack in the last nine games.
Texas Longhorns: Key Transfer
QB Quinn Ewers, Fr.
Arch schmarch. Ewers would be the star quarterback at Ohio State right now if CJ Stroud wasn’t busy possibly being the 2022 Heisman winner and potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
A five-star of five-star talents, don’t totally dismiss the idea that he’s so good that it’s not a forgone conclusion that he’s keeping the seat warm for Arch Manning when he gets into the quarterback room next year.
He has two incredible deep threats in Xavier Worthy to throw to, and he has the best running back in college football in Bijan Robinson to take off all the heat.
All Ewers has to do is be the can’t-miss superstar everyone expects him to become.
Texas Key Game To The 2022 Season
Oklahoma, Oct. 8 (in Dallas)
Texas was 4-1, it was putting the blowout loss to Arkansas in the rearview mirror with a dominant first half in the Red River Showdown against Oklahoma, and then Caleb Williams entered the game and everything changed.
If you pause your TV, you can actually see the moment the Texas season ended once Williams got into the clear on his touchdown run.
The Longhorns lost six straight – including to Kansas – and …
Beat Oklahoma, Texas. It’s a moral imperative.
Texas Longhorns: 2021 Fun Stats
– Time of Possession: Opponents 31:54 – Texas 28:06
– Punt Return Average: Texas 10.1 yards – Opponents 2.9 yards
– Rushing Yards Per Game: Opponents 201.6 – Texas 199.3
Texas Longhorns Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT
Texas Longhorns Season Prediction, What Will Happen
2021 Texas was a ten-win team dressed up in a 5-7 record.
It didn’t have the talent or experience this year’s version does, but it should’ve beaten Kansas. It should’ve beaten West Virginia, and yeah, it should’ve finished the drill against Oklahoma and Baylor, too.
Obviously it didn’t, obviously it didn’t go to a bowl game, and obviously last year wasn’t acceptable considering winning the Alamo Bowl two years in a row after taking down Georgia in the 2019 Sugar Bowl wasn’t good enough.
Considering Oklahoma is in a wee bit of a rebuild, the talent level is way too good to not demand a special season. This is a ten-win Texas team that should at least play for the Big 12 Championship.
But Texas has been good enough to play for the Big 12 Championship the last several years, too, and hasn’t been there since 2018 and hasn’t won the conference championship game since 2009.
Set The Texas Longhorns Regular Season Win Total At … 9
Texas gets Alabama at home on September 10th. It’s probably going to lose to what should be the No. 1 team in the country, and that’s okay. That’s acceptable. That’s it.
There’s a trip to Oklahoma State, Texas Tech is dangerous, going to Kansas State won’t be a breeze, and Oklahoma is Oklahoma, but come on. What are we doing here?
You think you’re going to be competitive in the SEC, Texas? This schedule is a nice warm hug compared to what’s coming in 2024.
Demand nothing less than a ten-win regular season before going off to a restaurant-quality New Year’s Six bowl game.