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Texas Longhorns Football

Offensive Grades: Oklahoma

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Photo: Eric Schlegel, USA TODAY Sports Images

Following a 29-24 loss to Oklahoma, let’s take a took a look at how the Texas offense performed:

Quarterback

The stat line does not fully reflect the type of day Sam Ehlinger had. Despite poor offensive line play and zero running game (outside of himself), the true freshman still had the Longhorns in position to win a big game. Ehlinger finished the day 19 of 39 passing for 278 yards and a touchdown. He also added 22 carries for 110 yards and a touchdown. He has basically become the running game for Texas and he has embraced the role. If there was any doubt about whether Ehlinger would be the starter going forward, it was erased on Saturday.

It was a far from perfect performance by #11, though. He still needs to improve his touch on the deep ball and his overall accuracy. Even his long completion to Devin Duvernay could have been a touchdown with slightly better ball placement. Ehlinger already has an excellent feel for the pocket, but there are still times where he will leave the pocket when the offensive line is actually holding up, and it benefits rushers.

Texas has basically hitched their entire offensive identity to Ehlinger, and while he still has a lot to improve on, he is showing the heart and swagger a Longhorn quarterback hasn’t possessed in quite some time. There are a lot of question marks on the offensive side of the ball, but quarterback is not one of them.

Grade: B+

Running Back

Kyle Porter, Chris Warren and Toneil Carter combined for 14 carries for 17 yards. They simply had no room to run and were not able to create anything, with Porter owning the longest carry of the day for 5 yards. The running game has disappeared in every game other than against San Jose State, and there is no reason to believe that it will be different the second half the season. I am giving the running backs an incomplete in the the run game because it is unfair to try to give a grade with how poorly the offensive line played and how early Texas abandoned the use of running backs in the run game.

Luckily, Texas was able to find ample success using the running backs in the passing game out of the backfield. Kyle Porter was used in the screen game twice and totaled 31 yards receiving, including a 16 yard touchdown. Chris Warren gathered in 4 catches for 56 yards, and showed excellent hands and balance out of the backfield. It is encouraging to see an emphasis being placed on including the running backs in the passing game because Texas has 3 backs who are more than capable as receivers. Toneil Carter did not record a reception, which is surprising because he is widely considered to be the most electric of the 3. Overall, the running backs did a good job of what they were asked to do, which was help help out the offensive line in pass protection and contribute in the passing game.

Run grade: Incomplete
Grade for everything else: B

Wide Receiver/Tight End

It was another good game from a receiving unit that is getting big plays from a variety of players. Top receiver Collin Johnson was held in check, catching 2 passes for 26 yards, and that was maybe the biggest disappointment of the game besides the offensive line. Reggie Hemphill Mapps had another great game, hauling in 4 passes for 42 yards, including several impressive catches in the second half. Fellow slot receiver Lil’ Jordan Humphrey lead the team in receiving with 4 catches for 56 yards. Devin Duvernay got his second reception of the season on a huge 42 yard pass.

Texas was able to get by with a quiet game from Collin Johnson because of the play making abilities of Humphrey and Hemphill-Mapps. The shiftiness and physicality of Humphrey made him a huge matchup problem, and Hemphill Mapps benefited greatly from the use of the short and intermediate passing game. Overall, the receivers had another good day and it seems that Ehlinger is beginning to build a good rapport with his favorite targets.

Cade Brewer has taken over as the primary tight end and played very well in his first Red River Showdown. Brewer had 2 catches for 27 yards and showed good run after the catch ability. With Texas continuing to use a lot of 10 personnel groupings, Brewer saw time flexed out as a wideout. Kendall Moore saw some snaps, but has been regulated to strictly blocking duties and struggled with that.

Grade: B

Offensive Line

It’s hard to sugarcoat what happened to the offensive line on Saturday. Obo Okoronkwo lived in the Texas backfield the entire game and could not be stopped by any lineman. Denzel Okafor and Derek Kerstetter both struggled with a lot of outside pressure the Sooners were bringing. Terrell Cuney was not as effective at guard as he was at Center, and Patrick Vahe again struggled when he was asked to pass block as many times as he was. Zach Shackelford finally fixed some of the snap issues he was having, but otherwise struggled similarly to his 4 fellow lineman.

Oklahoma routinely got to Sam Ehlinger with 3 and 4 man rushes. Texas could not run the ball at all, with the only success coming off scrambles from Sam Ehlinger and quarterback keepers where Ehlinger used nothing but pure grit to pick up yardage. In pass protection, the coaches had to often ask a running back to stay in to block so Ehlinger would have longer than 1 second to throw the ball. In a game like this, it is known that winning the trenches most likely means winning the game, and the offensive line failed badly at giving Texas any type of advantage up front.

Run Block Grade: F
Pass Block Grade: F

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Jameson McCausland is originally from Frisco, Texas, where he grew up a Longhorn fan. His two favorite sports are football and baseball, both of which he covers for HornSports. He enjoys spending time with family and friends in his spare time. Jameson is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

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Texas Longhorns Football

Top Plays: Texas vs. Baylor

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Photo: John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns held on to beat the Baylor Bears 23-17 last Saturday in Austin to win their sixth straight game, improving to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in Big 12 play.  Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger left the game with a shoulder injury on the opening drive and was replaced by junior Shane Buechele. Buechele, who saw his first action on the field since the Longhorns’ bowl game against Missouri last December, finished 20-34 with 184 yards and one touchdown.  True freshman running back Keaontay Ingram surpassed the century mark on the ground, the first in his career, amassing 110 yards on 19 carries.

Texas scored all of its points in the first half and held a 23-10 lead over Baylor at the half. The Bears scored a touchdown in the third quarter to cut the lead to 23-17 and held possession of the ball on the final drive of the game. Todd Orlando’s defense held steady as Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer was pressured and threw a last-effort pass out of the Texas end zone as the game clock expired.

Place your vote for Texas’ top play in the win over Baylor.

Shane Buechele’s 44-yard TD pass to Collin Johnson (4:21 – 2nd quarter)

 

LJ Humphrey’s quarterback keeper for a TD (1:12 – 2nd quarter)

 

Caden Sterns intercepts Charlie Brewer (:44 – 2nd Quarter)

 

Texas defense pressures Brewer on final play of the game (:01 – 4th quarter)

 

Vote for your Top Play below.

What was Texas' Top Play in the win over Baylor?

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Big 12

Texas Football 2019 full schedule released

The Longhorns host LSU at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 7

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Photo: USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 Conference released the 2019 football schedules for all ten conference schools on Thursday.  The Longhorns’ schedule includes three non-conference games, two of which are against teams from Louisiana. Notably, Texas will host the LSU Tigers on September 7th after a home season-opener against Louisiana Tech, and will complete non-conference play against former Southwest Conference opponent Rice at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Texas will host Texas Tech on Friday, November 29th, the day after Thanksgiving, to wrap up the season.

Full schedule can be found below.

2019 Texas Football Schedule

Aug. 31—Louisiana Tech
Sept. 7—LSU
Sept. 14—at Rice (NRG Stadium)
Sept. 21—Oklahoma State
Oct. 5—at West Virginia
Oct. 12—vs Oklahoma (Cotton Bowl)
Oct. 19—Kansas
Oct. 26—at TCU
Nov. 9—Kansas State
Nov. 16—at Iowa State
Nov. 23—at Baylor
Nov. 29—Texas Tech

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College Football

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Baylor

Texas narrowly escaped with a victory against Baylor on Saturday, and there are several areas that the Longhorns must clean up to stay atop the Big 12

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John Gutierrez, USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another close ballgame that came down to the final drive for Texas. The Longhorns found themselves behind the eight ball when Sam Ehlinger exited the game with an injury in the 1st quarter, and Baylor ended up giving Texas all they could handle. Regardless, Texas is now 6-1 and sits alone atop of the Big 12 conference standings. The Longhorns will gladly welcome the bye week as they prepare for the final stretch of the season. Let’s take a look at the good and the bad from a 23-17 win over the Bears:

The Good

Texas finally has a 100-yard rusher

For the first time in the Tom Herman era, Texas had a 100-yard rusher. Freshman Keaontay Ingram finished the afternoon with 110 yards on 19 carries. It’s hard to believe it had been 20 games since the Longhorns had someone surpass the 100-yard rushing mark, but it is only appropriate Ingram was the one to break the streak. Ingram continues to see an uptick in touches and has proven to be the best running back on the roster.

Collin Johnson continues to dominate

Texas now has a good problem on their hands. Collin Johnson is playing himself into position to be a potential high NFL draft pick, and I don’t think you will find many people who are upset about it. Johnson has cemented himself as a number 1 receiver after turning in another great performance on Saturday, hauling in 11 receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown. The biggest improvement he has made from his first two seasons is his physicality. Johnson has proven to be reliable going over the middle of the field while also also improving his ability beat corners off the line of scrimmage.

The Bad

Punting

It’s hard to find a lot of negative when you look at Ryan Bujcevski’s stat line: 47.8 yards per punt and 3 punts inside the 20. Unfortunately, the stats do not tell the full story. Texas continues to have major issues getting punts off in a timely manner, and I am beginning to think it is more on Bujcevski than the protection unit. The Aussie takes far too long to get the ball off his foot once he receives the snap. Baylor nearly had a block yesterday, and it is a minor miracle the Longhorns have not had a punt blocked this year.

Opening drive scores

The Texas defense has had a tough time stopping opponents on their opening drives this season. In the 7 opening drives opponents have had against the Longhorns this year, 5 have ended in either a touchdown or field goal. Todd Orlando has stressed the importance of starting fast on defense, but a trend has emerged.

Cameron Dicker comes back to earth

Cameron Dicker carried over his momentum from his game winner against Oklahoma, going 3 for 3 on field goals in the first half, including a 47-yarder to end the half. The second half was a different story. Dicker missed a 34-yard attempt late in the 4th quarter that would have given Texas a 9-point lead. He followed it up with a miss from 51 yards. It has been a roller coaster ride for Tom Herman as he tries to manage the punting and kicking unit, but it’s hard to expect anything less since he is having to trot out a true freshman punter and kicker.

The Ugly

Zero second half points

The Longhorns had 5 drives in the second half — 2 ending in punts, 2 in missed field goals and one with an interception. Similar to the Kansas State game, the Texas offense moved the ball at times in the second half but were hurt by the inability to finish drives. Tom Herman and the offensive staff have shown improvements in making halftime adjustments, but the staff failed to put Shane Buechele and the offense in a position to finish off drives against a Baylor defense that ranked at or near the bottom of the Big 12 in nearly every major statistical category.

Sam Ehlinger’s injury

Texas fans now have a greater appreciation for Sam Ehlinger after watching the offense try to operate for almost 4 full quarters without him. Shane Buechele is considered a quality passer, but he fails to bring the running dimension to the offense that Ehlinger brings. The Longhorn offense is built around Ehlinger, and if he were to miss any extended period of time, it would not be good. If he is healthy enough for Oklahoma State, he needs to play. The Texas offense is not good enough to plug in the backup and rest the starter, even against a team like Oklahoma State.

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Texas Longhorns Football

Ehlinger’s MRI results show shoulder sprain

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Photo: USA TODAY Sports Images

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger left the Baylor game in the opening series after suffering a shoulder injury.  Ehlinger left for the locker room to be evaluated and was replaced by backup Shane Buechele.  He returned to the field but remained on the sideline with a headset on for the duration of the game.  The Longhorns, behind Buechele, held on to defeat the Bears 23-17 and improved to 6-1 overall on the season.

In his postgame media availability, head coach Tom Herman expressed uncertainty about the injury to his sophomore quarterback, who led the Longhorns to five straight wins before the injury.

“I think any time you hurt a throwing shoulder, my level of concern is greater than zero, but I don’t know enough. I’ve got to be educated more on it.”

Ehlinger’s MRI results revealed a first degree sprained shoulder, which is good news for the Longhorns, who travel to Stillwater in two weeks to face Oklahoma State.

Ehlinger has thrown for 1,534 yards and 11 touchdowns this season with just two interceptions. He has also rushed for 230 yards and 6 touchdowns.

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