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Texas Longhorns Football

Offensive Grades: Missouri

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Photo: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Texas finished off the 2017 season with a 33-16 win over Missouri in the Texas Bowl. The win gave the Longhorns a winning season and some momentum heading into 2018. Let’s take a look at how the offense graded out:

Quarterback

The dreaded two quarterback rotation took center stage during the first half, with Shane Buechele getting the start and tossing a touchdown pass on the opening drive of the game. Buechele was later replaced by Sam Ehlinger, who tossed a touchdown of his own to give Texas a 14-0 lead. Buechele re-entered the game during the second quarter, but ultimately exited the game with an injury. Ehlinger took over and delivered a mixed bag of results during the second half.

#11 finished the night 11 of 15 passing for 112 yards. The most important thing he did was not turn the ball over. Both quarterbacks will need to work on their pocket awareness during the off-season. Ehlinger seems to have a knack of escaping the pocket and does a good job of keeping his eyes downfield, but the freshman will need to learn that throwing the ball away is not the worst thing in the world. The stats were not all that impressive, but the quarterback position did not hinder the offense.

Looking ahead to 2018, it is pretty obvious that there will be a spirited quarterback competition that will most likely drag out all the way up until the season opener at Maryland. Neither quarterback did enough to win the job outright this season, but adequate performances like the one last night may be all the Longhorns need if improvements are made in other areas of the offense.

Grade: B-

Running Back

Tim Beck and Tom Herman only had 2 running back available last night who had played this season. Daniel Young received the start, and finished the night as the team’s leading rusher (48 yards on 12 carries) and receiver (64 yards on 3 receptions). Young played an excellent all around game and has some great momentum heading into next season. The steal of the 2017 recruiting class will only get better with additional coaching from Stan Drayton. Kyle Porter added 11 carries for 30 yards and 1 reception for 10 yards. Porter lacks the vision and burst that Young has, but he served as a reliable pass blocker and got a couple of key first downs in the 4th quarter when Texas was burning the clock. Although the two backs only combined for a pedestrian 78 yards, the all around play was good and a major contributor in Texas moving the ball well on their scoring drives.

Grade: B

Wide Receiver/Tight End

The most active the Texas receivers were all night was on the opening drive of the game. Armanti Foreman drew only the 4th defensive pass interference penalty in the Longhorns favor on the season, which was followed by defensive holding penalty against Collin Johnson that set up the first touchdown of the game. In a season filled with head scratching receiver rotations and questionable effort at times, it was refreshing to see two Longhorn receivers using their football IQ and taking advantage of an over aggressive Missouri defense. Johnson finished the night with 3 catches for 40 yards, with Foreman adding on 4 catches for 19 yards and a 18 yard rushing touchdown on a reverse. Tom Herman was the happiest person in NRG when his senior receiver crossed the goal line. Junior John Burt added a 7 yard touchdown reception where he did a nice job of keeping his feet inbounds. Texas will need more from him in 2018.

While Johnson and Foreman both had solid games, the rest of the receivers group left a lot to be desired. Texas struggled finding guys who could get open and operate underneath in space. Reggie Hemphill Mapps finished with only 1 catch and it looked like not having Lil Jordan Humphrey hurt the Longhorns passing game.

Kendall Moore exited the game in the second half with injury, but played very well in the first half. Moore opened up several holes in the run game and added a reception for 13 yards.

Grade: B

Offensive Line

All the ups and downs from the offensive line over the course of the season played out at different times last night. Zach Shackelford followed his routine of holding the point of attack well in the middle of the line, but snapped the ball at the Quarterbacks ankles several times. Jake McMillon and Patrick Vahe played well at the guard positions. Derek Kerstetter struggled at times, especially in pass protection, but played well for a freshman who should have been in sweatpants and a jersey on the sideline enjoying the game as a redshirt.

Elijah Rodriguez was given the almost impossible task of filling in for Connor Williams at Left Tackle after missing the entire regular season with an ankle injury. Rodriguez is a plus run blocker who was only playing LT because of the dire needs along the offensive line. His pass blocking left a lot to be desired, but he showed enough to make me confident he can start at RT or any interior OL spot next season.

Pass Blocking: C-
Run Blocking: C

Offensive Play Calling

Texas fans can rest easy for the next 9 months knowing they will not have to see another QB sweep or run up the middle during short yardage situations. All joking aside, it was a pleasant surprise to see some offensive adjustments that were made during the month off after Texas Tech. Texas showed some different wrinkles in the run game and what looked like some different passing concepts to the naked eye. Despite the changes, the play calling in general still lacks any rhythm and rarely ever flows together. The win was big and the offense had several good moments, but there is still a lot to be desired in terms of offensive production.

Grade: C-

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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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