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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Tulsa

There are several areas the Longhorns need to improve in before its matchup with USC

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Photo via: Jamie Harms, USA TODAY Sports

The Good

BJ Foster and Caden Sterns

The freshmen duo recorded the first two interceptions of the year for the Longhorns and continue to show that they belong. In his second career start, Sterns pulled down an interception on the first play from scrimmage. He ended the night with 4 tackles and played very well in run support.

Foster pulled down his first career interception late in the first quarter. Foster saw an expanded role with the injury to Brandon Jones and is a staple on the field during passing situations on 3rd down.

The Running Game

After averaging 3.9 yards per carry against Maryland in Week 1, Texas responded with 47 carries for 241 yards (5.1 yards per carry) against the Golden Hurricane.

The backfield was led by Tre Watson and Keaontay Ingram. As expected, Ingram saw his carries increase and turned in another solid performance (10 carries for 64 yards and a TD). His lone touchdown was a thing of beauty — a 29-yard scamper where he sliced his way between two defenders before bouncing to the outside. The offensive line has showed notable improvement from over a season ago, but it makes life a lot easier when a back with Ingram’s talent is toting the rock.

Watson led the team in carries (18) and yards (74), while also adding an 11-yard touchdown reception. The graduate transfer from Cal did the little things right. He catches the ball out of the backfield, is reliable as a blocker and can run between the tackles.

Daniel Young entered the game on the final series and sealed a victory with 41 yards on 3 carries, including a 30-yard run where he lowered the shoulder and ran over a Tulsa defender.

The Bad

Pass Coverage

Similar to the San Jose State game a season ago where the Spartans dropped 3 potential touchdowns, Texas was lucky to escape with only 21 points allowed on defense. The Golden Hurricane had multiple opportunities where the Texas DB’s were turned around in coverage, but the ball was dropped. Josh Thompson and Kobe Boyce both had bright spots in the game, but the Longhorns will certainly welcome back Davonte Davis next week against USC.

Pass Rush

Trivia question: Can you name the only Longhorn with a sack through the first two weeks of the season? If you answered Kris Boyd, you would be correct. The Texas defensive line struggled to generate consistent pass rush for the second consecutive game, as Golden Hurricane QB Luke Skipper was able to sit in the pocket comfortably for most of the game.

Charles Omenihu and Breckyn Hager have yet to flash the dominant pass rushing ability from 2017. If Texas hopes to improve their defensive performances against a tough upcoming schedule, they must find a way to get to the quarterback.

The Ugly

Style Points

With the way the game went at FedEx field a week ago, the Longhorns desperately needed style points as they headed into the toughest stretch of their schedule. It didn’t happen. Any way you slice it, a 7-point win over Tulsa is not a good thing. The Longhorns failed to show the ability to step on an opponents throat after jumping out to a 21-0 lead.

While there were individual improvements, the performance as a whole did not inspire a lot of confidence in Texas fans.

Penalties

For the second straight week, Texas shot themselves on the foot several times with penalties. Cade Brewer was guilty of two big holding penalties that wiped away big running plays. The Longhorns are already having difficulty moving the ball on offense, and the penalties are compounding the struggles and putting Texas in unfavorable downs and distances.

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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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