2010 record: 5-7
2010 Bowl Game: No game
2010 Against the Spread: 3-9
2010 over/under: 4-8
Returning Starters: 12 (5 offense, 7 defense)
Throughout August we are releasing pre-season previews for all the major college teams. our College Football Handicappers are doing plenty of research to make sure we release winners every week during the upcoming season.
To say last season was an embarrassing disaster for the Longhorns would be an understatement. Texas finished 5-7 last season including humiliating losses to UCLA, Baylor, and Iowa St. Needless to say, that was unacceptable to Longhorn fans and boosters. Some were even calling for coach Mack Brown to be fired, which is ridiculous as Brown is one of the best coaches in the country. The Longhorns even played for the national title after the 2009 season.
Texas will be better this year than last but they were still only voted the to the 5th best team in the now 10 team Big 12 conference after Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Oklahoma St, and Missouri in the Big 12 pre-season media poll.
Here is a look at Texas’s offense, defense, special teams, and schedule.
Last season the offense struggled to move the ball as they replaced Longhorn legend Colt McCoy now with the Browns. Texas averaged only 384.6 yards a game including 232 passing yards a game and only scored 23.8 points a game.
Junior quarterback Garrett Gilbert struggled badly last year throwing for 2,744 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. Gilbert was also the team’s second leading rusher with 100 carries for 380 yards and 5 touchdowns. Coach Brown even opened up the quarterback position to competition between Gilbert, sophomore Case McCoy (younger brother of Colt) and redshirt Freshman Connor Wood. The quarterback position is not expected to be filled until deep into fall camp.
The running game was ranked 66th in the country last year with 152.6 yards a game. True freshman Malcolm Brown is expected to be the savior of the program’s running game. Brown has a combination of speed, power, and quickness that has NFL scouts drooling already (along with Texas fans). Senior Cody Johnson was the team’s leading rusher last season with134 carries for 592 yards and 6 touchdowns. He returns and will get significant carries along the returning Foswhitt “Fozzy” Whittaker who had 80 carries, 351 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Whittaker also caught 34 passes last season out of the backfield.
On paper, Texas has one of the best receiving corps in the nation. however, Sophomore Mike Davis, Senior Malcolm Williams, and junior Marquise Goodwin have great potential but failed to live up to expectations. The whole offense struggled last year, and there were many reasons for that, including Gilbert’s poor decision making and the running game not being as dominant as people thought. However, the receivers have to take some blame as well. None of the three caught more than 2 touchdowns last year.
The offensive line returns only 2 starters but senior center David Snow might be the best center in the country. The line did well at protecting Gilbert last year, but struggled to open up holes for the ground game. They look to remove the finess blocking label that plagued them last year.
Texas had a top ten defense last season giving up only 307 yards a game, including only 161.6 passing yards a game, and 145.4 rushing yards a game. The problem was the offense had so many short drives that the defense had to stay on the field for long periods of time and grew fatigued. The turnovers didn’t help as the defense often had a short field to work with. Texas allowed 23.7 points a game which was 49th in the nation.
The defense returns 7 starters but must replace 3 defensive backs that were drafted by NFL teams. Linebackers Keenan Robinson and Emmanuel Acho will be the heart of the defense. Texas also replaces defensive coordinator Will Muschamp who left to take over the Florida program. Manny Diaz runs the defense now.
Senior Justin Tucker will handle both the kicking and punting duties. Tucker might be one of the best kickers in the nation. Last year Tucker made 23 out of 27 field goals and all 27 extra points. He has a strong leg as he was 6 for 9 on kicks over 40 yards long. He had 35 punts last year and 17 were inside the 20 with a 41.2 yard average.
Adrian Phillips and Carrington Byndom will compete to return kicks and punts.
Texas has home games against Rice and BYU to start the season. Then they travel to UCLA and Iowa St, both of whom beat Texas last season in Austin. Texas then has its annual showdown with Oklahoma in Dallas. The Longhorns then have a three game home stand against Oklahoma St, Kansas, and Texas Tech. Texas plays 3 of their last 4 games on the road at Missouri, Texas A&M, and Baylor sandwiched around a home game against Kansas St. Texas will win either 7 or 8 games this season and qualify for a bowl.
Texas was awful against the spread last season going 3-9, including 1-6 at home and 2-3 on the road. The over under was 4-8 last season including 2-5 at home and 2-3 on the road.
Game to play Texas
Last season in Austin UCLA destroyed Texas 34-12. The Longhorns will be out for revenge against a team that struggles to score for the rematch in L.A.
Game to play against Texas
Though Texas will be much better this year, they still don’t have the fire power to compete with big 4 teams in the conference, including their two biggest rivals Oklahoma and Texas A&M. Last year Texas lost to the Aggies in Austin 24-17. I like A&M to make it two in a row against their rivals this time in College Station on Thanksgiving night.
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