The eyes of Texas and the nation will be on Sark and his ‘Horns in Year 2. | Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
The Longhorns had a highly disappointing Year 1 under Steve Sarkisian.
It’s already been a long hot summer but fear not: college football is on the horizon.
In our first installment of wild blind dart-throwing predictions of Alabama opponents, we start off with an opponent who the Tide will being seeing much more of once they join the SEC.
WEEK 2, SEPT 10: OLE MISS REBELS
Coach: Steve Sarkisian (5-7 at Texas; 51-42 in college career at Washington, So Cal, Tejas)
2021 Texas record: 5-7 (3-6 B12; 7th in the West Division; No Bowl)
Looking back: The 20th anniversary of 9/11 was a tragedy for UT as they got thumped by Arkansas 40-21. They would win their next three over unranked opponents but came crashing to Earth in Week 6 in a memorable Red River Shootout. Oklahoma would come back from a three touchdown deficit to win 55-48. It was a sign of things to come as the Longhorns would lose five in a row including double-digit blown leads to Okie State and Baylor and a humiliating home loss to Kansas.
Returning starters: 5 on offense, 8 on defense, 0 specialists.
Key losses: QB Casey Thompson (transfer to Nebraska), CB Josh Thompson, K Cameron Dicker, S Brenden Schooler, TE Cade Brewer, OL Denzel Okafor, OL Derek Kerstetter, RB Coach Stan Drayton got the head job at Temple.
Top returnees: WR Xavier Worthy, QB Hudson Card, RB Bijan Robinson, RB Roschon Johnson, DE Ovie Oghoufo, LB DeMarvion Overshown, C Jake Majors, LT Christian Jones, OG Junior Angilau,
Top newcomers: Former TCU head coach Gary Patterson is serving as a Special Assistant to the Head Coach; QB Quinn Ewers (Ohio State transfer), WR Isaiah Neyor (Wyoming), WR Agiye Hall (Alabama), TE Jahleel Billingsley (Bama), CB Ryan Watts (Ohio St), OG Cole Hutson, OL Devon Campbell, DB Terrance Brooks, EDGE Justice Finkley.
Names you need to know: It still breaks my heart that WR Xavier Worthy picked UT over Bama. The dude can fly. He led Texas receivers as a freshman with 62 grabs for 981 yards and 12 touchdowns. This year, he will be paired with Wyoming transfer Isaiah Neyor who collected 878 receiving yards and 12 TDs in 2021.
Strengths: Much improved receiving corps… Sark is one of the sharpest offensive minds in the game… One-two RB punch of Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson… Outside of Casey Thompson (who they don’t really even need anymore), the ‘Horns did not lose too much to the transfer portal… Key & Peele All-Star linebacker DeMarvion Overshown has NFL first round potential… Many junior, senior, and super-seniors in vital roles…
Weaknesses: Despite all the returning players on defense, they were 100th in the nation in total defense (425.6 ypg) and 99th in scoring defense (31.1 ppg)… Replacing the punter, long snapper, and the first-team All-Big 12 kicker… Impatient and irrational fan base… Rat poison…
Outlook: It seems like every year the press fawns all over this team. Can they tune it out? Surprise, surprise: This team is going to score a lot of points and give up a lot of points. They should be improved over last year and get to a bowl, but they are not national contenders just yet.
The ‘Horns have a great chance at being 5-1 and ranked as they head into into Dallas, October 8. The three October games (Okie, ISU, Okie Lite) will define their season.
Win Total Odds*
Over 8 -145 (bet $145 to win $100)
Under 8 +125 (bet $100 to win $125)
Sept 3 vs Louisiana-Monroe 7:00pm LHN – W
Sept 10 vs Alabama 11:00am FOX – L
Sept 17 vs UTSA 7:00pm LHN – W
Sept 24 at Texas Tech – W
Oct 1 vs West Virginia – W
Oct 8 vs. Oklahoma (Red River Shootout, Dallas) ABC – L
Oct 15 vs Iowa State – W – New QB and RB for ISU.
Oct 22 at Oklahoma State – L
Oct 29 bye
Nov 5 at Kansas State – W
Nov 12 vs TCU – W – new coach Sonny Dykes will have some growing pains.
Nov 19 at Kansas – W – UT gets their revenge.
Nov 25 vs Baylor ABC/ESPN – W – The Bears lost many playmakers and the game is in Austin.
Removing my blindfold, it looks like my dart hit the “over” with nine wins. Although, the Longhorns could just as easily lose at Texas Tech, at K-State, at home to Baylor or home vs ISU. Or, UT could even beat the Sooners and/or Cowpokes! It’s a hard read but 8 or 9 wins sounds right. What do you think?
Sept 3 vs Utah State 6:30pm SECN
Sept 10 at Texas 11:00am FOX
Sept 17 vs Louisiana–Monroe 3:00pm SECN
Sept 24 vs Vanderbilt
Oct 1 at Arkansas
Oct 8 vs Texas A&M – gotta be prime time CBS, right?
Oct 15 at Tennessee
Oct 22 vs Mississippi State
Oct 23 bye
Nov 5 at LSU
Nov 12 at Ole Miss
Nov 19 vs Austin Peay 11:00am SECN+
Nov 26 vs Auburn