#7 Texas Football 2019 Preview

Texas Longhorns
Overall Rank: #7
#2 Big 12
 Texas Logo
Texas lost to Maryland in their first game last season. That seems like so long ago. After that the Longhorns reeled off six wins in a row, including a 48-45 win over Oklahoma. Losses to Oklahoma State and West Virginia were disappointing, but it did not stop Texas from reaching the Big 12 Championship Game, which they lost 39-27 in a rematch with the Sooners. The Longhorns still reached the Sugar Bowl, where they beat Georgia 28-21 and that leaves plenty of momentum heading into the start of the 2019 season.
2018 Record: 10-4, 7-2
2018 Bowl: Sugar Bowl vs. Georgia (W 28-21)
Coach: Tom Herman (17-10 at Texas, 39-14 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Tim Beck, Herb Hand
Defensive Coordinator: Todd Orlando
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Keaontay Ingram, RB, 708 yards
Passing: Sam Ehlinger, QB, 3,292 yards
Receiving: Collin Johnson, WR, 985 yards
Tackles: Brandon Jones, S, 70
Sacks: BJ Foster, LB, 2.5
Interceptions: Caden Sterns, S, 4
Other Key Returnees: WR Devin Duvernay, OL Zach Shackelford, LB Jeffery McCulloch, K Cameron Dicker
Key Losses: RB Tre Watson, WR Lil’ Jordan Humphrey, TE Andrew Beck, OL Patrick Vahe, DE Charles Omenihu, LB Gary Johnson, LB PJ Locke, CB Kris Boyd, CB Davante Davis, LB Anthony Wheeler
Sam Ehlinger threw for 25 touchdowns and rushed for 16 more as a sophomore last season. That was the first time that a quarterback threw for at least 25 touchdowns and ran for 15 or more without winning the Heisman Trophy. With numbers like that, Ehlinger enters his junior campaign towards the top of everybody’s Heisman hopefuls list. Just as impressive as the touchdown numbers is the fact that Ehlinger completed 64.7 percent of his pass attempts and was intercepted a mere five times. That is impressive for somebody who attempted 425 passes. Lil’Jordan Humphrey left for the NFL after catching 86 passes for 1,176 yards and nine scores, but Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay are both very experienced and very talented receivers who will have no trouble picking up the slack. The ground game was not very potent last year, but the hope is an improving offensive line in front of Keaontay Ingram or freshman Jordan Whittington will lead to more big plays.
Texas only has three starters returning to the defensive side of the ball, but this group is certainly not lacking in talent. A large group of underclassmen will be asked to play a significant role and they are talented enough for the defense to actually improve when all is said and done. The front six returns just one starter in linebacker Jefrey McCulloch. Nose tackle Keondre Coburn and linebacker Ayodele Adeoye are a couple freshmen that Texas expects to step right into starting spots. Safeties Brandon Jones and Caden Sterns are a great duo to build around in the secondary, but both cornerbacks and the nickelback need to be replaced. Stearns picked off four passes as a freshman last year and tallied 62 tackles. After earning Defensive Freshman of the Year honors in the Big 12 in 2018, he will look to add some national accolades to the trophy shelf in 2019.
The Bottom Line:
The goal this year is a Big 12 title. But before that can happen, the Longhorns will have an opportunity to gain some playoff traction with a home game against LSU on September 7th. Revenge games open up the conference slate against OSU and WVU, followed by the big game against Oklahoma. That one could decide who wins the regular season, but do not be surprised if the Longhorns and Sooners meet again in the conference championship game.
Projected Bowl: Sugar Bowl
2018 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 153.1 (90th in nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 258.2 (34, 6)
Total Offense: 411.3 (57, 6)
Scoring Offense: 31.1 (46, 5)
Rushing Defense: 131.4 (28, 2)
Pass Defense: 261.4 (110, 7)
Total Defense: 392.8 (67, 3)
Scoring Defense: 25.9 (57, 4)
Turnover Margin: 0.64 (19, 2)
Sacks: 2.29 (55, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 2.00 (53, 3)
Madness 2020 NFL Draft Rankings:
#32 Collin Johnson
Madness 2019 Recruit Rankings:
#12 Bru McCoy
#32 Jordan Whittington
#50 Jake Smith
#55 Tyler Johnson
#70 De'Gabriel Floyd
#100 Kenyatta Watson
#105 Tyler Owens
#132 Mrcus Washington
#144 Brayden Liebrock
#155 Roschon Johnson
#175 David Gbenda