#14 Texas Football 2020 Preview

Texas Longhorns
Overall Rank: #14
#2 Big 12
 Texas Logo
After a great 2018 campaign, it looked like Texas was back. But last season the Longhorns finished just 5-4 in conference play, tied with three other teams for third way behind Oklahoma and Baylor. Texas reshuffled their coaching staff and has a lot of new faces on the sidelines. But with 16 starters back, there will not be a need for too many new faces on the field.
2019 Record: 8-5, 5-4
2019 Bowl: Alamo Bowl vs. Utah (W 38-10)
Coach: Tom Herman (25-15 at Texas, 47-19 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Herb Hand, Mike Yurcich
Defensive Coordinator: Chris Ash, Coleman Hutzler
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Keaontay Ingram, RB, 853 yards
Passing: Sam Ehlinger, QB, 3,663 yards
Receiving: Brennan Eagles, WR, 522 yards
Tackles: Joseph Ossai, LB, 90
Sacks: Joseph Ossai, LB, 5.0
Interceptions: D’Shawn Jamison, DB, 3
Other Key Returnees: RB Roschon Johnson, WR Jake Smith, OL Samuel Cosmi, DB Caden Sterns, DB Chris Brown, LB Ayodele Adeoye, LB Juwan Mitchell, DB Jalen Green, DL Ta’Quon Graham, K Cameron Dicker
Key Losses: WR Devin Duvernay, WR Collin Johnson, OL Zach Shackelford, DB Brandon Jones, DL Malcolm Reach
Senior Sam Ehlinger, a starter for the better part of three seasons, provides Texas with a steady influence under center. Last season he threw for 3,663 yards with 32 touchdowns and ten interceptions. He also rushed for 663 yards and seven scores. The concern on offense is at wide receiver now that Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson are off in the NFL. Brennan Eagles is a big play threat, Jake Smith showed promise as a freshman and Malcolm Epps is a solid pass catcher at tight end. There are options, but Ehlinger will need to find a new target or two. The ground game returns both key running backs. Keaontay Ingram and Roschon Johnson combined to rush for 1,502 yards and they each reached the end zone seven times on the ground.
Chris Ash takes over a defense that has a lot of room to improve. The Longhorns ranked eighth in the Big 12 in total defense, allowing 431.5 yards per game. They also allowed a ton of big plays, especially through the air, and that is not going to cut it again in 2020. Hybrid linebacker and end Joseph Ossai is back to lead the way after tallying a team high 90 tackles, 5.0 sacks and 13.5 tackles-for-loss. The rest of the front seven needs to be more productive. Players like Ta’Quon Graham have experience on the line and the hopes are growing for linebackers Juwan Mitchell and Ayodele Adeoye. The secondary that got consistently torched last season returns D’Shawn Jamison, Caden Sterns, Chris Brown and Jalen Green. It is an experienced group, but they have a lot to prove. That is true of the entire unit and if they cannot do it, Texas’ hopes of a Big 12 title will quickly go away.
The Bottom Line:
The Longhorns will not have much time to sort out their defensive issues. The season starts at home against UCF followed by a trip to Baton Rouge to take on LSU. The second conference game is against Oklahoma. A 3-2 start is a very likely scenario. By that point Texas should have all their pieces in place and the rest of the Big 12 will have to take notice. A season ending trip to Oklahoma State could decide who gets to face OU in the Big 12 title game.
Projected Bowl: Alamo Bowl
2019 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 176.5 (48th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 289.3 (20, 4)
Total Offense: 465.8 (14, 3)
Scoring Offense: 35.2 (17, 2)
Rushing Defense: 138.9 (45, 3)
Pass Defense: 292.5 (127, 9)
Total Defense: 431.5 (97, 8)
Scoring Defense: 27.5 (65, 7)
Turnover Margin: 0.38 (33, 2)
Sacks: 2.08 (69, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 2.77 (111, 10)
Madness 2020 NFL Draft Rankings:
#9 Sam Cosmi
#35 Caden Sterns