#22 Texas Football 2021 Preview

Texas Longhorns
Overall Rank: #22
#3 Big 12
 Texas Logo
Texas parted ways with Tom Herman following four seasons that culminated in bowl victories. The Longhorns were hoping for more than a 7-3 season. In comes Steve Sarkisian who spent time with Alabama and the Atlanta Falcons after falling out of favor with USC in 2015. Coach Sarkisian steps into a good situation with a Texas team that averaged 42.7 points per game in 2020.
2020 Record: 7-3, 5-3
2020 Bowl: Alamo Bowl vs. Colorado (W 55-23)
Coach: Steve Sarkisian (0-0 at Texas, 46-35 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Kyle Flood
Defensive Coordinator: Pete Kwiatkowski
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Bijan Robinson, RB, 703 yards
Passing: Casey Thompson, QB, 225 yards
Receiving: Joshua Moore, WR, 472 yards
Tackles: DeMarvion Overshown, LB, 60      
Sacks: Moro Ojomo, DL, 2.0
Interceptions: DeMarvion Overshown, LB, 2
Other Key Returnees: RB Roschon Johnson, DB Chris Adimora, DB B.J. Foster, DB Jamier Johnson, K Cameron Dicker
Key Losses: QB Sam Ehlinger, WR Brennan Eagles, WR Jake Smith, OL Samuel Cosmi, LB Juwan Mitchell, DL Joseph Ossai, DB Caden Sterns, DB Chris Brown
The amazing Texas offense will be a little bit different now that quarterback Sam Ehlinger is in the NFL. He threw for 2,566 yards and 26 touchdowns with just five interceptions in ten games in 2020. Casey Thompson some action during the Alamo Bowl and went 8-for-10 with 170 yards and four touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Hudson Card is a great dual-threat talent and will push Thompson for the starting job. Inexperience may be an issue at times, but Texas certainly does not lack talent. Receivers Joshua Moore and Jordan Whittington are the most experienced receivers, but a healthy Troy Omeire will add another talented option. If the passing game struggles, Texas will lean on Bijan Robinson. They could lean on the sophomore anyway. He rushed for 703 yards and four touchdowns on just 86 carries. That is a whopping 8.2 yards per carry. You can be sure Coach Sarkisian will get more out of Robinson in 2021.
Texas lost four of their top five tacklers from a unit that was good in some regards, but not good enough in most. One key area where improvement is needed is in the pass rush. Jacoby Jones is the likely candidate to emerge as a consistent pass rushing threat, especially if Moro Ojomo moves to the tackle spot. At linebacker the new leader will be DeMarvion Overshown, who ranked second on the team with 60 tackles in 2020. A couple transfers will look to make an impact right away too. The secondary is the most experienced group led by Chris Adimora, B.J. Foster and Jamier Johnson. They ranked ninth in the conference in pass defense, but a year of experience and a better pass rush will certainly help boost those numbers.
The Bottom Line:
As always, Texas has the talent to win the Big 12. If Thompson or Card are ready to pick up the new offensive scheme and keep this offense ticking, the Longhorns can beat anybody. If the defense can find a pass rush and enough depth to manage what we hope is a long 12-game season, this could be a Big 12 title winning team.
Projected Bowl:  Alamo Bowl
2020 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 195.3 (37th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 280.1 (27, 2)
Total Offense: 475.4 (19, 2)
Scoring Offense: 42.7 (7, 2)
Rushing Defense: 140.2 (38, 5)
Pass Defense: 266.4 (108, 9)
Total Defense: 406.6 (64, 7)
Scoring Defense: 28.5 (61, 6)
Turnover Margin: 1.00 (10, 1)
Sacks: 1.70 (93, 8)
Sacks Allowed: 2.30 (71, 6)