#15 Texas Football 2013 Preview

Texas Longhorns

Overall Rank: #15
#2 Big 12

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By Texas standards, the 2012 campaign was forgettable. The defense never got going and the offense was inconsistent at best. The result was a 5-4 record in Big 12 play. Coach Mack Brown has a lot of players returning, but this group needs to get some attitude and start playing like Texas. If they do, they can win the Big 12. If not, another four loss season could be on the way.

2012 Record: 9-4, 5-4
2012 Bowl: Alamo Bowl vs. Oregon State (W 31-27)
Coach: Mack Brown (149-43 at Texas, 236-117-1 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Major Applewhite, Darrell Wyatt
Defensive Coordinator: Manny Diaz

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Johnathan Gray, RB, 701 yards
Passing: David Ash, QB, 2,699 yards
Receiving: Mike Davis, WR, 939 yards
Tackles: Steve Edmond, LB, 103
Sacks: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, 4.0
Interceptions: Quandre Diggs, CB, 4

Other Key Returnees: RB Joe Bergeron, RB Malcolm Brown, QB Case McCoy, WR Jaxon Shipley, S Adrian Phillips, OL Trey Hopkins, OL Dominic Espinosa, OL Mason Walters, OL Josh Cochran, LB Kendall Thompson, S Mykkele Thompson, CB Carrington Byndom, DE Cedric Reed, DT Ashton Dorsey

Key Losses: WR Marquise Goodwin, DL Alex Okafor, S Kenny Vaccaro, P Alex King

The offense could see a drastic turnaround if quarterback David Ash is ready to be consistent. He had some great games, but he had some awful games as well. Overall his numbers were solid. He did complete 67.3 percent of his passes for 2,699 yards and 19 touchdowns. The talent around him is brimming with potential. Running backs Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown, who missed much of last season with an injury, are capable of great things. Gray rushed for 701 yards as a freshman and Brown is a tough back who can handle plenty of carries when he is healthy. Big Joe Bergeron is also back to punch the ball into the end zone, although he is not quite as big as he was last season. Bergeron is reportedly down to 225 pounds from 245. Even so, he is still the Longhorns goal line back after punching it in 16 times in 2012. In the new up-tempo offense, having depth like that is a big bonus. However, depth could be an issue at wide receiver. Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley combined to catch 116 passes for 1,676 yards and 13 touchdowns and should be the top targets again this season, but there is not much experience behind them. Even the offensive line is loaded with all five starters returning. They are more than just experienced though and the Texas line will push around most opponents in Big 12 play.

Considering the 2012 Texas defense allowed more yards per contest than any other group in Longhorn history, there probably is nowhere to go but up. And this unit will not be as bad as they were last season, but there is a huge difference between a little improvement and what we have come to expect from a typical tough Texas defense. The return of Jordan Hicks, who missed all but three games with an injury, will help the linebackers suddenly turn into an experienced unit. Junior Steven Edmond is back after totaling 103 tackles. If those two can get healthy and stay that way, the Texas linebackers will be much tougher this year. An injury to senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat was another big reason for the defensive slide last season. He only played in six games, but he still ranked second on the team with 4.0 sacks. The secondary returns three starters, but the one they lost was a big one. Kenny Vaccaro recorded a team high 107 tackles and was a superb playmaker in the secondary. Corner Qunadre Diggs is the new leader of the defensive backs after recording four interceptions as a sophomore.

The Bottom Line:
The good news is that it is going to get better. That may still not be good enough to win a Big 12 title and that is always the goal for Coach Mack Brown and company. If the new offensive scheme clicks early and the defense as a whole lives up to their individual talent, this is a Texas team that can win a lot of games. Trips to TCU, West Virginia and Baylor will not be easy and of course there is always the Red River Rivalry. As long as Ash is ready for the big games, Texas can win all of those contests. They probably will not and that will probably leave them chasing Oklahoma down the stretch.

Projected Bowl: Cotton Bowl

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 171.46 (53rd in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 263.15 (41, 6)
Total Offense: 434.62 (40, 6)
Scoring Offense: 35.69 (23, 7)
Rushing Defense: 192.15 (88, 8)
Pass Defense: 212.00 (36, 3)
Total Defense: 404.15 (67, 5)
Scoring Defense: 29.23 (73, 6)
Turnover Margin: 0.38 (39, 3)
Sacks: 2.69 (19, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 1.23 (22, 4)

Madness 2014 NFL Draft Rankings:
#19 Jackson Jeffcoat
#46 Quandre Diggs
#87 Malcolm Brown

Madness 2013 Recruit Rankings:
#28 Darius James
#37 Kent Perkins
#155 Jake Raulerson
#190 Jake Oliver
#214 Deoundrei Davis
#231 Antwuan Davis


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