#25 Texas Football 2014 Preview

Texas Longhorns

Overall Rank: #25
#3 Big 12

Texas Team Page#25 Texas Football 2014 PreviewBuy Texas Football Tickets

Texas obviously has some retooling to do with new coach Charlie Strong stepping in. This is a program that has drastically underachieved since their trip to the BCS Championship game back in 2009. Since then they have gone 30-21. A bunch of 8-5 and 9-4 seasons is not going to cut it with the Longhorns. Coach Strong has some work to do, but there is talent on this team and maybe he can get the best out it.

2013 Record: 8-5, 7-2
2013 Bowl: Alamo Bowl vs. Oregon (L 7-30)
Coach: Charlie Strong (0-0 at Texas, 37-15 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Joe Wickline
Defensive Coordinator: Vance Bedford

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Malcolm Brown, RB, 904 yards
Passing: David Ash, QB, 760 yards
Receiving: Jaxson Shipley, WR, 589 yards
Tackles: Cedric Reed, DE, 79
Sacks: Cedric Reed, DE, 10.0
Interceptions: Duke Thomas, CB, 3

Other Key Returnees: RB Jonathan Gray, RB Joe Bergeron, WR Kendall Sanders, WR Marcus Johnson, LB Dalton Santos, LB Steve Edmond, S Mykele Thompson, DL Malcolm Brown, CD Quandre Diggs

Key Losses: QB Case McCoy, WR Mike Davis, OL Donald Hawkins, OL Trey Hopkins, OL Mason Walters, DL Jackson Jeffcoat, DL Chris Whaley, S Adrian Phillips, CB Carrington Byndom, K/P Anthony Fera

Texas’ defense was statistically their worst ever. New coordinator Vance Bedford will not allow that to happen again. The line is amazingly talented, led by end Cedric Reed. He is back for his senior season after totaling 10.0 sacks and 19.0 tackles-for-loss. For a defensive end, his 79 total tackles are quite impressive too. Malcolm Brown, not to be confused with running back Malcolm Brown, and Desmond Jackson are two huge bodies in the middle of the line that can take on any interior offensive lineman in the league. The linebackers are a bit of concern, but Steve Edmond, Dalton Santos and Jordan Hicks are back in the mix. If they can stay healthy, the unit is in good shape. If not, depth is a concern. The secondary is very experienced and will be led by cornerback Quandre Diggs. All in all, the starting 11 on defense is full of juniors and seniors. But, as if often the case with a coaching change, the depth is not there in many spots if the injury bug should strike.

The offense has a long way to go and it starts with quarterback David Ash. When healthy, Ash has proven to be a decent passer, but he has not always been on the field. Last year in just three outings he threw for 760 yards and seven touchdowns. Jaxon Shipley should be his favorite target after catching 56 passes for 589 yards. Marcus Johnson and Kendall Sanders are good athletes who are capable of turning into quality secondary receivers. Like most of the team, the offensive line has failed to live up to expectations. Tackle Kennedy Estelle and center Dominic Espinosa are good pieces to build around, but Texas fans are still waiting for the rest of the linemen to come around.

The Bottom Line:
And without bruising play from the line, Texas’ offensive strength, the ground game, will not be nearly as effective as it should be. Malcolm Brown is a power back who rushed for 904 yards and nine scores, while Johnathan Gray added 780 yards with four trips to the end zone. Gray missed the end of last season with an injury and he could very well outrush Brown during 2014. Either way, Coach Strong will want to work through his talented running backs and hope that can open up the passing game. Unfortunately for Texas, they will not have much time to get everything figured out. In the first two weeks of October the Longhorns play Baylor and Oklahoma. Two losses there and the season will end with disappointment no matter what else happens.

Projected Bowl: Russell Athletic Bowl

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 196.2 (36th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 212.5 (79, 8)
Total Offense: 408.7 (64, 6)
Scoring Offense: 29.3 (65, 6)
Rushing Defense: 183.1 (83, 6)
Pass Defense: 224.2 (53, 5)
Total Defense: 407.2 (68, 6)
Scoring Defense: 25.8 (57, 6)
Turnover Margin: 0.31 (39, 4)
Sacks: 3.00 (7, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 1.23 (17, 3)

Madness 2015 NFL Draft Rankings:
#18 Cedric Reed
#25 Quandre Diggs
#78 Malcolm Brown

Madness 2014 Recruit Rankings:
#80 Derick Roberson
#113 Jerrod Heard
#153 Armanti Foreman
#169 Edwin Freeman
#187 Lorenzo Joe
#197 John Bonney


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