Opponent: University of Texas
Kickoff: October 30th
Location: McLane Stadium
Conference: Big 12
Head Coach: Steve Sarkisian (first year)
Last Year’s Record: 7-3
Notable Outcomes: Lost to TCU 33-31; lost to Oklahoma 53-45 in OT; beat Baylor 27-16
Key Losses: Sam Ehlinger, QB; Joseph Ossai, OLB; Brennan Eagles, WR
Strength: Running back. Texas returns one of the nation’s best running backs from a year ago in Bijan Robinson. Robinson broke the school’s yard per carry record at an eye popping 8.2 yards per carry. That’s an absurd number and Texas returns four of its five starting offensive linemen. The running attack will be quite good.
Weakness: Linebackers. Texas’s top three tacklers last season were all linebackers. They lost two of them in the offseason. Only DeMarvion Overshown returns. Granted, Overshown was the team’s second leading tackler so that is a good player to return, but the middle linebacker and strong side linebacker positions will be filled by relatively fresh faces. However, with the recruits Texas tends to pull in, the new starters could be great and this becomes a moot issue.
Way Too Early Prediction: Baylor gets this game at home, which is a big plus. Additionally, Steve Sarkisian will be entering his first year as the Texas head coach. There is a possibility he has a shaky first year much like Aranda last season. And while I think Baylor will be markedly improved this year, this is just one of those games that I’m not sure the Bears pull out. Texas’s rushing attack figures to be so dominant that, even with Baylor’s defensive strength, I’m not convinced the Bears’ offense will be able to keep up. Hopefully I’m wrong on this one!