Kickoff: September 23rd
Location: McLane Stadium (Waco, TX)
Conference: Big 12 (Soon to be SEC)
Head Coach: Steve Sarkisian (entering 3rd season)
Last Year’s Record: 8-5 (6-3 Big 12)
Notable Outcomes: Lost to Alabama, 20-19; beat Baylor 38-27; lost to Washington 27-20
Key Losses: Bijan Robinson, RB; DeMarvion Overshown, LB; Roschon Johnson, RB
Key Returners: Quinn Ewers, QB; Xavier Worthy, WR; Jaylan Ford, LB
Strength: Wide receiver. The Longhorns return their top two wideouts from a year ago in Xavier Worthy and Jordan Whittington. They also add Georgia transfer Adonai Mitchell and have plenty of young talent to cycle in. And while not necessarily counted toward their wide receivers, talented tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders also returns. Add on that the Longhorns return their quarterback, Quinn Ewers, and all five of their starting offensive linemen, and the passing attack should be quite dangerous.
Weakness: Running back. To be clear, Texas has plenty of potential talent here. And with all of their starting offensive line returning, this could very easily become a strength for the team if any of those running backs decide to step up. However, this gets dinged as a weakness because the Longhorns have to replace the top running back in the country last season, Bijan Robinson, and a fourth round draft pick in Roschon Johnson. If the Texas offense were to unravel, the most likely paths would be Quinn Ewers regressing or the Longhorns being unable to replace one of the best one-two running back duos we’ve seen in the Big 12 in a long time.
Way Too Early Prediction: This Texas team is going to be dangerous. If they aren’t, that’s a massive disappointment for UT because all of the talent is there. Baylor has a lot of improving to do if they’re going to be positioned to beat Texas in this game. To be clear, the atmosphere should be charged for Baylor as this is likely the last time Baylor will host Texas in a long time. And, with any in-state rivalry game, who knows how this could shake out. But I’ve got Texas winning this one until Baylor has had a chance to prove themselves in their nonconference schedule.