2022 Texas Longhorns Preview

by Matt Fargo

Texas Longhorns

2021-22 Season Record 5-7 (3-6 Big 12) - 5-7-0 ATS -5-7-0 O/U

Returning Starters

Offense - 7
Defense - 7

Overview

After years of mediocrity in the 90s, former head coach Mack Brown got Texas back to the top, stringing together nine straight double-digit win seasons including a National Championship in 2005, part of six seasons where it was ranked No. 6 or better in the final AP Poll. Then the slide began as Brown was around for only four more seasons and Charlie Strong failed to produce a winning record in his three years and while Tom Herman posted four winning seasons in his four years including four bowl wins, it was not good enough. Current head coach Steve Sarkisian came in last season as the next savior and failed to put up a winning record as the Longhorns suffered a six-game losing streak that included an embarrassing home loss to Kansas as a 31-point favorite. Texas has good experience, welcome an incoming recruiting class ranked No. 5 and will rely on transfers in a pivotal year.

Offense

The offense took a step back from the two previous seasons but it was far from horrible as the Longhorns were ranked No. 49 in total offense and No. 20 in scoring offense but they came up small down the stretch and could not carry a poor defense during that losing streak. The rushing offense led the way, which was ranked No. 26 in nation, headed by running back Bijan Johnson who ran for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns at a 5.8 ypc clip and he will once again play a big part in the offense. Taking over at quarterback will be either Ohio St. transfer Quinn Ewers who is a former five-star recruit, or the back up from last season Hudson Card as neither is giving in during camp. Whoever wins the job, they will have Xavier Worthy to throw to after his 981 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. The makeshift offensive line that allowed 26 sacks received an upgrade and will be better.

Defense

The defense also regressed down the stretch, allowing 30 or more points in each of those six games of that losing streak including giving up 57 points in that Kansas game. Texas was ranked No. 100 in total defense and No. 97 in scoring defense and the defensive line took the most heat. They could not stop the run as they allowed 202.4 ypg on 5.2 ypc which was No. 115 in the country and they could not get to the opposing quarterback as they registered only 20 sacks, tied for No. 98 in the nation. A year of experience will do wonders for this unit. The linebackers led the way last season and should do so again behind DeMarvion Overshown and Luke Brockermeyer who were the top two tacklers with a combined 144 stops. Safeties Anthony Cook and Jerrin Thompson had 88 tackles between them and head an experienced secondary that will benefit from a bigger pass rush.

2022 Season Outlook

Texas is off to the SEC either next season or in 2024 with the top ranked quarterback recruit in the country in Arch Manning but first things first, Texas has to do better now. There is talent all over the place, especially on offense where playmakers are prevalent and while the quarterback situation is muddy, it is a good problem to have with Ewers and Card having excellent camps. The Longhorns open at home against Louisiana-Monroe and then Sarkisian gets a shot at his former team as they face Alabama and while it is at home, it will be a tough ask to win. Facing every conference team keeps the playing field level for all teams and the Texas schedule is in its favor with the biggest true road test at Oklahoma St. and getting Iowa St. and Baylor at home. The O/U win total is set at 8 which is a fair number and it can go over by taking care of business at home and winning the road games it needs to.  

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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