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Found 752 results

  1. Casey Thompson is taking his name out of the NCAA Transfer Portal and will remain at Texas. The freshman quarterback is in line to compete with freshman Roschon Johnson for the No. 2 spot behind Sam Ehlinger in 2019. Shane Buechele and Cam Rising still have intentions to transfer. Would be great news for the Longhorns and add depth to a thinning QB room. 1/17 UPDATE: Thompson took to Twitter to announce he has not made any decision, refuting the report. 1/18 UPDATE: Thompson reportedly has informed the staff that he’s staying, per Anwar Richardson. Waiting for an official announcement from Casey. 1/19 UPDATE: a UT spokesman confirmed that Thompson is indeed staying at Texas.
  2. No surprise here, but the four-star Mansfield Legacy prospect committed to Arkansas over Texas this afternoon. Texas fought as hard as it could, but Catalon’s family had too much influence in this one. Catalon would have been an ideal fit for nickel in Todd Orlando’s defense. Fortunately, the Longhorns aren’t hurting in the defensive secondary depth-wise.
  3. Texas quarterback Shane Buechele reportedly informed the Texas staff today that he will enter the NCAA Transfer Portal. This would be a big loss to the Longhorns’ quarterback room, as Casey Thompson and Cam Rising are also already in the portal. Buechele would be a graduate transfer and immediately eligible to play. SMU is the perceived favorite, especially with former starting QB Ben Hicks transferring to Arkansas this offseason. The news was first reported by Anwar Richardson of Orangebloods.
  4. Texas officials confirmed that Cam Rising has left the program and will transfer. With the news that Thompson is likely staying, the blow hurts a little less. Make no mistake, however, Rising was very talented and probably would have taken the reigns once Ehlinger was done.
  5. Harrison Wier

    Jalen Hurts chooses Oklahoma

    The highly-coveted grad transfer from Alabama has decided to take his talents to Norman in 2019. This is an interesting choice, as Hurts does not really fit Riley's offensive scheme. Also of note, Riley told 2019 QB signee Spencer Rattler that he was not going to take any quarterback transfers. Hurts is undoubtedly an update to the QB room after the departure of Kyler Murray, however. The scene from Dallas will be interesting nonetheless in October.
  6. The saga in the Texas quarterback room just got more interesting. Several weeks ago, Cam Rising and Casey Thompson both entered their names into the NCAA Transfer Portal. Since that time, Tom Herman has worked furiously to keep both in Austin. It appeared that Herman’s efforts were paying off with Thompson, but Rising has elected to explore other options. If Texas wants to keep the talented redshirt freshman in the fold, it will have to start re-recruiting him to stay in Austin. Otherwise, he may move back closer to home. The news was first reported by Alex Markham of UteNation.com.
  7. The word "alignment" is thrown around a lot by Texas head coach Tom Herman, and it appears Texas football will remain aligned heading into the 2019 season. Herman reportedly informed his staff recently that each member will be retained for next football season. With former Kansas head coach David Beaty on the market after being fired earlier in the season, there was speculation that Herman would at least fire one staff member to make room for Beaty and his positive recruiting reputation in the DFW area. This news means that the following coaches will be retained: Tim Beck, Todd Orlando, Stan Drayton, Herb Hand, Drew Mehringer, Corby Meekins, Oscar Giles, Jason Washington, and Craig Naivar. Of course, several of these coaches could leave for better opportunities or even be re-assigned to a different role within the football program. Regardless, each member of the football staff has some sense of job security. What that means exactly remains to be seen. This second year staff helped Texas achieve its first 10-win season since 2009 and was the only team outside of Alabama and Clemson to knock off two top 5 opponents in 2018. The news on Herman's decision was first reported by Anwar Richardson of Orangebloods.
  8. Ask and you shall receive. You guys really want to get this going early, huh? Texas opened as 11-point underdogs to Georgia, but the line will shrink some. This will be a great way to measure just how improved the Horns are. Get your picks in, ya filthy animals.
  9. BY JAMESON MCCAUSLAND Following a loss in the Big 12 Championship, the Longhorns were rewarded with a trip to Sugar Bowl to face SEC runner-up Georgia. If not for a collapse against Alabama, the Bulldogs would have been playing in the College Football Playoff. Head Coach Kirby Smart learned under Nick Saban for years, so it is not surprising Georgia prides itself on great defense, but the Bulldogs offense also presents some unique challenges for the Texas defense. Let’s take a look at the Georgia offense: Quarterback Georgia boasts one of the best young quarterbacks in the country in sophomore Jake Fromm. Fromm started 14 games as a freshman a season ago, and nearly led the Bulldogs to a National Championship. The Georgia native is already widely considered one of the best QB prospects for the 2020 NFL draft. Fromm has thrown for 2,537 yards this season with 27 touchdowns compared to just 5 interceptions. Backup QB Justin Fields has seen sporadic playing time throughout the season, but he is a bit of an unknown heading into Tuesday’s matchup. Rumors began circulating weeks ago that the talented freshman will be transferring following the Sugar Bowl. Kirby Smart told reporters on Thursday that Fields is with the team and practicing, so there is a chance he could see a few snaps as a change of pace QB. Running Back The two-headed attack of D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield leads the Georgia rushing attack. Both backs have gone over 950 yards this year, with Swift leading the way at 1,037 yards. Swift and Holyfield have both benefited from superb offensive line play, but the duo has been able to pound the ball between the tackles all season. Wide Receiver/Tight End While the Bulldogs have some weapons in the passing game, they lack a sure fire go-to receiver. Junior Riley Ridley will be the likely focal point of the Texas secondary. The younger brother of former Alabama standout Calvin Ridley leads Georgia with 9 touchdowns and 498 yards. TE Issac Nauta ranks second on the team in receptions with 29 and has racked up 427 yards. The 6’4, 240-pounder is a matchup nightmare, and the Bulldogs offensive staff will utilize him in a variety of ways. Offensive Line Unfortunately, Texas will be facing another offensive line that is among the best in the country. The Longhorns struggled mightily against Oklahoma’s offensive line in the Big 12 title game, and Georgia’s group possesses similar talent. The Bulldogs start 1 freshman, 1 senior and 3 sophomores. The group manhandled Alabama’s defensive line for the better part of 3 quarters. Texas will have to find a way to generate pressure up front, or Fromm could end up having all day to throw.
  10. Texas came up short today against the Sooners. The Longhorns had plenty of opportunities, but couldn't capitalize. Texas fought hard, but ultimately Kyler Murray and the Oklahoma offense did just enough to get the win in Arlington. Texas will now have to wait and see where it will go bowling later in December. They are destined for either the Alamo Bowl against Utah/Washington State or the Sugar Bowl against Georgia, Florida, or LSU (depending on the results of the SEC Championship. Here are some thoughts about the game. Lack of run production It's hardly ever great when your quarterback has the most rushing yards for your offense in the biggest game of the year. Sam Ehlinger had 42 yards rushing, averaging 2.8 YPC. Tre Watson had 39 yards rushing on 13 carries. The Oklahoma defense is statistically one of the worst run defenses in the country, and Texas could not take advantage. The Texas offensive line did not have a great performance today, and it showed by the lack of a rushing attack. This lack of rushing led to predictability in the Texas offense, which helped Oklahoma make several key stops throughout the game. It appears that bringing in David Beaty, who put up 40 points on Oklahoma and had a freshman running back put up crazy numbers, did not help the Texas offense much. Offense's failure to capitalize costed Texas Texas had several opportunities throughout the game to build a double digit lead, but never capitalized. At the beginning of the game, Texas had a chance to go up 21-6, and couldn't capitalize. Oklahoma quickly surged back and scored 21-unanswered points to lead 27-14 at one point. Later on, with Texas trailing by three, Gary Johnson forced a huge fumble by Cedee Lamb to give Texas another chance to garner the lead. Two plays later, Tre Brown came untouched on a corner blitz and sacked Sam Ehlinger for a safety. There were several other opportunities for Texas to capitalize, but they just continued to stall in key moments. That can't happen when you're playing the best offense in the country. Todd Orlando's unit did the best they could, and holding Oklahoma to 39 points is usually enough against the Sooners' defense. Not today. Penalties There was no doubt some atrocious penalties against Texas in this game. As I've stated before, this is going to be a huge factor that determines whether Texas stays in the Big 12. Instead of focusing on whether horns up or down should be a penalty, maybe Bob Bowlsby should focus on fixing this referee problem. Somehow it's gotten worse since Big 12 Head of Officiating Walt Anderson went to the NFL. Can't believe that's the case. With that being said, Texas had some really boneheaded penalties. Kris Boyd, specifically, did not have a great day penalty-wise. The senior CB got burned on several deep balls and was flagged for DPI. He also had a facemask penalty that negated an interception and a horse collar that was offset by an Oklahoma penalty. Anytime a team has over 100 yards in penalties, that's tough to overcome. The Texas defense had some penalties that extended Oklahoma drives and resulted in points. The Texas offense had some key penalties that killed drives, which just can't happen against the No. 1 offense in the country. This has been an issue for Texas all season, and is certainly something that Tom Herman is disappointed about following the loss. Kyler Murray can ball Love him or hate him, Kyler Murray is absolutely electric. Texas did a pretty solid job of playing contain the entire game. Even then, Murray was able to create plays out of nothing frequently. I don't know if I've seen a quarterback that's more elusive or fast as Murray since Michael Vick played at Virginia Tech. Granted, Murray had pretty much all day to throw due to Todd Orlando attempting to drop 8 and rush 3; regardless of pass rush, he's an elite playmaker. For a quarterback that's only 5'9, he has an elite feel for the pocket and is dangerously accurate. The Texas defense did about all they could today to give the offense a chance. Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough. The only thing the defense could have done better on was something they've struggled with all year — get off the field on third down. Oklahoma had a great conversion rate today, and it's something that ultimately led to Texas' demise. Todd Orlando will have to clean that up in the offseason, as it costed Texas some games earlier in the season. Bowl game looms large It will be interesting to see how this team responds to this loss. Will they come out flat in the bowl game, or will they get up and ring in a solid performance? Time will tell, and it will show how much Tom Herman's culture has been engrained in the Texas program. Texas will either be placed in the Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, LA) or Alamo Bowl (San Antonio, TX). Obviously, many fans would prefer to see Texas in the Sugar Bowl. If the Longhorns travel to New Orleans, they will likely play Georgia (unless the Bulldogs beat Alabama in today's SEC Championship). That would be a tough matchup for Texas, but also gives Tom Herman a chance to show how well his team can stay with the best of the best. If Oklahoma doesn't get into the CFP and goes to the Sugar Bowl, Texas will face either Washington state or Utah in the Alamo Bowl. That's a much more favorable matchup, but Washington State will be tough to beat. Either way, this Texas team has come a long way from where it was several years ago. Texas fans should be proud of this team's accomplishments and should be excited for the future.
  11. Texas faces Oklahoma more than once in a single season for the first time since 1903. In their first meeting, the Longhorns played spoiler to Oklahoma's undefeated season and came out on top 48-45 thanks to a last-second field goal by Cameron Dicker. The rematch means much more, however. Texas once again has a chance to play spoiler; this time, it can spoil Oklahoma's chances to attend the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma has solidified itself as the No. 1 offense in the country, but the Texas is much improved since the two teams last met in October. Our staff weighs in on the possibility of Texas beating Oklahoma twice in one season: Daniel Seahorn Beating OU once was a tall task in the Cotton Bowl. Beating them a second time in Dallas will be an even harder goal to achieve. It will be tough for both teams to catch each other off guard in this matchup given the familiarity they have with one another, but I have a feeling we will see the twists and turns we’ve grown accustomed to in the Red River Rivalry. It’s a given that both offenses are going score plenty in this matchup. Oklahoma’s defensive struggles are well documented coming into this one, and the Texas defense has had its issues as well this season. I’m betting we won’t be seeing the punters too often. The key is going to be which defense can come up with some timely turnovers or stops and give their offense the upper hand. In the first act we saw Kyler Murray turn the ball over twice, and we saw the Oklahoma defense force two key turnovers against West Virginia that ended up being the difference. Both units are capable of being opportunistic, but will they prove to be when they are in position to make the plays? We shall see on Saturday. So now comes decision time. This is essentially a coin flip decision for me. I think this has a chance to come down to who has the ball last — similar to the first matchup. I’m going to gamble this week and show a little faith in the Longhorns. I’m taking the Longhorns to win in another shootout and to knock off the Sooners for the second time this year. It won’t be the prettiest, but pretty wins don’t matter this time of year. Just win baby. Prediction: Texas 50 Oklahoma 48 Jameson McCausland Tom Herman hasn’t been shy about admitting that this Texas team is currently overachieving. Not many expected Texas to be in this position, and no one expected it after Week 1. The Longhorns have defied the odds and are now 1 win away from their first conference championship since 2009. The biggest factor in this game that I don’t think many people are taking into account is Texas has Malcolm Roach back. Roach missed the October matchup due to a foot injury. Roach’s presence along the defensive line has been felt since his return, especially in the last few weeks. I think Texas will come up with just enough stops on defense, and the Longhorns offense will punish an Oklahoma defense that pretty much solely relies on turnovers as their only form of stops. Call me crazy, but I think Texas gets their biggest win in almost a decade. Prediction: Texas 42, Oklahoma 38 Aaron Carrara The old saying about never wanting to play a team twice in a season, especially one that you beat, holds true in this case. The Longhorns handed the Sooners their only loss of the season back in October, but all Oklahoma has done since is win — and put up incredibly impressive offensive numbers. Texas has had spurts of “wowing” on offense, but not to the level of Kyler Murray and his offense. This is a rivalry game, but it has a different feel. No Cotton Bowl, no hallowed ground, etc. Texas keeps it close in the first half but the Sooners end up pulling away in the 4th quarter to win this one. Prediction: Oklahoma 45, Texas 38 Harrison Wier Texas has improved by a good margin on both sides of the ball since they last met Oklahoma in October. Oklahoma has improved offensively, but not defensively. If Texas were fully healthy coming into this matchup, my prediction would likely be different. However, Sam Ehlinger is still nursing an AC sprain in his shoulder and won't be 100% come Saturday. Brandon Jones is going to play on a sprained ankle. Keaontay Ingram and Tre Watson are banged up. The list goes on and on. Fortunately for Texas, the injuries won't slow them down much. They have a desire and passion that knows no bounds. This game will be a fight, I just don't believe the Texas defense will generate enough stops in the end. Have I been wrong? Yes. In fact, more so than anyone else this season. This team has proven me wrong time and time again, so why should tomorrow be any different? It may not be. If Texas can continue its offensive momentum from October's matchup and force Kyler Murray into making mistakes, Breckyn Hager will finally get to pull out the hair clippers. Prediction: Oklahoma 45, Texas 42
  12. This is not part of the Coop Gift Card sweepstakes, which ended with Kansas. This is simply for fun. Get your picks in!
  13. BY JAMESON MCCAUSLAND The Good McCulloch and Ossai When it was announced prior to kickoff that Gary Johnson was suspended for a violation of team rules, it meant Jeff McCulloch would slide over to the rover linebacker position and freshman Joseph Ossai would make his first career start at B-backer. Both played very well, with McCulloch pulling down a huge interception and being very active in the run game. Ossai showed many of the traits that made him a highly rated recruit in the 2018 cycle. Many fans are beginning to wonder what Texas will do at linebacker next year without Johnson and Anthony Wheeler, but it appears the Longhorns could be in good hands if McCulloch and Ossai continue to develop. Tre Watson and Keaontay Ingram continue to chip away on the ground It is difficult to imagine what the Texas running game would look like this year if Tom Herman wouldn’t have reeled in Tre Watson as a graduate transfer. Watson provided another solid performance, gaining 79 yards on 14 carries. Ingram, despite being slightly banged up with injuries, turned his 13 carries into 51 yards. Texas will need both backs to be fully ready to go against an Oklahoma defense that is sinking fast and basically has resorted to turnovers as their only form of getting stops. The message this week will likely emphasize ball security and taking the chunk gains that the Sooners defense has allowed all season. The Bad Sam Ehlinger is human The streak is finally over. For the first time since Maryland, Sam Ehlinger played a game that left a lot to be desired. There is little doubt he was still fighting through the shoulder injury he suffered against Iowa State, but #11 finished the game with a pair of interceptions and a few more throws that were head scratchers. Ehlinger will surely benefit from the extra day of rest and preparation for the Big 12 Championship, and Texas will need him to perform like he did at the State Fair a couple months ago if they want to come out victorious. The Ugly Special Teams struggles Aside from a Cameron Kicker field goal, it was a day to forget for the Longhorns special team units. Dicker had two kickoffs go out of bounds and the coverage unit gave up another long return that was bailed out by a review for a fair catch signal. The kickoff return unit was not much better. I am not sure what the success rate is for onside kicks, but I do know team are converting far more than the average against Texas. Additional miscues came courtesy of the punt return unit, where Brandon Jones let two punts roll inside the 5 yard line, then was blown up on an attempted return near midfield that resulted in him exiting with a head injury. Style Points One of the main takeaways from Tom Herman’s second season is the Longhorns have not been able to pull away in any game and win comfortably, especially against inferior opponents. Texas fans would much rather see wins than losses, but one of the next steps for Tom Herman will be getting his team to a point where they can step on people’s throats when presented the opportunity.
  14. Harrison Wier

    Staff Predictions: Kansas

    With a trip to the Big 12 Championship on the line, Texas travels to Lawrence to turn an opportunity into reality. Last time the Longhorns traveled to Lawrence... well, we don't need to get into that. With Sam Ehlinger back at quarterback, Texas is surely feeling confident about its chances. The Longhorns must be careful, however, as Kansas truly has nothing to lose. Our staff predicts the result of the final regular season game: Daniel Seahorn (5-6) This one is pretty straight forward. Win on Friday and the Longhorns are heading to the Big 12 title game and are a step closer to re-emerging on the national stage. It’s all right in front of this Texas team, and all that stands in their way is a revenge game in Lawrence. The fact that this game is any sort of revenge game probably makes Longhorn fans cringe, but here we are. The last trip to Lawrence doesn’t need any rehashing and I’m sure this group doesn’t need any reminders. Many of them were there and witnessed the debacle first hand, and now have a chance to not only make it right, but to move the program a step closer to a Big 12 championship. While this Jayhawk team has only notched one conference win, they won’t be taken lightly in Austin. They just put up 40 in Norman (while also giving up 55) and running back Pooka Williams Jr. had a monster day. He is now north of 1,000 yards on the season. Slowing him down will be the tallest task for the Texas defense heading into the matchup. With Sam Ehlinger likely starting at quarterback, I still feel confident in saying this chapter will end much more favorably for Texas than the previous one in Lawrence. On top of that the Longhorn defense is fresh off one of their best performances of the season against Iowa State, and that confidence will be huge heading into this one. I’m predicting a double digit win for the Longhorns and a trip to the Big 12 Championship. Prediction: Texas 38, Kansas 21 Jameson McCausland (7-4) I don’t expect this to be an easy game for Texas at all. Kansas has nothing to lose. Their coach has already been told he will be let go, and they won’t be going to a bowl game. I fully expect to see Kansas empty out the playbook with every trick play imaginable, because why not? Teams are typically dangerous when they play with the mindset of having nothing to lose. If Sam Ehlinger is able to play in this game, I feel confident the Longhorns will be able to pull away in the second half. I think Todd Orlando made the necessary adjustments last week after several bad games and it will carry over into Friday afternoon. This one may be closer than most think, but Texas will notch its 9th victory of the season and punch their ticket to the conference championship game. Prediction: Texas 31, Kansas 17 Aaron Carrara (9-2) Texas hits the road in its regular season finale to face an improved Kansas Jayhawks team. Sam Ehlinger has a banged up shoulder but is expected to start. A win gets Texas into the Big 12 Championship Game next weekend to face wither Oklahoma or West Virginia. The Longhorns found their stride on defense last week against Iowa State and they will need another stout performance on Friday. Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr. ripped Oklahoma’s defense for 252 yards on the ground last week, and Texas will need to be prepared to stop the run. The Longhorns are banged up as a whole, but this is a must-win for Tom Herman and Texas. The weather forecast calls for cold and rain in Lawrence, but Texas pushes through and holds on to win their 9th game of the season. Prediction: Texas 35, Kansas 24 Harrison Wier (4-7) I've been adamant this season about Texas proving they are an improved program. They've done that this year. All that stands in the way of a trip to the Big 12 Championship is a road trip to Lawrence to face the Kansas Jayhawks. With Sam Ehlinger likely starting at quarterback, much of the worries about facing Kansas should be subdued. The Jayhawks defense leaves much to be desired, and is especially subject against the run. The only big concern is how the Texas defense will fair against freshman phenom running back Pooka Williams Jr. The freshman torched Oklahoma for 200+ rushing yards last week, and has more than 1,000 on the season. If Texas can limit Williams Jr., the Kansas offense is extremely one dimensional. Todd Orlando showed that he could make positive adjustments last weekend, and I expect more of the same on Friday. With several players on the roster that know how the trip to Lawrence in 2016 turned out, Kansas will not be taken lightly. Ultimately, Texas should pull away in the second half and notch their first trip to the Big 12 Championship since 2009. Prediction: Texas 38, Kansas 28
  15. Last game of the regular season, which means after this, we will find out who our $100 Coop Gift Card winner is! Get your picks in.
  16. Defensive Line Defensive tackle Daniel Wise may be the best player on the Kansas defense. Wise has 4 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss on the season. Zach Shackelford, Patrick Vahe and Elijah Rodriguez held up very well against a tough Iowa State defensive line, so it’s hard to imagine Wise giving them too much trouble. Whenever the Kansas defensive line is matched up against at least an average offensive line, they have played poorly. Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas Tech imposed their will at the line of scrimmage. It would be surprising if Texas wasn’t able to do the same. Linebacker Senior linebackers Joe Dineen Jr. and Keith Loneker Jr. have combined for almost 200 tackles and are very active around the ball. Both players have been forced to make a lot of plays at the second level. An important thing to note when it comes to the Kansas run defense is when it rains, it pours. Whenever teams have success against the Jayhawks on the ground, it comes in bunches and the yards start to pile up quickly. Even an 80% healthy Tre Watson and Keaontay Ingram should be enough for Texas to get up around the 200-yard rushing mark. Defensive Back No. 1 corner Shakial Taylor has had a very solid year, recording 2 interceptions and forcing a fumble. Where Texas will really have an advantage is the other side of the field, where freshman Corione Harris holds down the other corner position. Harris made headlines during his recruitment as being one of the first 4-star recruits to ever commit to Kansas. Teams tend to target Harris more than his senior counterpart, and that trend should continue on Friday afternoon. Hasan Defense and Mike Lee hold down the two safety positions. Both are solid players. Regardless of who starts at quarterback for Texas, the Longhorns should have success moving the ball through the air. Lil’ Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson were freshmen when the Longhorns visited Lawrence in 2016, with neither recording a catch. Both receivers are now playing at a high level, and Texas will need to take advantage of the mismatches.
  17. Breckyn Hager has been publicly reprimanded by the Big 12 for his negative comments about OU following Saturday's win, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced today. “Breckyn Hager violated the Conference rule that prohibits coaches, student-athletes, athletic department staff and university personnel from making negative comments about other member institutions for his remarks about the University of Oklahoma,” said Bowlsby. “This is Mr. Hager’s second violation of the Conference sportsmanship rules and therefore, he is receiving a public reprimand and will be expected to issue a public apology for his inappropriate comments.” Expect a public apology soon from Hager.
  18. Harrison Wier

    Five Thoughts: Iowa State

    Even without Sam Ehlinger in the second half of Saturday night's matchup with Iowa State, the Longhorns dominated the Cyclones all night and came away with a 24-10 victory. Todd Orlando and his defensive unit stepped up in a big way by limiting David Montgomery to 33 yards rushing and making Brock Purdy look like a freshman. The health of Sam Ehlinger looms large as Texas is set to have a short week and travel to Kansas. The good news is that Ehlinger warmed up on the sideline and was really in Tom Herman's ear about coming into the game. For now, here are five thoughts about the Longhorns' big win: Shane Buechele is selfless and serviceable After losing the starting job to Sam Ehlinger in the offseason, Shane Buechele could have easily exercised his option to transfer like so many other quarterbacks have in the past. Instead, the junior took on a mentor role with Ehlinger and remained ready to be called on. When Buechele's number was called against Baylor and tonight, he's been more than serviceable at the position. There's no doubt that the offense is entirely different when Buechele is in the game. Opposing defenses do not respect Buechele's ability to run, and it certainly makes this offense more predictable. When that happens, the pressure is turned up on Buechele, who does not have the pocket awareness that Ehlinger has and often can't get away from pressure. All in all, Buechele is a very serviceable backup quarterback who could be a starter in a different offensive scheme. As Tom Herman put it best, "He's the definition of a teammate." Resurgence of the defense Something must have snapped in Todd Orlando this week, because the Texas defense played with its hair on fire tonight. Todd Orlando's unit reeled in 6 sacks, 9 TFL, 1 interception and 1 forced fumble. The defensive line played unbelievable, and asserted pressure on Brock Purdy all night. Gary Johnson was placed as a spy on Purdy all evening, and laid some solid hits on the freshman several times throughout the game. The statline may not show it, but Kris Boyd had a great game guarding Hakeem Butler. At times Boyd gave up some plays to the 6'6 junior, but that was to be expected. Boyd also made some fantastic plays that cut Iowa State drives short. One of the biggest performances came from the Texas LB corps. The rushing attack has been a huge weakness of Texas' this year, but this unit stuck to its assignments and really made Brock Purdy air it out. It certainly helped that David Montgomery was out for the first half, but he was only able to accumulate 33 yards rushing in the second half. As a team, the Texas defense only allowed 62 yards (!) rushing. You have to credit the Texas LBs for maintaining gap integrity and the defensive line for getting a constant push up front. This will undoubtedly give the defense confidence as they head into the final stretch of the season. One last win in DKR for the seniors This year's senior class has arguably been through more turmoil than any other in Texas history. Abrupt coaching changes in-season, constant regression, and an embarrassing loss to cap off a forgettable era were followed by the arrival of a new coach with a completely different attitude and style. It took a while, but the seniors finally bought in to his vision and saw results. They came to Texas with the goal of bringing the Longhorns back to where they should always be, and now they are ever so close to that achieving it. To Charles Omenihu, Breckyn Hager, Gary Johnson, PJ Locke, Davante Davis, Kris Boyd, Chris Nelson, Anthony Wheeler, Calvin Anderson, Patrick Vahe, Tre Watson, and countless others: thank you. All of you are shining examples of the types of players Texas wants to wear the burnt orange and white week in and out. The season is far from over, but just know the Longhorn faithful are glad you chose Texas and will forever be on your side. Closing out games As Tom Herman said best, "We've always got to make it interesting, huh?" You sure do, coach. Just as this game was all but wrapped up, Texas decided to give Iowa State some life. It started with a Ryan Bujcevski line drive punt to Tarique Milton that was taken back to the Texas 15-yard line, and then moved further up due to a Ryan Bujcevski facemask. Iowa State scored a couple of plays later, but failed to recover the onside kick. Okay, no problem, Texas fans thought. Then, instead of deciding to take a knee to run out the clock, Texas decided to give it to Daniel Young — a player who has been notorious for coughing the ball up. And guess what happened? Young fumbled, and Iowa State recovered. Thankfully, freshman pass rusher Joseph Ossai wanted to go home. Ossai got a step on the outside and strip sacked senior quarterback Kyle Kempt, which was recovered by senior Charles Omenihu to seal the game. This team always has to make it interesting, but a win is a win. This cannot happen in the future, as turnovers like that or missed field goals could end up being costly. One more win... And Texas will be heading to Dallas for its first Big 12 Championship appearance since 2009. Who would have thunk it after the Longhorns lost to Maryland to open the season and almost blew a lead against Tulsa at home? 8 regular season wins and a chance at 9 is a big improvement from 6 a season ago. All in all, there is no doubt that Tom Herman has this program heading in the right direction. It will be very interesting to see how Texas comes out against Kansas next Friday. Many of the seniors on this time know all too well what it feels like to lose in Lawrence with a lot on the line. This time, Texas has a Big 12 Championship appearance on the line and much more at stake. After putting up 40 points against Oklahoma today, it is safe to say that Kansas should not be taken lightly. It will be the Jayhawks Senior Day and the last time David Beaty will coach a game there. Emotions will be running high, and Texas must be ready. How ready they'll look will also depend on the health of Sam Ehlinger. Tom Herman announced after the game that Ehlinger has an AC contusion at the moment, with an MRI scheduled for tomorrow. A contusion is certainly not as severe as a sprain, but it's concerning to see Ehlinger take more hits on his throwing shoulder. One more win, Longhorn fans; the drought remains, but rain is in the forecast. We'll see if it comes down on Friday.
  19. BY JAMESON MCCAUSLAND Texas put together its cleanest and most complete game of the season on Saturday night, knocking off Iowa State and putting themselves a win away from playing for a Big 12 championship. Let’s a took at the good, bad and ugly from a big win over the Cyclones: The Good Great performance from the Texas defense During Tom Herman’s press conference last Monday, he told the media that the defense was going to get better. Todd Orlando echoed Herman’s statement on Wednesday, telling the media he asked Herman to put full pads on Tuesday so the defense could clean up fundamental issues. Whatever the Longhorns did, it worked. Texas turned in their most complete defensive performance of the season against Iowa State, holding the Cyclones to 210 total yards. Texas finds success running the football It was mildly surprising to see Texas have consistent success running the football against an Iowa State defense that ranked at or near the top of every statistical category in the Big 12. The Texas offensive line did an excellent job of establishing the line of scrimmage for 4 quarters, allowing Tre Watson and Keaontay Ingram to find running room. The duo combined for 150 yards on 27 carries, with Watson ripping off a season long run of 39 yards in the 3rd quarter. Shane Buechele plays well For the second time this season, Sam Ehlinger left a game with a shoulder injury. This time, Ehlinger suffered a bad bruise after having a defenders facemask go directly into his throwing shoulder. Despite playing in only his 2nd game of the year, Shane Buechele finished the evening a perfect 10 for 10 for 89 yards and a touchdown. Should Ehlinger have to miss Friday’s game in Lawrence, Buechele will be tasked with trying to lead the Longhorns to a victory over Kansas and clinching Texas a spot in the conference championship game. The Bad Cameron Dicker misses a chip shot Freshman kicker Cameron Dicker has been reliable for most of the 2018 season, but he has had a few kicks he would like to have back. One of those came in the 2nd quarter, when Dicker missed a 28-yarder wide right. It has been a short sample size, but Dicker seems to be more comfortable kicking from the left hashmark, and his miss came from the right hashmark. Regardless, anything inside of 40 yards should be pretty automatic. It didn’t end up costing Texas, but every play will matter if Texas gets into close games to finish the season. Coughing up the football Texas tried to get Daniel Young a couple carries at the end of the game, but the sophomore coughed up the ball on the first play, giving Iowa State another possession trailing only by 14. Young has seen inconsistent playing time this year, but he may be tasked with a key role next year with the departure of senior Tre Watson. Young possesses the most physicality out of any back on the roster, but he has to protect the football if he hopes to see an expanded role in 2019. The Ugly Injuries It is not an ideal time for Texas to have a short week before going on the road. In addition to Sam Ehlinger’s shoulder injury, the Longhorns have several starters who are nursing injuries. Keaontay Ingram continues to battle and play through a hip injury, Zach Shackelford and Kris Boyd played through injuries and Brandon Jones has not returned from an ankle injury. Jones went through pre-game drills prior to the game and had limited practice throughout the week, meaning he could return this Friday against Kansas. Tom Herman has made it clear injuries will not be an excuse, but the Longhorns will look to get through the final regular season game and a possible conference championship game before a well-deserved rest prior to its bowl game.
  20. The Cyclones travel to Austin for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff on Saturday on LHN. Get your picks in!
  21. Iowa State travels to Texas tomorrow for what is arguably the most important game of the season if you are a fan of the team that wears burnt orange and white. Texas is trying to keep its hopes at a Big 12 title appearance alive and win 9 games for the first time in a long time. Doing so won't come easy, as Matt Campbell has the best defense in the conference and a multitude of weapons on offense. If Texas can stick to the fundamentals and play assignment-sound football, it wins. That's a big if, however. Here's how the HornSports staff feels the matchup will end: Daniel Seahorn (4-6) This is a tough one for me. On one hand, Texas gets this Iowa State team at home and without starting running back David Montgomery for a half. On the other hand, Iowa State presents a tough matchup for both sides of the ball as they are very well-coached. The Cyclones are led by freshman signal caller Brock Purdy, who has played well this season (1315 yards, 13/2 TD-INT) and also has WR Hakeem Butler. Add David Montgomery to this and it forms a very good nucleus of talent, offensively. With the Texas defense struggling mightily to slow down offenses the past few weeks, I’m not confident they will find a ton of success on Saturday unless they are able to rattle the freshman early and get him uncomfortable. While I do expect the Texas offense to be able to have success against ISU’s defense on Saturday, I expect there to be a little more resistance than in the past couple of weeks. The Cyclone defense has allowed 30 or more points on three different occasions this year (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech), but they also managed to hold West Virginia to 14 points. I was conflicted on which way to go this week all things considered, but I’m going to go with the Longhorns on senior day to squeak past Iowa State and move to 8-3. Prediction: Texas 34, Iowa State 28 Jameson McCausland (6-4) I fully expect another close game at DKR on Saturday night. Iowa State and Texas are pretty evenly matched, with the Cyclones holding the edge on defense. My biggest worry when it comes to Texas is the offense needing multiple drives to adjust to what the Cyclones are showing on defense. If the Longhorns are without Collin Johnson for a second straight game, it's hard to envision Iowa State letting Lil' Jordan Humphrey beat them one-on one-like Texas Tech did. Defensively, having Brandon Jones back would be huge for the Texas defense because it would allow PJ Locke to slide back to nickel. Todd Orlando says all the right things about making adjustments, but now it is time to show it on the field. In the end, I think Texas does just enough to win this game and keep their Big 12 championship hopes alive. Prediction: Texas 31, Iowa State 28 Aaron Carrara (8-2) Texas is dealing with the injury bug right now, as key players are questionable to play against Iowa State on Saturday. The Cyclones have won five in a row and have the firepower on both sides of the ball to make it six straight. Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy is efficient in the air and on the ground, and Texas will have their hands full in stopping him. Todd Orlando’s defense gave up almost 600 yards of offense last week against Texas Tech. The Longhorns came out on the wining end against Tech despite the poor defensive play, but it won’t happen often with those stats. Orlando and Tom Herman need a fix, and they need it quick if they intend to finish the season strong. Both teams are still in the hunt for a Big 12 Championship and neither can afford a loss. Iowa State tailback David Montgomery is suspended for the first half, which is a significant loss to the Cyclone offense. It’s senior night at DKR, and Sam Ehlinger has been nothing short of spectacular lately, which is why I like Texas to pull off the win. Prediction: Texas 38, Iowa State 34 Harrison Wier (4-6) This is easily the most important matchup of the year for Texas. Make no mistake, Iowa State is no slouch. In fact, they are probably the most difficult matchup Texas will have this season. A large portion of the reasoning behind that assumption is Matt Campbell. His team is disciplined and will play fundamental football. Add that discipline to the talent on the Texas roster and you have yourself a well-rounded sqaud. On offense, Matt Campbell found a gem in Brock Purdy. It is quite the story to go from a third-string afterthought to the star of the Iowa State offense. It is another story entirely to do that and put up the numbers that Purdy has accumulated this season. Purdy has thrown for 13 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions on the season, amassing a passer rating of 192.0 (!) along the way. On top of that, Purdy has weapons all around him — namely Hakeem Butler and David Montgomery. Fortunately for Texas, Montgomery will be suspended for the first half of Saturday's matchup due to an altercation in last week's matchup with Baylor. The Texas defense will have to account for Hakeem Butler for four quarters, however. I'm sure Todd Orlando has a plan, but Butler has not been stopped all season. If the Iowa State offense gets in a rhythm, it's hard to stop. On defense, the Cyclones play fundamental football. They can stop the run and certainly have the secondary to stop Sam Ehlinger's reliance on Lil'Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson. The Longhorns must establish the run game early so that it can open up options through the air. The Longhorns have been extremely efficient on offense for most of the season, but have also had stretches of 3-4 possessions at a time with no success. That can't happen on Saturday. Ultimately, I don't think the Texas defense can stop Iowa State enough to give the Longhorns a chance. The Texas offense will be stopped several times on Saturday, and I don't see the defense being able to uphold their end of the bargain. I hope I'm wrong, and will gladly take the heat that comes with being wrong. But until the Texas defense proves they can make some stops, I don't trust them to give the offense an opportunity to stay in the game. Prediction: Iowa State 38, Texas 34
  22. Harrison Wier

    Five Thoughts: West Virginia

    Once again, Texas took a game down to the wire primarily because of poor defensive play. With :16 left in the game, Texas did the one thing that they knew could not happen; they let a West Virginia get to the second level and burn them deep. At this point last year, Texas fans were begging for a competent offense. This year, those same fans are now begging Todd Orlando to make any type of adjustment to make his defense look like less of an embarrassment. That has not happened yet. Unfortunately for Tom Herman, if his offense does not play perfect, it appears the Longhorns will be playing from behind because of the defense's lack of production. With that being said, here are some quick thoughts from the game: Ehlinger continues to shine One of the only bright spots from this game was Ehlinger's play. Ehlinger finished the game 25/36 passing for 354 yards and 4 total touchdowns. Some other bright spots that certainly helped the sophomore quarterback were Tre Watson and Lil'Jordan Humphrey. Humphrey specifically made 2 fantastic catches near the end zone on a 50/50 ball. Watson provided a solid running attack against the No. 2 rated defense in the Big 12. Ultimately, Ehlinger continues to show just how big of a jump he's made from his sophomore season. During the game today, Ehlinger set the Big 12 record for passes attempted without an interception. Ultimately, Ehlinger is only going to get better, and the Texas offense can't do much more than what they did today. Constantly having to pick up your defense is not a recipe for success. Lack of defensive adjustments Todd Orlando has primarily been given the benefit of the doubt this season, but it's time to make some criticisms about his personnel decisions. First and foremost, Orlando's decision to continually roll with a defensive front that generates hardly any pressure on the quarterback is highly questionable. On top of that, Orlando appears to have much more trust in his seniors than their play would indicate. Names are not going to be named, but there are several seniors in different position groups that have not improved since they've come to the 40 Acres. This has become blatantly obvious this season, yet Orlando continues to play these seniors that are clearly a weakness that is constantly attacked by opposing offenses. If the Texas defense is going to improve, some of these changes have to be made. Otherwise, opposing offenses like Texas Tech and Iowa State will continue exposing those weaknesses and putting pressure on the Texas offense. Pass rush and injuries If you are unable to generate a pass rush on Will Grier, good luck. Unfortunately for Texas, there was little to no pressure generated on Grier all afternoon. A large portion of the lack of pressure could be attributed to injuries on the Texas defensive line. Senior Breckyn Hager was ruled out for the game with a dislocated elbow, and second-string DE Marqez Bimage was ruled out with a dislocated shoulder. As a result, freshmen Keondre Coburn and Moro Ojomo were forced into action. Senior DE Charles Omenihu did not have a great night either, which led to plenty of time for Grier to pick apart the Texas secondary. Instead of trying to come up with different blitz schemes, Orlando appeared to stick with the rush of a three-man front, which was ineffective. BJ Foster, arguably the best blitzer on the Texas defense, was not seen much if at all today. These types of personnel decisions are hurting the Texas defense in a major way. Eventually, lack of execution has to come back to coaching. It's getting close to the time to look at the coaching on defense. Big 12 officials strike again I hate being the person to criticize officiating when there are so many other factors, but this had to be one of the poorest officiated games I've seen. To be fair, both teams received considerable breaks from the referees. For example Texas gained a huge advantage when Yodny Cajuste, starting LT for the Mountaineers, was disqualified for what the referees thought was a punch thrown. It ended up being a shove, and WVU was without its best offensive lineman for the rest of the game. On the contrary, West Virginia received some very favorable calls that ultimately ended up costing Texas. One of them came on a 4th and 1 attempt deep in West Virginia territory in which Sam Ehlinger appeared to convert on the keeper. After a review, the officials made a very questionable call that Ehlinger was short of the line to gain because his helmet came off, ruling the ball dead. The next questionable call came on another Ehlinger keeper in WVU territory. This time, Ehlinger appeared to have gotten the yardage for the first down by extending the ball past the line to gain when his knee was down. The play was not reviewed. As a result, Texas elected to kick the field goal and went up by 7 instead of potentially going up by 11. It may seem silly to say this, but the Big 12's refusal to address its officiating problem could be a large reason why Texas ultimately elects to leave the conference. This officiating problem gets worse by the week, and other Big 12 teams have been just as negatively impacted by it as Texas has. It's certainly something to keep an eye on as conference realignment inches closer. The chance to finish strong remains Texas has now lost consecutive games by three points or less. The Longhorns are certainly in a much better place than they were a season ago, and the credit for that must go to Tom Herman. However, the Longhorns are still showing the lack of ability to finish games. With that being said, Texas is in dangerous territory. The Longhorns finish the season with a game in Lubbock against Texas Tech, a home game against Iowa State, and an away game against Kansas. The next two games will ultimately determine if Texas can go 9-3 or 7-5. If Tom Herman's squad dwells on the past couple of losses, they could easily show up flat in Lubbock and pay the price. Iowa State has a ver solid team this year, and Texas is in no place to look past the Cyclones. A 9-3 season would still exceed expectations for a team that opened the season with a loss to Maryland. Now is the time for this program to show how much they've progressed mentally under Tom Herman. Nothing will exhibit that more than how Texas performs in the final games of the season.
  23. BY JAMESON MCCAUSLAND Iowa State possesses the best defense in the Big 12. The Cyclones have experience and talent at nearly every position, but most importantly they run a great scheme that allows them to slow down potent Big 12 offenses. Let’s take a look at what to expect from a stout Iowa State defense on Saturday night: Defensive Line The Iowa State defensive line is active and disruptive. DE Jaquan Bailey leads the team in sacks with 5.5 and is the best pass rusher. 295-pound Jamhl Johnson and 305-pound Ray Lima anchor the middle of the line and serve as solid run stuffers. The most impressive thing about the Cyclones defensive line is how well they play assignment football. It is obvious from watching their previous games that they are well-coached and rarely take themselves out of plays. Linebacker Marcel Spears Jr. is the main player to watch at the linebacker position. Spears is utilized all over the field, possessing the ability to blitz up the middle or off the edge but also possesses the ability to cover athletes in space. Freshman Mike Rose has stepped in at middle linebacker after QB-turned-LB Joel Lanning graduated a season ago. Rose has held his own this year, which is impressive considering playing linebacker as a freshman in the Big 12 is difficult. Secondary The Cyclones are very experienced at cornerback with seniors Brain Peavy and D’Andre Payne. If Texas is without Collin Johnson again, the Cyclones will surely not allow Lil’Jordan Humphrey to beat them as easily as Texas Tech did a week ago. At safety, Greg Ellsworth leads the team in tackles with 68 and is a major piece of the Iowa State 3-3-5 defense because of his ability to help shut down the running game. Walk-On Braxton Lewis also plays a key role in the defense, and ranks second on the team with 55 tackles. Lewis will used as a defensive back/linebacker hybrid. Overall, Iowa State is very good in the back end. The group only allowed 14 points to West Virginia earlier this season and held Will Grier to 100 yards passing. Texas will have to find a way to stretch the field vertically to try to open up some room in the middle of the field for Humphrey and other receivers to operate.
  24. BY JAMESON MCCAUSLAND It was another wild game out in West Texas, with Texas pulling out a 41-34 win over Texas Tech. There was a lot to take away from Longhorns victory, and it's time to take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly: The Good Sam Ehlinger to Lil’Jordan Humphrey With Collin Johnson out with a knee injury, the Longhorns needed a huge game from Lil’Jordan Humphrey. The junior delivered his most memorable performance so far in a Texas uniform. Humphrey hauled in 8 passes for 159 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including the game-winning 29-yard touchdown with :21 left. What made his performance even more impressive was his ability to do damage both as an outside and slot receiver. Humphrey is now on track to have a 1,000 yard season, and is setting himself up to make a decision about whether to enter the NFL Draft after the season. Texas stays alive in the Big 12 championship race It was almost a perfect day for the Longhorns. Just prior to kickoff in Lubbock, Oklahoma State nearly pulled off a huge upset in Norman, which would have allowed Texas to control its own destiny to earn a berth in the Big 12 championship. Despite an Oklahoma win, the Longhorns are still very much alive as the conference schedule heads into the final two weeks. West Virginia faces a tough test in Stillwater this weekend and, of course, the Mountaineers and Sooners will meet in Morgantown the day after Thanksgiving. Of course, the Longhorns will have to take care of business themselves this weekend and in Lawrence, but the hopes of a trip to Dallas is still very much alive. The Bad Allowing another opening drive TD As has become a trend this season, the Longhorns allowed the Red Raiders to drive the ball right down the field following the opening kickoff. The 4 minute, 12 second drive took a little longer than most opening drive scores Texas has allowed, but in the end the result was the same. In 6 out of 8 games this season, Texas has allowed their opponent to score points on its opening possession. Pass Defense Texas Tech backup QB Jett Duffey entered Saturday’s matchup known for his ability as a runner and having some limitations in the passing game. By the end of the game, Duffey had racked up 454 passing yards and tossed 4 touchdowns. Kliff Kingsbury did a nice job of giving Duffey high percentage throws, but the Texas defense did themselves no favors. The Longhorns secondary was burned multiple times on deep balls, and the tackling was again subpar. No one is happier that Texas is done facing the air raid portion of the Big 12 schedule than Todd Orlando. Orlando will continue to try to piece everything together until the Longhorns get to December’s bowl practices, where they will surely spend a ton of time re-emphasizing the simple fundamentals that helped make Texas’ defense successful a season ago. The Ugly Injuries As is to be expected towards the end of a long season, the injury bug is beginning to bite Texas. In addition to Collin Johnson sitting out the contest, Brandon Jones missed his second consecutive game with an ankle injury. Josh Thompson, Caden Sterns, Keaontay Ingram and Davante Davis all suffered injuries during the contest. On Tech’s drive that tied the game, the Longhorns were playing Chris Brown and PJ Locke at the two safety spots, with Donovan Duvernay manning the nickel position in the first meaningful action he has seen as a Longhorn. Texas allows another furious comeback Tom Herman joked after the game that his team always knows how to make it interesting, and he is right. The Longhorns have proven they do not know how to put opponents away in the 4th quarter. Texas saw a 17-point lead quickly evaporate in the span of about 6 minutes. The Longhorns have a tough time slowing teams down once things start going downhill, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Luckily for Texas, the offense landed the final blow with 21 seconds to play, but it has to be concerning for Longhorn fans to see their team struggle to step on the throats of their opponent.
  25. The Longhorns (6-3) travel to Lubbock to face Texas Tech (5-4) in an always chaotic night game at Jones AT&T Stadium. Both Texas and Texas Tech are on a two-game losing streak. The Red Raiders are hoping to become bowl eligible with a win over the Longhorns, while Texas is hoping to remain in the race for a Big 12 title. Our staff weighs in on what to expect from a chilly night in Lubbock: Daniel Seahorn (3-6) I was calling another Texas loss in this one given the defensive struggles and it being a night game in Lubbock. Freshman quarterback Alan Bowman is out due him reinjuring his lung that kept him out previously and the Red Raiders might be without defensive leader Dakota Allen. Those are two noteworthy players on the injury report for Tech and could end up being a major factor on Saturday. While Duffey is certainly dangerous with his feet, he isn’t nearly as competent of a passer as Bowman has proven to be this year. Limit the coverage busts and take care of the football offensively and I think the Longhorns get back in the win column this weekend. Prediction: Texas 42, Texas Tech 31 Jameson McCausland (5-4) A Saturday night in Lubbock is certainly not the ideal fix for a Texas team who is trying to hold together a defense and stay afloat in the Big 12. The Longhorns have a lot to clean up after giving up 42 points to West Virginia a week ago. Texas will have several advantages in this game. Tech will be without starting QB Alan Bowman and there are doubts LB Dakota Allen will be ready to go after suffering an injury last week against Oklahoma. Backup QB Jett Duffey is a better runner than a thrower, but it should benefit Texas that they have a full week to prepare for the QB run game. Offensively, there is no reason Texas shouldn't be approaching or surpassing the 40 point mark in this game. Tech's defense is slightly improved, but they still give up huge chunk yardage in the run game. If Texas can get a couple stops a half of defense, Sam Ehlinger and the offense should be able to take care of the rest. Anything can happen in Lubbock, but I think Texas gets a much needed win. Prediction: Texas 42, Texas Tech 35 Aaron Carrara (7-2) Lubbock. Night Game. Tortillas..... It’s going to be a close game that sees the lead go back and forth until the 4th quarter. Tech will go with the mobile Jett Duffy at quarterback while Alan Bowman recovers from injury - and the Longhorns have had their share of troubles stopping the run. Sam Ehlinger’s shoulder is still a bit wobbly and the Longhorns are dealing with injuries, but the Texas offense should be able to put up points against Tech’s defense. The biggest question will be how the Texas defense responds to Kliff Kingsbury’s offensive plan. Texas was hammered by the Oklahoma State and West Virginia offenses, and they must find a way to stop big plays on the ground and in the air if they want win #7. In the end I think Herman and Orlando make the necessary adjustments and prepare a game plan that seals a win. Prediction: Texas 45, Texas Tech 41 Harrison Wier (4-5) Let me preface this by saying my prediction is due to the fact that Texas has only lost one game in which I've predicted against them. Maybe my lack of faith is just what this team needs to get over the hump! With that said, a night game in Lubbock is always going to be difficult. I believe this game is really going to show Texas fans how much of Tom Herman's culture is embedded in the football program. If the team comes out flat and without energy again, I think Herman still has some work to do with perfecting his culture installation. The team has clearly been affected by back-to-back close losses, but this game is now the most important of the year. Texas can still salvage their season with a win in Lubbock, and this is no secret to Herman and his team. The Horns can either hang their heads about not finishing in close games, or go out and play competitive football. The course they choose could say a lot about Herman's culture and how much it's shaped the program. Ultimately, I don't trust the Texas defense — even against backup quarterback Jett Duffey. Duffey has good athleticism and can run the ball well. Kliff Kingsbury knows this, and will certainly try to use it to his team's advantage. If Texas can contain Duffey and force him to throw the ball, he will make mistakes. If not, it's going to be a long day in the office for Todd Orlando. The Texas offense is certainly going to put up points on Tech's defense, but can the defense make the stops needed to give the Longhorns a comfortable lead? I don't think so, and that worries me. As Tom Herman says, "Winning is hard." But winning in Lubbock is even harder. I'm not sure this team is ready to do it yet. Prediction: Texas Tech 45, Texas 42