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Thoughts and Takeaways: Roschon Johnson carries Texas to victory in season finale

Jameson McCausland
Jameson McCausland

For the first time since early October, Texas is in the win column.

  • The story of the game was Roschon Johnson. The junior carried the Texas offense on his back (literally at times), finishing the afternoon with 31 carries for 179 yards and a TD. Johnson ran with power and effort all game, with a lot of his damage coming via the wildcat package. Steve Sarkisian said after the game he wishes he could have 100 Roschon Johnson's on his team. Texas will be in a good spot if that ever happens....
  • The Texas offense as a whole was productive despite a banged up Casey Thompson and no Bijan Robinson. Steve Sarkisian reached deep into his bag of tricks throughout the game and did a good job of keeping Kansas State off balance.
  • Speaking of Thompson, he had another up and down game, finishing 17/23 for 170 yards and a touchdown to go along with a bad interception he threw into double coverage. It is obvious Thompson played the last half of this season hurt, and it's tough to know what he could have done if he was close to 100% health. Steve Sarkisian said Monday he was going to reopen the QB competition this offseason and rightfully so. While Thompson had some good moments in 2021, he also was inconsistent even before the injury.
  • Xavier Worthy finished 2 yards shy of 1,000 on the season, but it doesn't take away how good he was this year. Worthy was arguably the best WR in the Big 12 and delivered big performances the last few weeks despite battling injuries. He has the chance to be one of the best wide receivers to ever play at Texas by the time he leaves the 40 acres.
  • Kyle Flood had to shuffle his offensive line after Junior Angilau went out with an injury, but the unit held up relatively well and helped pave the way for Johnson's big day. The offensive line has a whole certainly appeared to take some small steps forward the last few weeks, but I also believe Steve Sarkisian did a much better job of protecting them with his play calling.
  • The defense was the surprise of the afternoon. Kansas State rushed for over 150 yards in the first half, but in the second half the Longhorns dominated. Texas secured two huge 4th down stops in the 4th quarter. Jaylan Ford turned in a solid performance and the defensive line helped cause a lot of disruption in short yardage situations.
  • After the game, Sarkisian said he was very disappointed in the effort level by several players during Will Howard's 71 yard touchdown run. It's hard to disagree with him, as a few Texas DB's looked to give up on the play.
  • Will Howard did not present any type of threat in the passing game so it's tough to truly grade the pass defense for Texas. The Longhorns finally started dedicating more numbers to the run game in the second half and left their corners on islands.
  • It was good to see Texas win a game in which they trailed at halftime. It is well documented that Steve Sarkisian struggles when his teams are trailing at the half, but his staff was able to come up with the necessary adjustments defensively to help Texas shutout Kansas State in the second half.
  • Overall, it was a very disappointing season for Texas considering the circumstances. The Longhorns blew double digit leads in the second half against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Baylor in addition to also heading Iowa State at the half. Texas could easily have finished the season with 8 or 9 wins, but they didn't and now Steve Sarkisian is going to have to spend some time reflecting on what needs to change moving forward. For the time being, Texas will be attempting to put a bow on the 2022 recruiting class and will be navigating the transfer portal as they look to upgrade the roster heading into next season.

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