Three things to watch for:
The quarterback battle was the most relevant concern facing the Longhorns. Transfer Quin Ewers and part time incumbent Hudson Card were locked in a position battle that will shape the Texas offense this season. On Friday, the Longhorns named Ewers the starter, which energized the fan base.
Finish – Texas’ inability to close out games was perhaps most prominent in their loss in the Red River Shootout, when they led the Sooners 38-20 at the break, only to falter down the stretch. This theme was repeated against Oklahoma State, Baylor, and Iowa State. To become an elite program the Longhorns must learn to close.
Can Texas compete with the big boys? Alabama comes to visit on September 10, a game that will give fans an idea of how the Longhorns stack up versus the perennial national championship contenders. A win could mean Texas is Back, a loss will show how far the program still has to climb to reach the top of the hill.
Ewers, a product of Southlake Carroll High School, transferred to Texas from Ohio State. Ewers left high school as a five star recruit and he could be the dynamic playmaker that has been missing since the glory days that have eluded the Longhorns in recent years.
Texas has added talent throughout the roster with a top five recruiting class and several additions in the transfer portal including TE Jahleel Billingsley (Alabama) and CB Ryan Watts (Ohio State). This talent infusion should make the Horns competitive against any team anywhere, but will the talent deliver?
The key to improved fortunes for the Longhorns is the defense. Texas isn’t back until they can consistently get stops and finish games on defense. The line should be a strength, but newcomers will have to step up in the secondary if Texas is truly to become an elite program.
- Game of the Year: September 10 vs. #1 Alabama
- Vegas Win Total: 8.5
- Predicted Win Total: 7