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Getting to know: Texas football

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Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) celebrates a touchdown scored by running back Roschon Johnson (2) against Oklahoma during an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in Dallas, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) celebrates a touchdown scored by running back Roschon Johnson (2) against Oklahoma during an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in Dallas, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP) by Associated Press

Coming off a bye week, Kansas has the potential to look much different at Texas this weekend.

Brent Dearmon was promoted to offensive coordinator last week, and his resume speaks for himself. This week’s matchup might be his debut as a Power 5 play caller, but the Jayhawks should show some improvement on the offensive side of the ball.

It remains to be seen how much of an impact Dearmon’s presence will make for an offense that has been stagnant during a 2-4 start to the season. Texas, which is 4-2, is coming off a loss to Oklahoma and is dealing with a number of injuries on the defensive side of the ball.

The Longhorns are 15-3 all-time against the Jayhawks, including a 2-0 clip under Tom Herman.

BREAKING DOWN TEXAS:

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Through six games in 2019, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger has thrown for 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns, and accounted for 22 touchdowns (17 pass). All of those rank as the best six-game start to a season by a Texas QB in school history. Ehlinger’s 22 touchdowns on the year are equal to or better than 67 FBS schools’ team total for the season.

Running backs — Sophomore Keaontay Ingram has carried the ball 68 times for 322 yards (4.7 yards per carry) and three TDs in the 2019 season. Ingram rushed for 708 yards on 142 attempts in his true freshman season last year, becoming just the 10th freshman in school history to post a 700-yard rushing campaign.

Receivers — Devin Duvernay was a midseason addition to the Biletnikoff Award’s watch list. Through six games, he has racked up 53 catches for 517 yards and scored four TDs. Duvernay leads the country in receptions (53) and receptions per game (8.8). Freshman Jake Smith has snagged 16 receptions for 173 yards and four touchdowns.

Offensive line — Texas has started the same five (Samuel Cosmi, Parker Braun, Zach Shackelford, Junior Angilau and Derek Kerstetter) on its offensive line in all six games this season. The Longhorns’ five starting offensive linemen have combined to make 117 career starts among them.

DEFENSE

Defensive line — The big story on the defensive line is that senior Malcolm Roach will miss the first half of the game against KU. This season, Roach has 15 total tackles and one tackle for loss in 2019. The Longhorns have scored 45 points off of 12 forced turnovers this season.

Linebackers — Sophomore linebacker Joseph Ossai currently leads Texas with 37 total tackles, 26 solo stops and four quarterback hurries. He also is tied for the team lead in tackles for loss (6.0), sacks (2.0), interceptions (2) and forced fumbles (1). Juwan Mitchell, who transferred from Butler Community College, is the middle linebacker for UT.

Secondary — Leading the secondary is senior defensive back Brandon Jones. He has racked up 34 total tackles, including three for a loss, broken up three passes in the secondary and notched one interception. Eight different Longhorns have intercepted passes through the first six games of the season.

SPECIAL TEAMS — Sophomore kicker Cameron Dicker has made 24 of his 33 career field goal attempts. He is 6-for-8 on field goal tries in 2019. His 18 makes in 2018 were the most by a freshman in UT history.

FUN FACT — Texas is 9-2 in games following losses in three seasons under head coach Tom Herman. In the three seasons prior to Herman’s arrival at Texas, the Longhorns were 9-10 following a loss.

VEGAS SAYS… Texas is favored by 21.5 points as of Friday afternoon. The Longhorns are 4-2 against the spread, while the Jayhawks are 2-4. Maybe I’m being foolish, but I believe the Dearmon factor will be enough to keep this game within three touchdowns. Well, that and the fact that Texas has to deal with so many injuries on the defensive side of the ball.

Prediction: Texas 38, Kansas 24

This year’s record ATS: 3-3

Overall record ATS: 10-7

Comments

Robert Brock 1 month ago

Texas will be playing with furious anger. It might get ugly. REAL ugly. As in...66-6 ugly.

Michael Maris 1 month ago

Derek Kerstetter paternal roots are from Protection, Kansas. Originally verbally committed to Oklahoma State. Then, switched after Texas fired their former HC. Devin (Dereck's dad) family has a long Comanche County (Kansas) history. Interestingly enough, Phillip Lindsay of the Denver Broncos mother (Diane LeMarr-Lindsay) grew up in Protection, Kansas as well. She was in same class as Devin Kerstetter.

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