Texas College Football Preview

  • Note: Originally, this was written last week and before Texas A&M’s 59–7 victory over Northwestern State. Changes have been made. This was also published in the Beeville Bee-Picayune.

This week the wild season of college football starts. Below is a preview of the Power Five schools in Texas.

Texas Longhorns

Offense: Sophomore Sam Ehlingher has won the starting quarterback position, beating out junior Shane Buechele. Ehlingher, though, will have to play well in order to keep his job. In the running game, a lot is to be undecided with returning players, sophomores Daniel Carter and Toniel Young, to go along with senior Cal transfer, Tre Watson, and an incoming freshman in Keontay Ingram all competing for playing time. The top two receivers, juniors Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson, return, but after that, there’s not a lot of production.

Defense: While lots of questions remain at offense, the defense looks to have found its step under the leadership of Todd Orlando. They lost several players from last year, but there are several experienced players that should cause a force including cornerback Kris Boyd and defensive ends Charles Omenihu and Breckyn Hager.

Prediction: Expectations will be increasing with Tom Herman’s second season at Texas. He’s going to have to get more out of the quarterback position. There will be some progress, but I’m not convinced Texas will be back to being a force until they can prove me. Record: 7–5

Texas A&M Aggies

Offense: Like their rivals, the Aggies had a battle in fall camp at quarterback and they ultimately landed on sophomore Kellen Mond, but sophomore Nick Starkel, who originally won the job last season before being injured, will be right behind him. Junior Trayveon Williams is the clear starter at running back with his speed. Out of all returning receivers, sophomore Jhamon Aubson led the team in receptions while sophomore Camron Buckley showed his speed last year. Incoming freshman, Jalen Preston, a four-star recruit, is a player the Aggies have big hopes for.

Defense: Although they struggled last year, A&M has high hopes under defensive coordinator Mike Elko. Defensive end Landis Durham is the proven starter from last year while junior linebacker Tyrel Dodson and sophomore safety Derrick Tucker look like potential stars.

Prediction: With well-compensated Jimbo Fisher as the new head coach, there’s plenty of excitement surrounding Aggieland, but I wouldn’t get my hopes too high in Year 1. They’ll be better, but not by a mile. Record: 8–4

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Offense: Tech is another school looking to find their quarterback, which is a position that has slowed down in excitement ever since Patrick Mahomes left. Junior McLane Carter has the slight edge in experience over junior Jett Duffey, who has only thrown two passes in game time. True freshman Alan Bowman will be another QB competing. Senior Tre King and sophomore Da’Leon Ward look to lead the way at running back. Tech lost many of its top receivers, but in their system, they’ll make their back. T.J. Vasher has the best resume of them.

Defense: Last year, the Red Raiders finally made improvements from being a miserably bad defense. Senior linebacker Dakota Allen leads the unit with a stronger secondary that includes junior Justus Parker, senior Ja’Shawn Johnson and junior Desmon Smith. They should make even more strides this year with some stability.

Prediction: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury salvaged his spot at Tech with a regular-season finale win over Texas, but he really needs to do better. They won’t be much better, but he won’t be on the hot seat at the end of the year though. Record: 7–5

TCU Horned Frogs

Offense: The Horned Frogs look pretty good on offense except at quarterback. Sophomore Shawn Robinson didn’t impress many in his playing time last year, but won the starter job in fall camp. Senior Grayson Meuhlstein, sophomore Michael Collins and true freshman Justin Rodgers will be looking to fight him for playing time in case he struggles. Juniors Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua split time at running back last year mainly because Anderson got hurt. At receiver, seniors Jaelan Austin and KaVontae Turpin are the proven guys while players like sophomore Jalen Reagor are looking to step up.

Defense: TCU came back as a better team last year because of defense. They lost several great players, but they were able to keep some good ones too, including junior defensive end Ben Banogu, senior linebacker Ty Summers and junior Innis Gaines. They also added a great linebacker Jawaun Johnson, a senior transfer from Northern Illinois.

Prediciton: While Gary Patterson is a great coach, his team usually doesn’t do as good after really good seasons. They’ll be good, but I’d be a little worried about that passing game. Record: 8–4

Baylor Bears

Offense: Baylor was a horrible 1–11 last season, but they should improve this year, starting at quarterback. Sophomore Charlie Brewer will be the starter after showing potential last season. The Bears did pretty bad in the running game, but they’re young with guys like freshman John Lovett and sophomore Tresten Ebner. At receiver, junior Denzel Mims became the go-to-guy last year while many others will be returning from injuries, including senior Chris Platt.

Defense: The Bears struggled on defense last year, but like their offense, they return many players while also gaining some transfers that include senior defensive end James Lockhart from A&M and junior cornerback Derrek Thomas from Temple along with returning senior defensive end Xavier Jones, who was hurt for a majority of the season.

Prediction: Head coach Matt Rhule is trying to rebuild a program that took a huge beating with that sex scandal, so it’s important to give him grace. This year, they should more than double their win total from last season. Record: 5–7

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Austin McNabb

Austin McNabb

I love Jesus, dancing and in this blog, sports.