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West Virginia Game Preview: Game 5 - Texas Longhorns

West Virginia v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Meme culture aside, the idea that “Texas is back” is not as far fetched as one wants to believe. Texas is willing to spend like any other big-market team and brings in hundred of millions of dollars in donations. They expect championships and expect wins. It may be a false promise and we can all laugh at that, but the idea that Texas wants to win can’t be knocked.

Texas went 5-7 last year under first year head coach Steve Sarkisian, but he’s continued to collect talent and had it not been for a late season injury to running back Bijan Robinson, that 5-7 record may have looked different.

It seems to be a recurring theme in the Big 12 that nearly every team has a new quarterback and Texas is no different. Gone is Casey Thompson and in is Quinn Ewers. Ewers was the #1 rated recruit in 2021. Waiting in the wings will be Arch Manning, the highest rated recruit for this incoming class.

Ewers will have a safety blanket in the backfield with the return of junior running back Bijan Robinson, who ran for 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns last year despite missing multiple games. He also was the third-leading receiver.

Sophomore Xavier Worthy, the speed threat for the Longhorns, caught a UT freshman-record 12 touchdowns last season; junior Jordan Whittington, missed four games with a broken clavicle; and 6’3” Wyoming transfer Isaiah Neyor, a junior who also caught 12 TDs last season.

The offensive line returns starters Christian Jones at tackle, Jake Majors at center, and Junior Angilau at guard. But seven talented freshmen are fighting for jobs, including two of the nation’s top recruits in five-stars Devon Campbell and Kelvin Banks Jr.

The Longhorns were poor on run defense, giving up over 200 yards a game and five yards per carry. The talent is in place, the experience and options are there, and the transfer portal and recruiting class helped. The production has to follow. Moro Ojomo is a quick interior presence, Keondre Coburn is a 336-pound all-star on the nose, and Alfred Collins made plenty of plays at the end.

The linebacking corps should be the strength early on. DeMarvion Overshown led the team with 74 tackles, Luke Brockermeyer was second with 70 stops, and ends rusher Ovie Oghoufo has to be more of a factor in the backfield. Getting production from Diamone Tucker-Dorsey and ends rusher Ovie Oghoufo would benefit the Longhorns greatly.

The secondary has to make more big plays. BJ Foster led the team with three picks, but he’s gone to Sam Houston State. Ryan Watts and D’Shawn Jamison will be asked to be stalwarts in the backend while honorable mention All-Big 12 safety Anthony Cook and Jerrin Thompson made tackles, but they need to do more when the ball is in the air.

2021 Full Game & Highlights

Prediction that will be right: The Mountaineers love to mess with Texas in Austin

Prediction that will be wrong: Quinn Ewers will make this a shootout

Game Prediction: