Longhorns eyeing return to the top

The Texas Longhorns had expectations of returning to the elite of the Big XII last year, but that quickly got derailed and the Longhorns had to fight to keep the season from getting quickly getting out of hand. They were able to rebound and finished a respectable 9-4 last season with a season ending victory in the Alamo Bowl. It was a far cry from the BCS bowl many wanted for the Horns, but it put a nice cherry on an otherwise up and down season. The Longhorns enter 2013 with a lot of returning starters and more experience than last year. Expectations will once again be high for Mack and company, but for the first year since 2009, they look like they may be able to meet those expectations.

One of the biggest questions has been about the quarterback position, Since Colt McCoy left it has been one of the biggest unknowns on the offensive side of the ball. Last year it was a battle between David Ash and Case McCoy, one which Ash eventually won out but Case still got plenty of playing time, even at the detriment of the offense. David Ash looks like he will once again be the starting quarterback for the Longhorns and looks to build on his success last year. But that doesn’t mean McCoy won’t see some snaps, he is capable of being a good change for the offense and could be a good weapon. Experts are saying this year could be the best at quarterback since 2009 when Colt McCoy graduated. Those are some big shoes to fill, but with the experience Ash and McCoy have gotten, it should be achievable.

Last year the running backs were supposed to be explosive and ever changing, with Malcom Brown, Johnathan Gray and Joe Bergeron scheduled to all see playing time. Then the injury bug ran rampant on the running backs and each of the three spent time injured. But they all three return this year and look to show the country what they saw flashes of last season. Both Malcom Brown and Johnathan Gray were highly touted recruits coming out of high school and they made Texas fans think there would be at least one more Heisman winning running back added to the 40 Acres. Look for both of these guys to see a lot of carries this season, and if they can stay healthy, look for them to put up some impressive numbers and take some pressure off the quarterback and open up the passing game.

Texas should have one of the most impressive receiving corps in the Big XII, with Mike Davis, Jaxon Shipley leading the way. This should give the quarterback plenty of ways to spread the ball around and move the field. Jaxon Shipley, much like his brother before him will be a quality possession receiver and will often be featured in short routes. But don’t let that fool you; he can turn a short route into a long touchdown with a little open room. But your big play threat will be Mike Davis, he can find ways to get behind the defender and turn a big gain into a quick seven if you let him. Obviously for the passing game to be at its best, the running game will have to be consistent and the quarterback will have to be better than the last two years. But if all three start to click, the sky is the limit for the Longhorns offense this season.

The Longhorns defense hopes to be a bigger force this year and under third year defensive coordinator they look to be a force within the Big XII. Last year the defense had moments of brilliance and moments of sheer terror, but as the season wore on, it looked like they were finally starting to get chemistry and be better each game. This year they return most of the players from last year and look to become one of the top units in the conference. Senior Jackson Jeffcoat will lead the defensive line and get used to hearing his name in the backfield because he will be tough for any offensive line to contain. The Secondary looks to be the best unit on the defense with returning players such as Quandre Diggs, and Adrian Phillips, this looks to be one of the best unit they have had in two or three years.

Because the Longhorns have been down for the last three seasons, most people will not expect them to do much this year. Most will have then hitting a ceiling with 10 wins, but looking at the schedule, and looking at the experience of this team, I think they could end up being one of the top teams in the Big XII.

 

8/31- New Mexico St. – W
9/7- @BYU – W
9/14- Mississippi – W
9/21- Kansas St. – W
10/3- @Iowa St. – W
10/12- Oklahoma – W
10/26- @TCU – W
11/2- Kansas – W
11/9- @ West Virginia – L
11/16- Oklahoma St. – W
11/28- Texas Tech – W
12/7- @Baylor – W
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2013 Record: 11-1

 

5 thoughts on “Longhorns eyeing return to the top

  1. Pingback: Longhorns eyeing return to the top | Sports Blog Movement

  2. Texas needs to beat Oklahoma if they want to make a BCS Bowl game. Not sure it they will do that but it will be a gut check game for both teams. I say the winner of the Red River Shootout goes to the Fiesta Bowl.

    • The Big XII looks to be tougher this year, but Oklahoma and Oklahoma State games could be tough and be the difference between a BCS bowl or another trip to the Alamo Bowl.

  3. Pingback: Longhorns eyeing return to the top - BallHyped Blog Network, NCAA Football | BallHyped Sports Blogs

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