Texas Longhorns 2023 College Football Preview
July 21, 2023
Record – 8-5
ATS – 8-5
The Longhorns showed meaningful improvement in the 2nd season under HC Steve Sarkisian and they were really close to bagging a few more wins. They lost by one point to ROLL TIDE (!), fell to Texas Tech in OT, and lost to mighty TCU by just seven points. The highlight of the season was a 49-CACK decimation of the Oklahoma Sooners which should bring added bad blood (if that’s even possible) to the rematch in 2023.
Texas Longhorns 2023 Outlook
The offense was decent LY and they posted 34.5 PPG (#3 Big 12) and 430 YPG (#5). It’ll be strange to see the Longhorns take the field without All-Galaxy RB Bijan Robinson (1,580, 18 TD, 20 receptions LY) but we like how things look heading into the season. QB Quinn Ewers was fine in his first full season (15-6 TD to INT) and recall that he missed some time due to injury. Texas snagged highly-touted specimen QB Arch Manning and we just might see him get some action in 2023. It’s impossible to replace Robinson with one dood but the Longhorns have a deep stable of RBs and we expect an effective committee approach to take hold. Note that Jonathan Brooks averaged 6.6 YPC LY in limited action and don’t sleep on true freshman CJ Baxter who could make an impact right away. The WR/TE situation is fantastic as they return their top-two WRs in Xavier Worthy and Jordan Whittington who comprise one of the best duos in the Big 12. They’re extremely deep at WR and defenses are sad to find out that they’ll still have to deal with the Longhorns’ devastating TE Ja’Tavion Sanders who achieved honorable AA status in 2022 (54-613, 5 TD). The offensive line brings back all five starters and are easily one of the best groups in the country. Yup, this appears to be the best scoring unit in the Big 12.
The Longhorns were a feisty bunch on defense LY and allowed a mere 21.6 PPG (#2 Big 12) and 368 YPG (#2). They’ve got a great looking defense heading into this season and are strong at each level. The DL is CHOCK FULL of highly-recruited specimens and they return a pair of starters including rising star DE Barryn Sorrell (5.5 sacks, 9 TFL, 7 QBH LY). The LB group will be excellent with the return of leading tackler and AA (!) MLB Jaylan Ford (10 TFL, 4 INT) and Jahdae Barron (11.5 TFL). And don’t sleep on true freshman LB Anthony Hill who could make an impact right out of the cradle. They’ve got an experienced secondary and add veteran safety Jalen Catalon from WOO PIG. The only missing element might be PENETRATION as they only tallied 27 sacks LY (#5 Big 12) and they haven’t recorded 30+ of those BAD BOYS since 2018 (32). This is the most talented defense in the conference.
The intrepid PHIL STEELE ranked the Texas special teams #2 in the nation LY and they bring back everyone of consequence other than punter Daniel Trejo. Thankfully, they picked up a solid veteran in Stanford transfer Ryan Sanborn to handle the punting duties this season.
Overall – WHOA, NELLIE. How does a week two road trip to face ROLL TIDE sound? They hung with Alabama last year so we give them a shot to pull the upset. They play a tough Big 12 schedule and face Kansas St (H) and TCU (A) in back-to-back weeks.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Wyoming (Sept 16)
This game follows the epic contest with ROLL TIDE and precedes the start of conference action (at Baylor). We’ll avoid laying the wood with the home favorite as Wyoming is tougher than a $3 STEAK and they’ll try and shorten the game and get out of town.
Season Win Total
Market consensus July 21
Over 9.5 -145
Under 9.5 +115
If they beat ROLL TIDE (unlikely, but not impossible) then this ‘over’ is LOCKED UP **. In the event that they lose that game they’d still have to fall two more times in Big 12 action to cook your tickee tickee.
** fact check: probably
The Longhorns have only recorded double-digit wins in one season since 2009. By the way, 2009 marked the 9th (!!) straight campaign of 10+ wins. What a streak.
Austin, Texas is one of the most underrated Communist strongholds in the United States **.
** needs fact check
It’s College Football Playoff or BUST for these guys as they feature a loaded roster that we rate significantly better than any other team in the Big 12. The only questions appear to be of the intangible nature. How will they handle the high expectations? Will they succumb to a few upsets given that they’re off to the SEC next year and other teams hate them with the WHITE HOT intensity of a THOUSAND SUNS? We’ll call for 10 or 11 wins and they’re our PICK to CLICK in the Big 12 this season. It’s not a HOT TAKE, but it feels like the hardware is there for the taking this year. HOOK ‘EM!