Four things to keep an eye on during Texas’ spring game

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The day is finally upon us, as the Longhorns will be suiting up and playing the closest iteration to a real football game for the first and last time until September.

Just like every Texas spring game, there are many storylines people are looking forward to and this year is no different.

Texas is home to a coaching staff in their second year, an intense quarterback battle featuring one of the highest rated recruits ever in Quinn Ewers, and a former juggernaut program that has been on the wrong side of history for a decade looking to get back.

Many around the country will have their eyes on Texas to determine if all the new additions to the roster will actually lead to improvement. Steve Sarkisian is already starting to feel the pressure of being a struggling head coach at Texas after last season, but he made modifications to the staff and seemed to have filtered out players whose attitudes weren’t great for the culture he is building.

This game means nothing in terms of how the 2022 season will go, as the team doesn’t have everyone on campus yet. Sarkisian actually had to modify the game in order to make sure each quarterback will get a chance to work with the starting unit due to offensive line depth issues.

Here are a few things that would be nice to see during Texas’ spring game.

The defense generating a pass rush

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This is one of the more underrated storylines of the game, as for the most part it will be the same characters rushing the passer with the addition of freshman Justice Finkley. In 2021 Texas ranked tied at No. 98 in terms of sacks having just 20 on the year, and often struggled getting to the quarterback. Texas’ offensive line lacks depth, and as of right now will have two new faces with the starters, and Christian Jones now at right tackle. To be blunt, if they cannot generate pressure against this offensive line, the staff will need to make a hard portal push.

Usage of running backs

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Similar to last season, Texas is home to one of the best stable of running backs in the country. The only issue with having all this talent was figuring out to make sure everyone gets touches. At times last season, Roschon Johnson and Keilan Robinson seemed to be forgotten about.

The offense found success using Johnson as the wildcat quarterback, and with star running back Bijan Robinson banged up with a sprained ankle, this would be a prime opportunity to unleash everyone else. Whether it is using new receiver coach Brennan Marion’s “go-go” offense, or using them in the passing game it would be great to see how Sarkisian plans to incorporate the running backs.

The transfers

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The Longhorns brought in one of the best hauls of transfers in the country, and there is a good chance that we will see them all over the field making plays. Not only is there Quinn Ewers at quarterback, there’s also pass catchers Isaiah Neyor and Jahleel Billingsley, and on the defensive side highly touted cornerback Ryan Watts will be suiting up. Each transfer will likely be a legitimate contributor this season, and it will be fascinating to get a sneak peak at them in a Longhorns uniform on Saturday.

The quarterback battle

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Hudson Card is looking to win what could likely be his last chance to be the starter at Texas. Standing in his way his superstar recruit Quinn Ewers, who the whole country is excited to see finally play. Last season it was obvious who performed better between Card and Casey Thompson in the spring game, and if Ewers looks even slightly better the fan base will assume it is his job.

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