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The Texas Longhorns enter the highly anticipated second year of the Steve Sarkisian era. Coming off a 5-7 season, Texas needs to improve in more than a few areas to win more games.
This year’s squad will have the benefit of improvement in the trenches. If nothing else, the Longhorns will have more, “big humans,” at the line of scrimmage that this staff covets.
Additionally, they will have an abundance of elite players at skill positions. If you missed it this week, Texas had two running backs make the Doak Walker Award preseason watch list and two receivers make the Fred Biletnikoff watch list.
Ja’Tavion Sanders qualified for the preseason Mackey Award list, and Jahleel Billingsley probably should have made it, too.
On defense there is confidence that the secondary can play more aggressive coverage this year.
Here are a few things that I would like to see occur this season.
Maximization of Jake Majors
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Jake Majors is one of the more skilled offensive linemen Texas has had in recent memory. If he is not on the Big 12 honorable mention list at season’s end, it sets off strength and conditioning program red flags for me. Hopefully Majors is on the mass gainer diet this offseason to realize his full strength potential. I am not saying he should eat 5,000 high quality calories every day, but I am also not ruling it out.
Make Alabama's four hours at DKR unpleasant
News Joshua L Jones
I know Alabama players are probably used to hot weather, but I am not sure anyone is truly prepared for the Austin heat on September 10. Texas has a chance to seriously affect Alabama’s season. Not by beating them, but certainly by wearing them out. Kelvin Banks probably won’t stop Will Anderson in pass protection. Regardless, it would be great to see Banks put him on the ground with his elite size and power as a running blocker.
Play four good quarters of football
Stephen Spillman-USA TODAY Sports
The Longhorns disappeared in the second half last season. They need to rectify that issue moving forward. The flood gates opened in the run game against Texas in second half collapses. Sarkisian and company need to identify why that occurred and prevent it from happening this year.
Elite quarterback play
Ohio State Football Training Camp
Steve Sarkisian has his guy. Quinn Ewers should have a very good 2022 season. Texas has too many weapons not to score points in droves this year. It will be interesting to watch how Sarkisian simplifies what defenses throw at Ewers to help him have a prolific first campaign in Austin.
Aaron E. Martinez /Austin American-Statesman via AP
Adjustments should occur, not only at halftime but throughout the football game. Gary Patterson could help with that. Steve Sarkisian does not get out-coached in game planning preparation. He is going to win that soundly. How well Texas can adjust on the fly will determine their ceiling this year.