Texas Football: Studs and Duds from the Week 1 win over Louisiana

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The Longhorns started the 2021 season off the way every team wants to, in the win column.

Steve Sarkisian silenced the doubters in the 38-18 win, although many expecte a new staff along with new players all over the field, Texas would struggle mightily against the No. 23 ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.

That was not the case at all, as the Longhorns only trailed for the blink of an eye after an early Louisiana field goal at the beginning of the first quarter, but Texas was able to take control and make a huge statement by picking up a win against a ranked team that finished 10-1 the season prior.

There were many positives for Texas, who were able to get the Sarkisian era off to a 1-0 start, something that former head coach Tom Herman could not do.

In each game, there are always people who play really well and stand out from the others, but unfortunately there is always some that do not play to the best of their ability.

Let’s take a look at three players who were “duds,” those who did not perform as well as expected, and three “studs,” players who performed well and contributed significantly to the win.

Since we’re only doing there, there are a couple of studs that aren’t included, but should be listed as honorable mentions. Those being DeMarvion Overshowm, Luke Brockermeyer, and of course the play calling of Steve Sarkisian.

Dud: Cameron Dicker, Kicker

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The senior kicker started his career making 72% of his field goals, followed that up with a fantastic sophomore year making almost 78% of his kicks, and then saw the numbers decline astronomically last season making just 71%. Early on in the game against Louisiana, leading by just four points, the offense got into the red zone, but was unable to finish the drive out. This put Cameron Dicker in position for a 45-yard field goal to make the lead a touchdown. Any time you have a chance to score you must capitalize especially with a young quarterback, as any cushion helps. Dicker has long struggled with kicks beyond 39 yards as he is now a career 65% from 40-49 yards. Obviously, not many college kickers make every kick, but his struggles from this range lengthen the field for the offense as they likely have to be closer than that to guarantee points. Dicker needs to replicate the consistency he displayed his sophomore year in order to allow the Longhorns to capitalize on every scoring chance, and simply just so the staff can trust him in crucial situations.

Dud: Receivers not named Jordan Whittington

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The Longhorns receiver group has been consistently one of the biggest question marks during the offseason, as no one solidified themselves as "the guy." Jordan Whittington did just that today, as he exploded for seven catches and 113 yards and one touchdown. All the other receivers on the other hand, combined for just four catches and 51 yards. They aren't the sole group responsible as the next dud was likely leading to some of the receivers struggles, but in a very much receiver friendly offense it was very disappointing to see just one receiver take advantage. Whether the plays weren't designed for them, or Card missed them, I expected more out of players like Joshua Moore and highly touted freshman Xavier Worthy. They can only control what they can control, but they did not look like the three headed monster they have the potential to be.

Dud: Offensive line

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The offensive line easily had the worst performance of the game of any position group. It seemed that Louisiana was in the backfield on every pass play, and if it were not for Bijan Robinson being one of the most elusive people in college football, the run game might have struggled as well. Whether it was false starts, holding, or simply not being able to block, the offensive line has a lot to work on this week. Having a young quarterback always having to worry about pressure in his face is not ideal, especially when it did not allow for plays to develop. Likely one of the main reasons is that the receiver group did not put up great numbers and Card rarely had time to go through his reads. The offensive line gave up five sacks to a group of five, which is worrisome a week before taking on Arkansas. They need to step up yesterday, otherwise Texas will have a very disappointing season.

Stud: Ovie Oghoufo, Linebacker

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The Notre Dame transfer made his presence felt all game, and was able to generate a lot of pressure on Louisiana quarterback Levi Lewis. There were a few players on the defensive side of the ball that could have gotten this honor, but Oghoufo's sack towards the end of the third quarter was a fantastic play. The Longhorns badly needed to find someone to replace the production they lost when Joseph Ossai left for the NFL, and Oghoufo showed today that he very well could be the player to do so. The defense as a whole had seven sacks, but none came at a more clutch time than his. The coaching staff had been speaking highly of Oghoufo recently, and today he showed us why.

Stud: Hudson Card, Quarterback

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The redshirt freshman had a great debut as the starting quarterback. After beating out junior Casey Thompson for the starting gig, Hudson Card really had to come out and prove that head coach Steve Sarkisian made the right choice in picking him. He got off to a slow start completing just one pass in his first few attempts, but once he found his rhythm he was great. The young quarterback completed 14-of-21 passes for 224 yards, two touchdowns, and even ran in a touchdown. His numbers likely would have been even better if the offensive line could actually block someone so he would have more time to throw, or if he wasn't taken out in order for Casey Thompson to get playing time. He showed poise and great decision making all game, and it is safe to say the Longhorns are in good hands.

Stud: Bijan Robinson, Running Back

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This one was a given, as Bijan Robinson preformed like the star he is. When the offense was not able to generate anything through the air, he was still able to help the Longhorns move down the field. He finally was used properly, and even contributed greatly in the passing game. Robinson finished the game with 103 yards rushing and one rushing touchdown, while also catching four passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. It seemed as if anytime Texas needed to move the ball or simply just needed a spark, Robinson was there to oblige. He was extremely hard to bring down, and having him will help the Longhorns hide their other weaknesses.

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