Even if Texas had pulled out a win against Oklahoma, changes were going to be needed. After having as much as a 21 point lead, a total collapse happened on both sides of the ball. Welcome to the Red River Shootout, I guess.
Steve Sarkisian made it clear from early on that whoever he thinks gives Texas the best chance to win games is going to play. However, outside of the quarterback change, he has yet to show he is willing to make adjustments to better the squad.
It finally seems as if a few changes will be made this weekend.
Going into Oklahoma State, Sarkisian has tweaked with a few positions across the depth chart. A couple is due to key injuries but a much-needed change is being made across the offensive line.
Few notes on Texas’ depth chart for Oklahoma State.
– Marcus Washington named as Whittington replacement
– Kyle Flood mixes up the offensive line. Junior Angilau at LG, Tope Imade at RG, Kerstetter back to RT
– Alfred Collins moves up to starter at edge pic.twitter.com/jFOjowQtyV
— Griffin McVeigh (@Griffin_McVeigh) October 12, 2021
Here is a further look at the replacements Texas decided to make.
First, Jordan Whittington replacement named
Marcus Washington named starting WR
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Jordan Whittington’s injury has left Texas left out to dry. Experienced wide receiver talent was seen as a big issue coming into the season, even before Troy Omeire injured his knee and was ruled out for the season.
Xavier Worthy and Joshua Moore will remain the main two guys but to replace No. 4, Marcus Washington will be stepping in. The third-year receiver has a career nine receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown. He has made three career starts, all this season.
If you rewatch Worthy’s opening play touchdown against Oklahoma, Washington was the lead blocker, throwing former Texas commit Billy Bowman to the ground. Worthy only had to make one man miss and his speed did the rest thanks to the block. An easy way to get playing time with Sarkisian in charge.
Washington almost got into the endzone on Saturday as well but was just out of bounds.
How much we see 11 personnel will be an interesting storyline to watch against Oklahoma State. Sarkisian has enjoyed playing the two tight end set with Cade Brewer and Jared Wiley, leaving the third receiver on the bench. What we do know is when someone else is called onto the field, Washington has the nod for now.
Next, Kyle Flood finally makes changes upfront
A few changes on the offensive line
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Texas wins Red River if the offensive line played anywhere decent. Feels simple enough to say. Casey Thompson was running for his life all day and Bijan Robinson was not able to break off as many runs as we’ve become accustomed to.
A change was needed before facing Oklahoma State — one not due to an injury.
Let me know when you tell your grandchildren about the Andrej Karic experiment at right tackle. What a thrilling week it was only to watch the Oklahoma pass rush run by him what felt like every time he went into pass protection. Derek Kerstetter is moving back outside after moving to left guard to replace a hurt Denzel Okafor.
Junior Angilau is moving to left guard where he played and started all 10 games last season. He had been playing right guard where first-time starter Tope Imade will be the replacement. The sixth-year senior has only appeared in eight games, mostly as a reserve or on special teams.
Oklahoma State’s defense has been their strength, especially the run game. Opponents are averaging 2.8 yards per carry on the season. Baylor’s Abram Smith is the leading rusher against the Pokes, going for 97 yards. The next is Tulsa’s Deneric Price with 34 yards.
Robinson is going to be key come Saturday. Flood’s offensive line changes need to work, otherwise, it’s going to be a long day for Texas’ offense.
Finally, Alfred Collins takes over
Alfred Collins starting at jack for Jacoby Jones
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Jacoby Jones is going to miss some time due to a foot injury requiring him to get surgery. Being the starting jack on the depth chart, former five-star Alfred Collins will be the one to replace him. At least on paper.
Pete Kwiatkowski and Bo Davis have not been able to lock down a full-time position for Collins quite yet. He mixed between edge and back where he played last season on the interior. Getting to play both has been beneficial to Texas as Collins got a sack on the outside against Oklahoma.
Whenever he rotates to the inside, Jett Bush is next up on the depth chart. The former walk-on seems to have great effort but is constantly getting smothered by offensive lineman. As for where it goes past him, maybe Ovie Oghoufo switches over or a couple of freshmen get looks.
No matter who is playing the position, the pass rush needs to get better. Jones has not been effective from a numbers standpoint. So much so that an interior offensive lineman has been rotating with him. Collins and Bush need to step up on Saturday.