The Texas Longhorns took a step forward in 2018. They made the Big 12 Championship Game, something they failed to do in 2017. Texas did stumble at the start of its season against Maryland, but that was a non-conference game. In the Big 12, Texas managed to finish second, which under the current Big 12 championship format enabled the Longhorns to play Oklahoma in the conference title game. Texas defeated Oklahoma in the regular season, dealing the Sooners their only regular-season loss. In the rematch, Oklahoma was able to stop Texas’s drives when UT got deep into OU territory. The Longhorns scored only 27 points against a weak defense. However, after losing four games in the regular season, Texas bounced back to upset Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Texas entered the 2019 season with a lot of momentum.
Regular Season Win Total: 9.5 Wins
Odds: Over -110 Under -110
Texas Longhorns Changes From Last Season
The Longhorns were a young team, so the list of changes is not huge, at least in comparison to a lot of other high-profile programs. What is also worth noting is that among the Texas players who left, none were taken in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. This was the fourth year in a row that no Longhorn player was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, which shows that the level of talent and player development had slipped in Austin.
Among the key players who left the program is Lil’Jordan Humphrey, a dependable receiver who became one of quarterback Sam Ehlinger’s favorite targets. Texas also lost defensive ends Breckyn Hager and Charles Omenihu. Of the two, Omenihu got drafted while Hager was an undrafted free agent.
2019 X-Factor: The Defensive Line
The Texas offense was very good last season, and it should be very good if not great again in 2019. The offense will not be the problem. The defense is the focus. The Longhorns allowed over 40 points at home to West Virginia in a loss last season. They lost 38-35 to Oklahoma State last season. Texas has to get more production out of its defense, and yet Omenihu and Hager are no longer on the roster. Finding quality depth and large numbers of high-impact players on defense, especially on the defensive line, will be important for the Longhorns.
Texas Longhorns 2019 Schedule
The Longhorns play nine Big 12 games, and the thing to remember about the Big 12 is that the nine-game schedule is the same for all schools. There isn’t an adjusted schedule for teams, unlike the other big conferences such as the SEC and the Big Ten. The Longhorns’ three non-conference games are against Louisiana Tech, Rice, and LSU. The big game will come against LSU, a team which overachieved last season and is able to recruit at a higher level than Texas. The Longhorns might have the better offense, but LSU will have the far better defense and could make that game very difficult for the Horns. Texas will probably lose that game, but Texas might be so good relative to the Big 12 that it might lose only one game this season. 10-2 looks like a good bet. Go over.
Prediction: Over 9.5 wins