There were few teams who underachieved more than the Texas Longhorns a season ago. With returning 1,000-yard rusher Bijan Robinson and new quarterback Quinn Ewers both among the top 10 candidates for the Heisman Trophy, expectations are pretty high for the Longhorns.
Texas joins Alabama and Oklahoma as the only programs with top-10 rated classes of not only incoming freshmen but also incoming transfers. Texas’ recruiting class is rated fifth with the class of transfers coming in at No. 6.
Texas (+5000) is tied for ninth in the odds to win the national championship according to the sportsbook.
- 2021 record: 5-7
- 2021 conference record: 3-6
- Head coach: Steve Sarkisian
- Odds to win conference title: +250
Robinson is back after rushing for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns in 10 games. He had five consecutive 100-yard games and that included a 216-yard effort against TCU. Dating back to 2020, he went over 100 yards in 10 of 12 games. Robinson (+3300) is not only tied for the best odds among running backs to win the Heisman Trophy, but he is showing up on plenty of other national award watch lists.
— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) August 9, 2022
Roschon Johnson (569 rushing yards), Keilan Robinson (322 yards, 7.2 yards per carry) and Jonathon Brooks are also back, giving Texas one of the best running back groups in the country.
They will be running behind an offensive line that returns starters Junior Angilau, Christian Jones and Jake Majors.
There will be new faces at many of the other positions on offense.
Ewers was the No. 1-rated player in two different recruiting classes. After not throwing a pass at Ohio State, Ewers headed back to his native Texas. Among transfers, only USC quarterback Caleb Williams and Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel have better odds to win the Heisman Trophy according to the college football predictions. Ewers comes in at +3300.
Former starting quarterback Casey Thompson, who threw for 2,113 with 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions a season ago, is now at Nebraska.
Dynamic receiver Xavier Worthy returns after catching 62 passes for 981 yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman. He is one of two returning Big 12 players with at least 10 plays from scrimmage of 30 yards or more during the 2021 season.
Jordan Whittington (26 catches, 377 yards in eight games) also returns while Bijan Robinson and Keilan Robinson added 33 catches between them. Most of the other pass catchers from last season have moved on.
While four receivers transferred elsewhere, the Longhorns added receivers Isaiah Neyor from Wyoming, Agiye Hall from Alabama and Tarique Milton from Iowa State as well as tight end Jahleel Billingsley from Alabama.
Neyor averaged nearly 20 yards on his 44 receptions with 12 touchdowns grabs. A total of 29 of his catches went for at least 10 yards and he was tied for eighth nationally with 13 catches of at least 30 yards.
Billingsley and Hall combined for just 21 catches a season ago at Alabama so expect them to be much busier in 2022. Milton’s season high of 64 receiving yards in 2021 came against the Longhorns.
The defense will be led once again by linebackers Demarvion Overshown (a team-best 74 tackles), Luke Brockermeyer (72 tackles, two interceptions) and Jaylan Ford (53 tackles, six tackles for loss). D’Shawn Jamison (48 tackles), Anthony Cook (46 tackles) and Jerrin Thompson are back in the secondary.
The top incoming transfer on defense figures to be former James Madison linebacker Diamonte Tucker-Dorsey.
There are some questions up front.
Edge rusher Ovie Oghoufo (42 tackles, two sacks) is back as is Moro Ojomo. More is expected from Alfred Collins and T’Vondre Sweat.
Texas was tied for last in the Big 12 with seven interceptions a season ago. The Longhorns were tied for seventh in turnover margin and sacks and finished seventh in tackles for loss, so they will be looking to make more splash plays on defense in 2022.
Cameron Dicker, who averaged 46.8 yards per punt and was also 13 of 15 on field goals, is gone. Jamison was the top kickoff and punt returner for the Longhorns in 2021 and could pick up right where he left off.
2022 Texas Outlook
Everything seemed to be going just fine for Texas during the 2021 season when the Longhorns won four of their first five games. Texas almost upset Oklahoma before falling 55-48. That was the first of six losses in a row, five of them by eight points or less, as the Longhorns stumbled to a 5-7 final record. Texas failed to cover in each of those six games and lost twice as a favorite.
Although the team won’t play a game outside of Texas until traveling to Oklahoma State on Oct. 22, don’t take that as an indication of an easy slate of games. A Week 2 showdown with national championship favorite Alabama, as well as an Oct. 8 matchup in Dallas against Oklahoma, will provide a glimpse on whether the Longhorns are national contenders or pretenders. The regular-season finale against Baylor will be another tough test.
Texas is currently favored by 38½ points in the season opener against Louisiana Monroe. Something to keep in mind for those who bet online: Texas has covered in just two of its last five games when favored by at least 20 points.
The expected regular-season win total of 8½ according to the college football odds features -115 odds for Texas to either go under or over that total.
2022 Texas Schedule
- Sept. 3 vs Louisiana Monroe
- Sept. 10 vs Alabama
- Sept. 17 vs UTSA
- Sept. 24 at Texas Tech
- Oct. 1 vs West Virginia
- Oct. 8 vs Oklahoma (at Dallas)
- Oct. 15 vs Iowa State
- Oct. 22 at Oklahoma State
- Nov. 5 at Kansas State
- Nov. 12 vs Texas Christian
- Nov. 19 at Kansas
- Nov. 25 vs Baylor