Texas improved to 2-2 on the season after beginning its Big 12 slate with a 31-21 home win over Kansas State on Saturday. Here are three things we learned about the Longhorns:
1. This ain’t over, folks
While the rest of the country prepared their casket and their eulogies, ready to declare this Texas team dead and done after one more loss, the Longhorns simply got back to work and showed up a far more confident team than the one that stumbled against BYU and Ole Miss. Texas’ defense stopped the run and forced key turnovers late, and its offense came out firing early, impressed on the ground and survived despite missing so many starters. Several players said after the game they feel this win gets the program back on the right track. This was a must-win game, and Texas took care of business with a performance that should take some heat off Mack Brown this week.
2. Power run game exists
It’s hard to judge just how good the Texas offensive line was without going back and reviewing film, but to the naked eye it seemed they owned the line of scrimmage against K-State and cleared the way for a career night from Johnathan Gray. That offensive line, which was missing its starting right tackle, has been criticized for being average and not physical enough but stepped up on a night when Texas really needed its run game. That’s a promising development for the Longhorns’ future.
3. Too many injuries
Let’s run down the list of ailing starters: QB David Ash, RB/WR Daje Johnson, WR Mike Davis, TE Greg Daniels, OG Mason Walters, OT Josh Cochran, LB Jordan Hicks, LB Dalton Santos ... and that’s not including backups and guys with minor injuries. We know little about the status of Ash and Hicks, though Walters and Santos did play against KSU while continuing to recover. The bye week couldn’t come at a better time because too many important guys are banged up. Surviving KSU without top playmakers Ash, Johnson and Davis was admirable, but Texas needs them back.