The 2022 season for the Texas Longhorns is well underway, and for all intents and purposes, it was as good a result as the Horns asked for, only to overwhelm Louisiana on the way to a 52-10 win — Monroe.
Of course, according to ESPN’s FPI, you can’t put too much into a game that Texas enters with a 99 percent chance of winning, but here are some initial thoughts from the Longhorns’ 42-point win.
The Quinn Ewers era is underway. Sark expects the QB1 starter to be a little tight, for obvious reasons — Ewers hasn’t played meaningful football in about a year and a half. Tensions were evident in his first appearance, as Yules trusted his arm too much and made an interception in heavy traffic. After that, though, Ewers settled down with the help of what at first glance seemed to be a fairly mundane play (more on that later). This is an encouraging sign as the risk to Ewers is that he d trusts his arm too much and doesn’t take what is given, he relies almost entirely on inspection and quick screening, with his side arm leaning a bit. All told, Ules finished 16 of his last 22 attempts for 225 yards and a touchdown after going 0-2 on his first drive. He missed some deep touchdowns that he and Xavier Worthy would love to get back, but with the win they will learn for the young Gunners as he settles into his role.
Ewers probably has his safety net at Ja’Tavion Sanders. Of Ules’ 16 completions, more than a third were Sanders (6), the true sophomore turned into 85 yards and Texas’ first offensive score of the night. But in the situation, when things got tense, Ules turned to Sanders, and the pair turned Nos. 4 and 4 into 5-yard pickups to move the chain, turning No. 4 towards the end of the first half. And No. 7 turned into a 10-yard gain to give Texas a chance to score a field goal. Elsewhere, the two are connected to a pair of 25-yard gains. As Yules becomes more comfortable with his receivers, we will definitely see more shots from Worthy and Jordan Whittington, but if Saturday is a harbinger of the future, Yules will be very Looking forward to Sanders.
14 points while the offense is sidelined? That’s one way for a Texas team that desperately needs to move forward in the win column. Shortly after ULM’s 3-pointer, D’Shawn Jamison picked up the pace to stop the punt and Keilan Robinson scooped the ball and returned for 12 yards to score. Then early in the third quarter, Jamison made his presence felt again, turning a poor pass into a six. Of course, multiple non-offensive touchdowns per out should not be an expectation, but as the competition intensifies and the game intensifies, only one could be the difference between winning.
The offensive line has room to grow. On the one hand, the Longhorns deployed three first-time starters in real freshman Kelvin Banks (LT), sophomore Hayden Conner (LG) and real freshman Cole Hutson (RG), and it was worth it Looking forward to it, and the group should start showing improvement quickly as they gel. And they didn’t even necessarily play well, but in some obvious moments early on, they missed blocks that led to sacks or pressure. Young people, on the other hand, can’t be an excuse when a better team like Alabama rushes top-tier passes to town. Simply put, Kyle Flood has recruited a ton of talent on the offensive line, and naturally there are growing pains when a few of his youngsters are starting for the first time. Now, Texas needs to work hard to make sure it doesn’t become the subject of a loss that begins.
Barryn Sorrell is going to be a playboyThe sophomore was all over the place early, nearly matching his 2021 total (seven) on Saturday night with six tackles. More notably, he noted 1.5 sacks and two tackles lost. Consistency is key, but Sorrell showed his pretense in the opener and in his role on the fringe, which is exactly what the Longhorns need going forward.
The glitter of Jaylon’s Guilbeau is inspiring. From the SPUR nickel position, the true freshman has put up some inspiring plays that have a direct impact on possession and the scoreboard. I needed to rewatch the movie to catch everything, but Gilbeau was tackled on the first tee, then forced the pass to break, forcing Jamison to continue the blocked punt. Later, his pressure on the edge forced him to throw the ball into the dirt, and then again, his pressure forced a bad pass that Jamison sent back to the six. If Guilbeau can continue to have such a big and bigger impact in Texas, it’s going to be a big deal for middle schools.
This story will be updated.