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NCAAF · 2 months ago

3 Things We Learned About the Texas Longhorns in Week 5

TJ Inman

TJ Inman

3 Things We Learned About the Texas Longhorns in Week 5

The Texas Longhorns improved to 5-0 with a dominant victory over the Kansas Jayhawks. The third-ranked team in the country never trailed and used a surge in the third quarter to put Kansas away and cruise to the 40-14 victory.

What did we learn about Steve Sarkisian‘s squad on Saturday?

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1. This is the Best Texas Team Since 2009

For the first time since that BCS Championship Game squad (they lost to Alabama), the Longhorns are 5-0. In addition, they are outscoring opponents by an average of 23.2 points per game and outgaining opponents by nearly 190 yards per contest. Texas has been talented since 2009, but this is the first season the Longhorns seem like a mature and consistently focused group. Saturday’s game was another example of that focus. Kansas is a good team and has beaten Texas recently, with the Longhorns lamenting postgame that they felt like they weren’t focused on the task at hand. With a clash against Oklahoma looming, Texas stayed locked in and took care of business. 

2. Texas Has an Elite Running Back

Entering the season, there were some concerns about how Texas would replace Bijan Robinson in the backfield. Those concerns have been put to rest permanently after Jonathon Brooks ran wild on the Jayhawks. Brooks rushed 20 times for 217 yards with two touchdowns, averaging 10.9 yards per carry on the afternoon. After only receiving 30 carries in 2022 and 21 rushes in 2021, Brooks has emerged as a bell-cow running back capable of leading the offense. This season, he has 86 carries for 597 yards with five touchdowns, averaging 6.9 yards per carry. The redshirt sophomore from Hallettsville, Texas, has emerged as the perfect finishing piece for an offense loaded with talent in the passing game.

3. The Defense is For Real

The Longhorns’ ability on offense is not a surprise. Saturday against Kansas was another step forward for the Texas defense, as they lead the Big 12 in yards allowed per game. Texas is only giving up 290.8 yards per game, with games against two conference foes plus the Alabama Crimson Tide in the rearview mirror. The numbers are good across the board: Texas has 13 sacks on the season, is giving up only 12.8 points per game, and teams are only rushing for 3.1 yards per run. The Jayhawks were without their starting quarterback but were locked up for only 260 yards and just 5.7 yards per play. The Longhorns do not have any discernable weaknesses.

Texas faces another test this Saturday as they battle Oklahoma at noon on ABC.

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