Mentally, Texas coach Steve Sarkisian had already advanced even before the end of the post-match press conference on Saturday afternoon at the Royal-Memorial Stadium.
“Next week, I would say the regular season starts with the Big 12 game with (Texas) Tech coming to town at 11 a.m.,” Sarkisian said.
Sark wants his Longhorns (2-1) to accelerate next weekend against the Red Raiders (3-0) at the league opener for both teams.
Texas 58, Rice 0: After tasting a “humble cake,” the horns simply dominate the owls that don’t outperform the competition
Gold: It turns out the Big 12 isn’t a two-horse race and Texas is a player
“We’re going to really challenge the players, we can’t relax,” Sarkisian said. “Now is not the time to relax and take a step back.”
After three games without a conference, Texas has clarified some questions as new issues arise. Going back, it’s easy to see a team that has enough firepower to be competitive. But can the Horns be consistent enough to get to Arlington in December?
Quarterback problem: solved?
Knowing he should have a good performance, Casey Thompson led Texas to seven touchdowns in the first eight records of the 58-0 Rice. Sarkisian traded freshman Thompson to the red Hudson Card jersey last Monday, and the junior got a spectacular win.
Bohls: Thompson, worthy of a Texas passenger tandem worthy of praise and expectations
Sarkisian later said “Casey will lead the charge next week against Tech.” Thompson is likely to be the starter the rest of the season.
“We know we won’t be perfect,” Thompson said. “I know I will not be perfect in practice or in a game. Literally, if you try to perfect each repetition, the best is possible and in the game you will have good results “.
Fist 1-2 in Texas
Forward DeMarvion Overshown admitted that runner Bijan Robinson stays with him in practice. If Agent Zero struggles to face Robinson, so do the defenders of the Big 12. That’s how runner coach Stan Drayton likes it.
“Coach Drayton, he has a hellish body,” Overshown said. “I tell you, it’s a battle every day, but iron sharpens iron.”
Robinson averages 5.7 yards per carry. Roschon Johnson averages 11.7 after his wild night against the Owls. It had 112 yards on just three gates. “I think we’re both players, and once we have the ball in our hands, we can make something tremble,” Johnson said. “This was shown tonight.”
Keilan Robinson increased his speed at a stop of 65 yards. And Jonathan Brooks even reached the end zone with a 17-yard score. The Horns will need all of those backs throughout the Big 12 game.
Can you hold the offensive line?
For the second week in a row, a Texas quarterback was attacked by a passing runner. Rice’s Ikenna Enechukwu hit Thompson in the second unit of UT, and the quarterback threw a ball that floated to catch and was intercepted. He was the only quarterback who rushed to Rice all night.
Arkansas defensive pressure was more in line with what Texas would see in the league game, not with what Rice could do or not really do. Oklahoma and the state of Kansas make an average of four sacks per game. Texas averages just 2.3, by comparison.
Pictures:Texas Longhorns Vs. Rice Owls football
Texas had no staff change among its top five liners. In the second half, backups Andrej Karic, Hayden Conner, Logan Parr, Tope Imade and Isaiah Hookfin saw action.
It is imperative that Sarkisian and Thompson help the offensive line with game calls that get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands. The receptors must also separate and open.
“Ideally, I don’t know if we’re going to run 430 yards every night, so we’re going to need this passing game to be there, and we need to keep working on it,” Sarkisian said.
About this defensive pressure …
In three unconventional games, Texas has seven sacks. Louisiana’s crime of passing ranks 37th nationally, Arkansas is 85th and Rice is 117th. None of them suffered intimidating attacks.
Texas Tech and TCU, UT’s top two big opponents, have allowed seven combined sacks all season. The Raiders and Frogs protect their quarterbacks well.
Simply put, Texas needs to create more defensive pressure. Far more.
Ovie Oghoufo had the only Texas sack while the headlines were on the field against Rice. And the Horns were credited with just a quarterback rush, by defender Luke Brockermeyer.
In fact, Texas has only been credited with four rushes in three games. Oghoufo has three attacks to lose and one rush. Fellow running back Jacoby Jones has pressure and 1.5 attacks to lose. Defensive attacks, Keondre Coburn and Moro Ojomo, have a combined losing attack.
Secondary still untested
Texas has solid pass defense numbers; the Horns allow 182.7 yards per game. But then again, the three teams UT has faced were such passing teams. Arkansas did all its ground damage with 333 running yards.
Texas Tech will present the toughest challenge this high school has faced so far. The Red Raiders average 9.8 yards per pass attempt. TCU is being made through the air, just like Oklahoma.
One of the best plays so far in this young season was the one-handed interception of BJ Foster in Arkansas. Otherwise, the secondary has been nothing more than a secondary cast.
D’Shawn Jamison put himself behind an Arkansas receiver and gave up a 41-yard play. Josh Thompson has not yet put his stamp on a game as if he has shown that he can. Jerrin Thompson replaced Brenden Schooler in the starting lineup, but that has yet to yield big dividends.
The start of the Big 12 game shouldn’t change Texas ’weekly preparation. But it will change the bet.
“We just have to treat it like one more game,” Thompson said. “It’s going to be another week of games, but it’s going to be a good week of practice.”
Contact Brian Davis by phone or email at 512-445-3957. Email email@example.com or @BDavisAAS.
Texas Tech in Texas, 11 a.m., ABC, 104.9