The first year under head coach Tom Harmon did not go entirely to plan for Texas as the Longhorns went 7-6. While Texas beat the teams they should have, it lost some tight games. A few plays here and there and the Longhorns could be coming off of an 11-2 season. In Harmon’s second year the Longhorn faithful are hungry to see the team battle for a Big 12 title.
Longhorns 2018 regular season win total
Odds courtesy of BetDSI Sportsbook.
What Happened Last Year
The Tom Harmon era got off to a surprising start, and not in a good way, as Texas gave up 51 points in a 51-41 loss to Maryland. Things got a little more normal in a 56-0 win against San Jose State before losing a tight game USC and beating what ended up being a good Iowa State team and Kansas State in double overtime. The Longhorns really tested their fans hearts during 2017 with two more close losses to Oklahoma State and rival Oklahoma and another tight loss to Texas Tech to end the regular season after beating the likes of Baylor, Kansas and West Virginia and losing to TCU. The Longhorns finished 7-6 with a win in the Texas Bowl against Missouri, but 15 points separated the program from having a great season in Harmon’s first year.
What Will Change This Year
The Longhorns have pieces in place now with two returning quarterbacks who played well at times in Sam Ehlinger, who passed for 1,915 yards (11 touchdowns, four interceptions) and rushed for 381 yards (team leader, and Shane Buechele, who threw for 1,405 yards (seven touchdowns, four interceptions). The offense also returns Daniel Young as the team’s leading back and the top two receivers in Collin Johnson (54 receptions, 765 yards and two touchdowns) and Lil’Jordan Humphrey (37/431/1).
Defensively Texas loses three of its top four tacklers including the top two. The Longhorns return some experience in the defensive backfield with Brandon Jones, Kris Boyd and PJ Locke while the linebacking core welcomes back Anthony Wheeler and the line will look to Malcolm Roach to bring the pressure off the edge.
Not to mention the Longhorns had the fourth best 2018 recruiting class according to Rivals.com, so watch for some freshmen to make an impact.
Outlook and Prediction
Texas begins the season with four straight home games against Maryland, Tulsa, USC and TCU to begin Big 12 play. The Longhorns hit the road against Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Kansas and outside of the Cowboys, Texas should be 2-1 or even 3-0 on the road.
The schedule really works in the favor of the Longhorns with TCU and Iowa State at home and Oklahoma back at the Cotton Bowl. The over/under of Texas is seven wins, take the over on the Longhorns.
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