Texas Longhorns fans can take solace in the fact that the offense may have finally found its groove.
Usually when we talk about the Texas Longhorns and offensive production, it isn’t very positive or promising. It’s been a sore subject around the Forty Acres for a few years now.
That will change.
The Longhorns rolled up 548 yards of total offense in a heart-breaking 45-44 loss to the Cal Golden Bears on Saturday. At the forefront of the offense is Jerrod Heard, who electrified the crowd at DKR with his arm and legs. The quarterback was a thorn in Cal’s side all night long.
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He wasn’t alone in the offensive outburst.
Daje Johnson showed how explosive he can be with the ball in his hands. The senior had five catches for a career-high 145 yards. With the emergence of Armanti Foreman and John Burt, Johnson can be moved all over the field, giving defenses fits trying to matchup against the speedster. Johnson looks like he should flourish in this offense.
Foreman and Burt are quickly building rapport with Heard. The duo combined for eight catches for 135 yards. With Marcus Johnson nursing an ankle injury the young guys have really stepped up and give Texas multiple weapons opposing defensive coordinators must factor into their game plan.
Jonathan Gray was finally involved in the offense. He only had 11 carries, but he chipped in with 71 yards receiving on four catches out of the back field. His 26 yard grab on a wheel route in the first quarter seemed to get the offense rolling. D’Onta Foreman and Chris Warren chipped with 71 yards as Texas ran for 286 yards. It was good to see Gray involved in the offense since he is the emotional leader of the offense. Jay Norvell did a good job of calling Gray’s number early and often.
The spotlight shines brightest on Heard. The redshirt freshman gives Texas its first real duel-threat quarterback since Colt McCoy. Heard was the offense in many drives, and the Cal defense could do little to slow him down. Heard amassed a school record 527 yards of total offense. He rushed for three scores. His 45-yard scamper late in the fourth quarter pulled Texas to within a point of tying the score. It’s hard to imagine Tyrone Swoopes or even David Ash putting on this kind of performance. The redshirt freshman has a firm hold on the quarterback reigns. It’s exciting to think he will only get better as he gains experience.
Saturday night Texas fans saw what this offense is capable of doing to an opponent. The team still lost, but the offensive outburst was a welcome sight to a fan base starving for production from that side of the ball.