4. Sam Ehlinger’s breakthrough
It’s become clear that Texas football wouldn’t be able to accomplish what it did during the 2018 regular season without the efforts of sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger. He showed promise as a true freshman, but there were too many underlying factors out of his control that held him back including concussion issues.
The only thing that really hampered Ehlinger during the regular season was a shoulder sprain originally injured against the Baylor Bears back in October. That Grade 1 AC Shoulder Sprain was later reinjured against the Iowa State Cyclones and likely caused his school record of passing attempts without an interception to be snapped short of where it could’ve been.
If Ehlinger avoided injury throughout the 2018 campaign and you eliminate his shaky fourth quarter in the season opener against Maryland, he has a near spotless stat line. Even with some shaky stretched during Maryland and the Kansas Jayhawks, Ehlinger finished the regular season with 38 total touchdowns and just five interceptions.
The result of Ehlinger’s efforts this year is the potential transfer of junior quarterback Shane Buechele during the off-season and a delay in the process of Cameron Rising possibly becoming the starter. The Horns are also starting to already gather some Big 12 and national title hype for 2019, and Ehlinger is gaining a Heisman campaign push.