Analyzing 4 best QBs that Texas football will face in 2022

Bryce Young, Texas Football Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Bryce Young, Texas Football Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Frank Harris Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Frank Harris Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

4. Frank Harris, UTSA

Texas fans shouldn’t overlook the test that lies ahead in Week 3 of the regular season against the defending C-USA Champion UTSA. The Roadrunners have continued to find heightened success in the last few seasons. And a big reason for that was the rise of the underrated super-senior quarterback Frank Harris.

Under Harris as the starting quarterback, UTSA went from winning just four games in 2019 to winning seven in 2020 and a dozen last fall. Harris has consistently improved his own numbers along the way, throwing for 12 touchdowns and six picks in 2020 and then 27 passing touchdowns and just six picks still in 2021.

Harris also added 15 rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown in the last two seasons to his tally of 55 total touchdowns and just a dozen picks during that span.

A good illustration of how effective Harris was last season for the Roadrunners was the fact that he ranked in the top 20 among starting quarterbacks in the FBS in offensive grade and in the top 25 in passing grade.

Here are some of the quarterbacks that Harris outpaced last year in offensive grade:

  • Matt Corral, Ole Miss
  • Devin Leary, NC State
  • Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
  • Jake Haener, Fresno State
  • Brock Purdy, Iowa State

Moreover, in terms of how Texas should prepare for facing Harris on the field will have to take multiple dynamics of his skill set into account. Harris is an efficient and experienced dual-threat quarterback that can do damage in the passing game and with his underrated field vision and sneaky speed.

The key to limiting Harris, though, has to do with defending him well in the passing game. Harris has an insane trio of top receivers returning in 2022 between Zakhari Franklin, Joshua Cephus, and De’Corian Clark. That trio of top wideouts for UTSA last season registered a whopping 2,601 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns.

There isn’t any easy blanket solution to defending this passing game that has so many dynamic weapons. But Texas will need to prioritize making Harris and this UTSA offense one-dimensional in any way they possibly can. If Texas can make UTSA rely on the ground game, that will make it difficult on the Roadrunners after they lost star running back Sincere McCormick to the NFL.

A stat that sums how the importance of Texas making this UTSA offense one-dimensional under Harris has to do with the redshirt senior quarterback’s record when he’s limited to less than 150 passing yards. In the 10 games for Harris as a starter where he registered fewer than 150 passing yards, UTSA posted a record of 5-5. And one of those wins came over FCS Lamar.

Yet, in the 18 games for Harris as a starter with more than 150 passing yards, UTSA posted a record of 15-3.

If Texas can limit Harris’ potency in the passing game, beating UTSA handily becomes a much more feasible result.