3 struggling Texas football players that must step up in Big 12 play

Xavier Worthy, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Xavier Worthy, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Jake Majors, Hudson Card, Texas Football
Jake Majors, Hudson Card, Texas Football Mandatory Credit: Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman-USA TODAY NETWORK /

Texas football has now wrapped up three games this season, and head coach Steve Sarkisian has this team in a good spot to really improve the direction of the program for the rest of the fall. After the first three games of the season, No. 22 ranked Texas sits with a record of 2-1 (0-0 Big 12).

This weekend, Sark and the Longhorns played in the final game of the non-conference slate, which came against head coach Jeff Traylor and the defending Conference-USA Champion UTSA Roadrunners. That matchup against the Roadrunners at home on Sep. 17 resulted in a win for the Longhorns by the final score of 41-20.

The other two games for the Longhorns so far this season came against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (Sep. 3) in the opener and the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (Sep. 10) last weekend.

Texas is very close to holding a record of 3-0 as we head into Big 12 play next weekend, though. A tough one-point loss to head coach Nick Saban and the Tide will leave a bad taste in the mouths of the Longhorns faithful for a while to come.

Texas football players that must rise to the occasion in Big 12 play

Moreover, Texas will need some key players to continue to step up if this team is to continue to find success throughout the Big 12 slate. Here’s a look at three struggling Longhorns players that must step up in Big 12 play.

Ovie Oghoufo, EDGE

While there are certainly some bright spots that showed up in the first three games of the season for senior edge rusher Ovie Oghoufo, his play so far mostly leaves something to be desired. Oghoufo is one of the three lowest-graded defensive players for the Longhorns so far this season among the regular starters.

The main issue I have with the play of Oghoufo out of the gates this season is the lack of an impact he has on this defense at times. There are too many occasions where Oghoufo is put in a key situation and given the opportunity to make a play without anything actually coming of it.

A good example of that is how Oghoufo has eight quarterback pressures on the season so far, but only one quarterback hit and a sack. And that lone sack on the season came against star quarterback Bryce Young and the Tide last weekend. But Young was already falling to the ground on that sack, Oghoufo just was there to clean it up. That was more of a product of Texas’ pass rush as an entire defensive front than it was Oghoufo getting home.

There are times when we are still seeing Oghoufo overpursue both in the pass rush and defending the run. That creates missed opportunities where this defense could get a big stop otherwise.

If Oghoufo can clean up some of the bad angles he takes to these pursuits in multiple phases of the defense, then he should be a real impact player during the Big 12 slate.

It’s also worth noting that Oghoufo has improved his overall prowess and production in run defense. Oghoufo has four run stops this season, without any missed tackles in this phase. That is an improvement compared to his start defending the run for the Longhorns last season.