3 freshmen for Texas football ready to breakout in Big 12 play

Ethan Burke, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Ethan Burke, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Cole Hutson, Texas football
Cole Hutson, Texas football /

The start of Big 12 play for the Texas football program is now just a few days away. Texas and head coach Steve Sarkisian will open up Big 12 play on the road on Sep. 24 in Lubbock against new head coach Joey McGuire and the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Sark and the Longhorns head into this meeting with the Red Raiders sporting a record of 2-1 (0-0 Big 12) after the 41-20 win over head coach Jeff Traylor and the UTSA Roadrunners at home on Sep. 17. Texas also has a win over the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks and a loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide under their belt this season.

Meanwhile, Texas Tech is sporting an identical record of 2-1 (0-0 Big 12) ahead of the weekend after the 27-14 loss on the road in Raleigh to the No. 16 NC State Wolfpack on Sep. 17. Texas Tech also has wins over the Houston Cougars and FCS Murray State Racers on the season so far.

Once Texas gets through with this meeting with the Red Raiders this weekend, they have a difficult stretch in conference play during the month of October. That includes matchups against the West Virginia Mountaineers (Oct. 1), Oklahoma Sooners (Oct. 8), Iowa State Cyclones (Oct. 15), and Oklahoma State Cowboys (Oct. 22).

True freshmen for Texas football ready for a big run in Big 12 play in 2022

Texas is surely going to need some key players to step up in Big 12 play this season. But we would like to see some of the younger players step up in this situation too.

Here’s a look at three freshmen for the Longhorns who could breakout in Big 12 play.

Cole Hutson, G

One of the two starting true freshmen offensive linemen for offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Kyle Flood and the Longhorns this season is the former four-star recruit and offensive guard Cole Hutson. So far this season, we saw some flashes of what Hutson could be as a stellar interior offensive lineman for the Longhorns.

But there are still quite a few strides we need to see out of Hutson before he can truly become a stalwart as a starting offensive guard for Texas heading into the future.

The 6-foot-5 and 305-pound Hutson had his fair share of struggles in both run blocking and pass protection in the first few weeks of the season. He’s allowed at least one quarterback pressure in each of his three starts on the season so far. And that trend isn’t really heading in the right direction after Hutson gave up a season-worst three quarterback pressures in the win over UTSA last weekend.

Yet, we have seen some positive developments in the last couple of games from Hutson too. First and foremost, he was pretty steady against a very talented Alabama defensive front two weekends ago, giving up just one quarterback pressure while posting his best run-blocking grade of the season.

Hutson will get another tough test this weekend when the Longhorns face Texas Tech. The good news, though, for Hutson in this matchup against Texas Tech is where the strength of the Red Raider defensive front lies. The strength of the Tech front is not along the interior, as the edge rushers are some of the most capable players at this level of the defense.

This could be an opportunity for Hutson to get some confidence heading into the thick of Big 12 play by having a solid outing on the road for the first time in his career against the Red Raiders.