4 overreactions from Texas football’s bewildering loss to Texas Tech

Xavier Worthy, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Xavier Worthy, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Xavier Worthy is the most important player on this offense

I say that star sophomore wide receiver Xavier Worthy was the most important player for the Texas offense not because of his performances so far this season, but because of the type of space he opens up for his teammates and the threat he poses to opposing defenses.

The dynamics of this game changed greatly for Sark and the Longhorns on offense once Worthy was sidelined. The best deep-ball threat that the Longhorns have and one of the best players in space was taken out of the game, giving the Texas Tech defensive staff more confidence to take risks on blitzing plays and getting up the field to blow up run plays in Texas’ backfield.

The only time when Card and the Longhorns were able to stretch the field with the deep ball in this game was on the nice 39-yard touchdown pass to Worthy in the first quarter. Once Worthy left this game with a lower-body injury, the threat of the deep ball essentially disappeared coming from this offense.

That allowed Texas Tech to devote more resources to the box, limiting the effectiveness of the duo of Roschon and Bijan on the ground. It also meant that the Texas Tech corners had more help between the numbers and over-the-top dealing with the other talented Texas skill players such as Whittington and sophomore tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders.

All in all, Worthy’s injury in Week 4 prevented him from having that much-anticipated breakout game Texas fans were waiting on up to this point of the season. But this game also showed that the very threat of Worthy on deep balls and his ability to make things happen with the ball in his hands in space might be more impactful on this offense than any other dimension.