5 reasons why Texas football can win the Big 12 after domination of OU

Quinn Ewers, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Aaron E. Martinez/Austin American-Statesman- USA TODAY NETWORK
Quinn Ewers, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Aaron E. Martinez/Austin American-Statesman- USA TODAY NETWORK /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 5
Next
Bijan Robinson, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Bijan Robinson, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

There is plenty of excitement regarding the state of the Texas football program under second-year head coach Steve Sarkisian following the dominant shutout win over the Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Rivalry game on Oct. 8. Texas topped Oklahoma by the final score of 49-0 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas last weekend, further proving the different directions these two teams are heading in at the moment.

This was not only the second straight win for Sark and the Longhorns in the early phases of Big 12 play, but it was also a big-time return for redshirt freshman quarterback Quinn Ewers. Texas has now won two straight games, coming over the West Virginia Mountaineers and Oklahoma.

And it now looks like Texas will only keep trending up from here upon the return of Ewers simultaneous to the team seemingly finding themselves on both sides of the ball around the midway point of the regular season.

Texas’ defense is playing much better this season compared to last year. So far this season, Texas ranks 23rd in the FBS in scoring defense at 17.8 points per game allowed (down from more than 31 points per game last season). The defense is also massively improving in terms of yards allowed per game, at 338 (down from more than 426 last season).

The offense is also making some strides in necessary ways this season.

Why Quinn Ewers and Texas football can win the Big 12 after dominating OU last weekend

It goes without saying that Texas’ outlook in the Big 12 is much more optimistic at this point of this season than they were last year. Here’s a look at five reasons why the Longhorns can win the Big 12 after decimating OU in Red River.

Interior defensive line and linebackers are rejuvenating the defense

One of the most underrated progressions of any position group on the defensive side of the ball for Texas so far this season lies along the interior defensive line. The trio of sophomore nose tackle Byron Murphy II, senior Keondre Coburn, and senior T’Vondre Sweat is leading the charge for a rejuvenated group anchoring this defensive line.

I could even add one more name to this conversation among the standout interior defensive linemen for the Longhorns so far this season with senior Moro Ojomo. While his stat line won’t jump off the page at you, it’s clear that Ojomo has improved this fall.

After the interior defensive line was a weak point for Texas for much of last season, this group is one of the major reasons why the defense is one of the best in the Big 12 through the first half of the 2022 campaign.

These three or four interior defensive linemen for the Longhorns are helping to bolster the pass rush and the run defense. Texas is able to generate more pressure up the middle, which was apparent when this team racked up a season-high four sacks in the win over Oklahoma.

It’s also worth noting that four of the five highest-graded interior defensive linemen in the Big 12 so far this season are all Longhorns players. This just goes to show the level of consistency and production that these four are bringing to the table for Texas this season.

This group of interior defensive linemen will continue to be difference makers for the rest of the season for Texas, as will the linebackers between senior DeMarvion Overshown and junior Jaylan Ford. Overshown and Ford are both arguably having the most complete seasons of their career to date.