3 underutilized Texas football players that must step up in November

Keilan Robinson, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Keilan Robinson, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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DJ Campbell, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
DJ Campbell, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

Last weekend saw Texas football rack up its third loss of the season. Texas and head coach Steve Sarkisian fell short to longtime head coach Mike Gundy and the No. 11 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys in a difficult road game environment at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, by the narrow final score of 41-34.

The loss to Oklahoma State saw Texas cough up yet another double-digit second-half lead. And it was another loss on the road against a Big 12 foe for the Longhorns. Texas now boasts a record of 1-6 on the road under Sark and has coughed up nearly a half-dozen double-digit second-half leads to lose games.

Sark and the Longhorns now head into the bye week sporting a record of 5-3 (3-2 Big 12) following the tough one-possession loss to the Pokes on Oct. 22. Prior to the loss to Oklahoma State, Texas had won three straight games.

It does feel like the bye week comes at a good time for the Longhorns. Texas has a chance to re-group and figure out what went wrong in the road losses in the last month or so against Oklahoma State and the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

That includes figuring out how to motivate this team down the stretch to close out the regular season strong. Sark and the Longhorns also need to figure out which personnel to roll with on both sides of the ball for the next few games, as there were some issues that this team faced in the second half in the last two weekends.

Keilan Robinson and the underutilized Texas football players who could have a big November

With that in mind, here’s a look at three underutilized Longhorns players that must step up in November.

DJ Campbell, G

There is an argument to be made that the weakest play from any position group on offense through the first half of the season is along the interior offensive line. Texas received strong production from the offensive tackles, senior Christian Jones and true freshman Kelvin Banks Jr., through the first eight games.

But the play of the trio of true freshman offensive guard Cole Hutson, sophomore guard Hayden Conner, and sophomore center Jake Majors hasn’t performed up to the same level as the duo of Banks and Jones this season.

One of the backup offensive guards that a lot of Longhorns fans would like to see get more reps down the stretch this season is the former elite five-star recruit and true freshman DJ Campbell. In the loss to Oklahoma State last weekend, Campbell got 10 snaps along the offensive line for Texas.

And he performed well in the snaps he did get, which would amount to a little more than one drive.

In that drive, Texas would wind up scoring and Campbell would play a critical role on a few of the plays. A counter run that went for a first down for star junior running back Bijan Robinson had a hole opened up the middle by Campbell. That type of lane opening up in the A-gap is what you would hope an offensive guard of Campbell’s prowess is able to do on counter runs like this one.

But the fact that Campbell was able to get the leverage and move a defensive tackle at the point of attack as he did on that play was pretty special.

Campbell also did well in pass pro in the limited snaps he had in that role against the Pokes. He didn’t allow a single quarterback pressure in a half-dozen snaps in pass blocking.

In nearly 10 snaps as a pass blocker this season, Campbell has yet to allow any pressures on the quarterback.

With some of the struggles we saw from both Conner and Hutson in the last couple of weeks, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the 6-foot-3 and 320-pound Campbell getting more reps down the stretch this season. I would like to see him get more snaps to continue to prove why he was a five-star coming out of high school.