Texas Football: 3 takeaways from Longhorns’ final walkthrough scrimmage

Cedric Baxter Jr., Texas football
Cedric Baxter Jr., Texas football /
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Gavin Holmes, Texas football
Gavin Holmes, Texas football /

Last weekend, Texas football and head coach Steve Sarkisian participated in the final walkthrough scrimmage of fall practice before the regular season opener on Sep. 2 at home against the Rice Owls. Texas went through the final Saturday of game prep and install before the regular season opener on Aug. 26.

That allowed Sark and the Longhorns to get the rotations, personnel formations, and situational play down pat heading into the regular season. It was a slower walkthrough scrimmage than the Longhorns had the previous two weekends, when Texas participated in full-contact, full pads scrimmages on Aug. 12 and Aug. 19.

Given that the final Saturday walkthrough scrimmage of fall practice before the regular season opener didn’t have the intensity of the prior two full-pads scrimmages, there aren’t as many notable nuggets coming out of the weekend.

Biggest takeaways coming out of Texas football’s final walkthrough scrimmage last weekend

But there are still a handful of two-deep notes and reports coming out of the walkthrough scrimmage that are worth talking about, especially since Sark hasn’t released a Week 1 depth chart following the conclusion of his Monday press conference on Aug. 28. Here’s a look at three takeaways from the final Longhorns’ walkthrough scrimmage of fall practice last weekend.

Ryan Sanborn is going to bring more stability to the punting game

One of the first transfer additions of the offseason for the Longhorns was the former Stanford Cardinal senior punter Ryan Sanborn. The highest-graded punter in the PAC-12 last season (per PFF) was brought in by special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Jeff Banks and the Longhorns to bring more consistency and proficiency to the punting game via the NCAA Transfer Portal this offseason.

The early returns on Sanborn’s skills in the punting game since he arrived on campus for the summer semester are very positive. We’ve heard Sanborn is excelling from a technical and hangtime perspective in individual and team skills and scrimmage settings the last few weeks.

Bobby Burton of Inside Texas reported on Aug. 28 (paid content) that Sanborn was praised in the walkthrough scrimmage last weekend for his “distance, hang time, and quickness getting the ball off” in the punting game. Texas’ staff reportedly “expects greater consistency” in the punting game, with Sanborn taking on the duties in place of the departed Daniel Trejo this fall.

Given his past production at Stanford, Sanborn is a much more proficient punter compared to Trejo’s production at Texas last season. He’s excellent from a technical perspective, getting over 20 punts down inside the 20-yard line last season without a single touchback.

Hang time on punts should also see improvement this fall, with Sanborn in the mix. Sanborn ranked in the top three in the PAC-12 last season in average hang time per punt (4.05 seconds), while Trejo ranked bottom two in the Big 12 in hang time per punt (3.68 seconds).