Running back is a question mark after Week 1
Running the ball was difficult for Sark and the Longhorns in the first half. Texas did have some big runs in the second quarter, but it averaged fewer than four yards per carry in the first half. A lack of communication along the offensive line, Rice loading the box, and an early injury dealt to true freshman running back CJ Baxter Jr. all contributed to Texas’ struggles running the ball out of the gates against the Owls.
Unfortunately for Baxter, his first-half injury kept him out for the rest of the game. And his status remains unknown coming out of the win over Rice. We’ll be eager to hear what Sark and this staff say regarding Baxter’s status coming out of Week 1.
Redshirt sophomore running back Jonathon Brooks had a decent day at the office, with 55 rushing yards on a dozen attempts. Brooks also reeled in two catches for over 40 yards and one touchdown.
But Brooks had some struggles, including a key drop in the red zone that forced a first-half field goal from the Longhorns.
Texas did get a spark in the ground game from sophomore running back Jaydon Blue. The former high-four-star recruit from Klein Cain High School in Houston, TX, led Texas in rushing yards to open the season. He amassed 55 rushing yards on 10 carries, including multiple first-down runs.
Depending on Baxter’s availability for Week 2 against Alabama, we could be looking at a situation where Blue is a more integral part of the backfield than we initially assumed heading into the season.