Neto Umeozulu will be Texas’ best guard this season
The interior offensive line play was suspect, to say the least, in the first half for the Longhorns against Rice. Both of Texas’ starting offensive guards, sophomore DJ Campbell and junior Hayden Conner, were responsible for multiple quarterback pressures allowed and at least one sack each.
Campbell and Conner also had at least one blown bock each on run snaps against Rice.
Multiple miscommunications were costly on run and pass plays for Texas along the interior offensive line, especially in the first half. Texas’ running back had trouble finding open running lanes. And Ewers was under constant pressure in the first half, resulting in a couple of sacks and QB hits.
In fact, the guard with the cleanest performance of all the interior offensive linemen who took significant snaps for Kyle Flood and the Longhorns against Rice was sophomore Neto Umeozulu. The second-year IOL took over the duties at left guard in the second half after Campbell left the game with a lower-body injury.
While Umeozulu did allow one quarterback pressure, he didn’t give up any QB hits or sacks. He also didn’t have any blown blocks in his nine run-blocking snaps.
We knew left guard was a battle late in fall camp, with Umeozulu pushing Conner for the starting reps. Umeozulu’s performance in the season opener against Rice, helping to stabilize the interior offensive line in the second half, makes his case even stronger that he deserves more starting reps the rest of the season and in practice.