Texas is bound to have the best offensive line in the Big 12
A position group that completely turned the corner for the Longhorns from Week 1 to Week 2 was the offensive line. I couldn’t have expected much more out of the offensive line play against an uber-talented and big Alabama defensive front.
Texas didn’t allow a single sack against Alabama in this game after having issues protecting Ewers in the passing game against the Rice Owls in the opener last weekend. The interior offensive line wasn’t physical enough, and there were constant miscommunications in the first half against Rice in Week 1.
A crazy stat from this game is that Texas’ offensive line is the only group that allowed fewer than three QB pressures and zero sacks against Alabama going back to at least 2014.
This looked like a completely different group along the offensive line against Alabama. Texas’ offensive line was not only stout against protecting Ewers in the project, but they were also physical blocking for the run. Sophomore interior offensive linemen Cole Hutson and DJ Campbell were much more physically imposing than in Week 1 (for the latter) and most of last season.
Junior guard Hayden Conner was also much more solid in run blocking and pass pro than in Week 1. Conner was one of the five highest-graded interior offensive linemen in the Big 12 in pass blocking in Week 2. He didn’t allow a single quarterback pressure this weekend against Bama.
Granted, they weren’t perfect run blocking for the likes of true freshman running back CJ Baxter Jr. and redshirt sophomore Jonathon Brooks. Alabama held Texas to under three yards per carry in this game.
Texas did rush for more yards against Alabama this season, namely utilizing Brooks and Baxter, than last year when these two teams met in Austin with Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson in the backfield.
Sark, Flood, and the Longhorns clearly got this group in shape after a bad outing in Week 1 against Rice. This is not just what we expected this starting group of offensive linemen to look like for the Longhorns this season, but it is a few notches above, judging by what we saw from them against Alabama this weekend.
If Texas is even partially as good and consistent as they were in pass pro against Alabama and continues to improve the physicality blocking for the run in Big 12 play, this will be the best O-Line in the conference this season.