Texas Football: 4 biggest disappointments for Longhorns from first half

Jerrin Thompson, Texas football
Jerrin Thompson, Texas football /
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Isaiah Neyor, Texas football
Isaiah Neyor, Texas football /

No. 9 Texas football wrapped up the first half of the regular season on a sour note, with a tough last-minute 34-30 loss to the No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Rivalry game in Dallas last weekend. Texas’ four-point loss to the Sooners handed head coach Steve Sarkisian’s squad their first loss of the season heading into the bye week.

The Longhorns boast a record of 5-1 (2-1 Big 12) following the loss to Oklahoma. Texas does have two wins over top 25 teams, including the Week 2 victory on the road over the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide and the 40-14 win at home over the No. 24 Kansas Jayhawks.

Biggest disappointments from the first half of the regular season for Texas football

If nothing else, Sark and the Longhorns staff have a lot of film to review during the bye week. Many Longhorns players have areas to improve after inconsistent starts to the 2023 regular season. With that in mind, here are four Longhorns players who fell short of expectations in the first half of the regular season.

Austin Jordan, DB

Texas’ depth in the secondary hasn’t been flexed as we thought it would at the nickel and safety positions early this season. A talented defensive back we haven’t heard much from in the first half of the regular season is sophomore nickel Austin Jordan.

The former boundary corner backed up senior defensive back Jahdae Barron at nickel in fall camp, getting second-team reps in team drills and scrimmages. But that hasn’t translated to Jordan getting much of an opportunity to make an impact for the Longhorns’ secondary in live-game scenarios this season.

Jordan has only taken 20 defensive snaps this season throughout three games.

It’s not like there aren’t opportunities for Texas to utilize its abundance of former blue-chip recruits in the secondary depth chart this fall. Texas had issues in pass defense at safety this season. The Longhorns also had multiple defensive backs injured in the last couple of weeks, including redshirt junior corner Ryan Watts and senior safety Jalen Catalon.

The fact that Texas had some consistency issues at safety and a couple of key injuries in the last two games, and Jordan still hasn’t found his way on the field more often is pretty disappointing.

During his true freshman campaign, Jordan took 88 defensive snaps, mostly at boundary corner. He’s on pace for roughly four-dozen defensive snaps this season, which would almost cut in half his reps year-over-year. That’s moving in the wrong direction for Jordan regarding his playing time as a sophomore compared to when he was a freshman.