No. 8 Texas football heads into Week 8 coming off the bye week. Texas’ players got an extra week to rest and heal after the tough last-minute 34-30 loss to the No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Rivalry game on Oct. 7 in Dallas.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns suffered their first defeat of the season against Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago. In the process, the Longhorns lost a few key starters to injury. That added to the list of injuries the Longhorns were dealing with since the Week 3 win over the Wyoming Cowboys at home.
Coming out of the bye week, the Longhorns will face head coach Dana Holgorsen and the Houston Cougars on the road at TDECU Stadium on Oct. 21. Holgorsen and the Cougars are dealing with some significant injuries of their own heading into Week 8.
Here’s a look at the full injury report as No. 8 Texas gets set to battle Houston for the only time as Big 12 foes on the road at TDECU Stadium on Oct. 21, with the kickoff time set for 3 p.m. CT.
Texas football injury report vs. Houston
- Ja’Tavion Sanders, TE (Questionable)
- Ryan Watts, CB (Questionable)
- Kris Ross, DL/EDGE (Doubtful)
- Cole Hutson, IOL (Questionable)
- Jake Majors, C (Doubtful)
- Jalen Catalon, S (Questionable)
Texas suffered quite a few key injuries in the last three or four games before the bye week. The two most significant injuries the Longhorns suffered in the loss to Oklahoma in Week 6 were senior safety Jalen Catalon and senior center Jake Majors.
Catalon suffered an injury in the first half after taking eight defensive snaps in Red River. He didn’t return to the game after suffering that first-half injury.
In Catalon’s absence, true freshman safety Derek Williams Jr. took most of the starting reps in the secondary. Williams took 49 defensive snaps against Oklahoma, the second-most of any game he’s played this season. Expect to see many defensive snaps for Williams against Houston this weekend.
Majors suffered a lower-body injury against Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago. An Oklahoma defender rolled up on his ankle, causing Majors to leave the game after taking just four offensive snaps.
Redshirt freshman center Connor Robertson took the starting reps in place of Majors for the rest of the game against the Sooners.
Although, since Robertson is Texas’ third-string center (when everyone’s healthy), there’s a chance he doesn’t get the starting reps to anchor the offensive line this weekend. Robertson’s chances of starting at center this weekend against Houston hinge on the injury statuses of Majors and sophomore interior offensive lineman Cole Hutson.
In his Thursday press conference on Oct. 19, Sark said that Hutson and Majors (along with the four other injured Texas players) will be “game-time decisions” on Saturday.
Hutson’s unfortunate string of injuries continued this fall when he was knocked out of the Wyoming game in Week 3. Hutson hasn’t played any snaps since he was injured in mid-September.
Inside Texas reported on Oct. 20 (paid content) that there could be one of the top centers that essentially tries to gut it out this weekend against the Cougars.
A couple of other key Texas starters working their way back from various injury issues are junior tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders and redshirt junior cornerback Ryan Watts. Sanders suffered an ankle sprain in Texas’ Week 5 win at home over the No. 24 Kansas Jayhawks.
Sanders played just over three dozen offensive snaps against the Sooners, but he was clearly hobbled by the ankle injury. He’s listed as a “game-time decision” by Sark heading into the Houston game.
Watts also suffered a lower-body injury in Texas’ Week 5 win over Kansas. He was knocked out of the game with a leg injury in the first half against the Jayhawks and hasn’t played any live-game snaps since. Watts is another one of the key Texas players dealing with injuries that is listed as a “game-time decision” this weekend.
The last Longhorns player listed on the injury report this week is second-year edge rusher/defensive lineman Kris Ross. Like Hutson, Ross suffered an injury in the Week 3 win over Wyoming and hasn’t played any live-game snaps since for the Longhorns.
Houston injury report vs. Texas
- Matthew Golden, WR (Questionable)
- Josh Cobbs, WR (Questionable)
- CJ Nelson, WR (Out)
- Noah Guzman, CB (Out)
- Re’Shaun Sanford II, RB (Out)
The most significant injury news for the Cougars this week involves a groin issue standout sophomore wide receiver Matthew Golden is reportedly dealing with. Golden appears likely to play against Texas on Oct. 21 as he “worked out” for the Cougars on Oct. 21.
Golden is Houston’s third-leading receiver this season and a dangerous return man for their special teams. He has 27 catches for 295 receiving yards, four touchdown catches, and two kicks returned for touchdowns this season.
Former Wyoming transfer and redshirt junior wide receiver Josh Cobbs also has a lower-body injury. Cobbs missed the last couple of games for the Cougars. He last played in Houston’s Week 4 win over Sam Houston State. Cobbs is questionable for the Texas game this weekend.
The third Houston wideout listed on the injury report this week is sophomore CJ Nelson. After only playing in a handful of games this season for Holgorsen and the Cougars, Nelson is listed as “out indefinitely” with a leg injury.
Redshirt senior defensive back Noah Guzman and freshman running back Re’Shaun Sanford II are also out indefinitely for the Cougars as they’re dealing with various injuries.