No. 7 Texas football is past the halfway mark of the 2023 regular season after beating the Houston Cougars in a near upset on the road in Week 8 by a score of 31-24. Texas boasts a record of 6-1 (3-1 Big 12) after topping Houston last weekend.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns have relied on their depth and talent on both sides of the ball to get them to the point they’re at now heading into Week 9 against the BYU Cougars at home. But Texas will have to rely on younger and more inexperienced players in the second half of the regular season to get them over the hump this fall.
Texas football freshmen that are bound to start some games in November
Texas suffered many injuries in the last few games that have decimated the depth at multiple key spots, especially on defense. The Longhorns also likely lost redshirt sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers for at least the next couple of weeks in the Houston game due to a shoulder injury.
The next five games to round out the regular season will put Texas’ young players to the test when a handful of them are thrust into more prominent roles down the stretch. Here are four Longhorns’ freshmen that could start in the last five games of the regular season.
Malik Muhammad, CB
True freshman cornerback Malik Muhammad has significantly impacted the secondary to kick off his time at Texas. Muhammad has proven he was ready to handle a big workload in the secondary and a little bit more in the first half of the season.
Muhammad ranks second on the team among cornerbacks in defensive snaps with 240 through seven games. While Muhammad has played the second-most defensive snaps of any Texas cornerback this season, he hasn’t started a game yet.
The opportunity to get his first career start could be ahead for Muhammad this weekend against BYU. Due to the multitude of injuries Texas suffered in the secondary in the last few weeks, namely in the Week 8 win over Houston, the Longhorns might need Muhammad to start at corner.
Redshirt junior cornerback Gavin Holmes, redshirt junior Ryan Watts, sophomore Terrance Brooks, and senior nickel Jahdae Barron all dealt with injuries that limited them or kept them out of last weekend’s matchup against Houston. If multiple corners cannot go this weekend against BYU, Texas might need Muhammad to start.