No. 7 Texas football faced adversity in the last two weeks against the Houston Cougars on the road on Oct. 21 and the BYU Cougars at home on Oct. 28. Texas was down multiple key starters on both sides of the ball at different points in the last two weeks, namely redshirt sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers.
The Longhorns also dealt with adversity late in the Houston game when head coach Dana Holgorosen and the Cougars rallied from 21 points down to put the pressure on Texas late in the second half. But the Longhorns rallied around redshirt freshman quarterback Maalik Murphy to come out of the last two games with two wins.
Texas downed Houston last week on the road behind a game-winning touchdown from true freshman running back CJ Baxter Jr. late in the fourth quarter. And then, head coach Steve Sarkisian’s squad came up with a convincing 35-6 win over head coach Kalani Sitake and BYU at home on Oct. 28.
Overreactions from No. 7 Texas football’s convincing Week 9 win over BYU
Texas’ defense stymied a BYU offense that has struggled in multiple phases this season. But the most impressive part about the win over BYU was Texas’ complete performance after Murphy had a couple of tough turnovers early in the game.
The Longhorns scored a touchdown on special teams, thanks to a nice punt return touchdown from junior wide receiver Xavier Worthy. Texas also scored four offensive touchdowns (two passing and two rushing) while winning the turnover battle.
Here are five overreactions from the Longhorns’ sizable 35-6 win over BYU at home in Week 10.
T’Vondre Sweat is a solidified early-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft
Texas’ defensive line had another solid outing, led by the standout interior starting duo of redshirt senior T’Vondre Sweat and junior Byron Murphy II. Sweat and Murphy helped Texas win the battle in the trenches in this win over BYU, limiting the Cougars to under 100 rushing yards, no rushing scores, and roughly 3.5 yards per carry.
Murphy also helped the Longhorns get consistent pressure on BYU senior quarterback Kedon Slovis in this game. Murphy led the way with four quarterback pressures (a game-high) and one QB hit. Sweat also added one quarterback pressure against BYU.
Sweat and Murphy continue to prove that they’re the class of the Big 12 regarding the best interior defensive line duos in the conference this year. These two graded out as the two best interior defensive linemen in the Big 12 in Week 9.
Sweat was particularly impressive, though, with his ability to cause disruption and consistently stop the run against the Cougars. He led the Big 12 with a 21.4 run stop percentage and was the highest-graded interior run defender this week.
It’s also very noteworthy that Sweat was the highest-graded interior defensive lineman in the Power Five in Week 9.
Sweat is having an All-American-caliber season in 2023 for the Longhorns. Not only is Sweat the highest-graded interior defensive lineman in the FBS this season, but he is also doing so for one of the best teams in the Power Five.
This is the type of campaign that can skyrocket Sweat’s NFL Draft stock in 2024. But according to PFF’s 2024 NFL Draft Big Board, Sweat is only ranked as the 86th best prospect in the 2024 class. If he keeps performing at this level for the remainder of the season, Sweat should be viewed as a top-two round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.