Texas is screwed in the second halves of games without Jonathon Brooks
Redshirt sophomore running back Jonathon Brooks unfortunately suffered a torn ACL, which the university announced in a press release on Nov. 12. Brooks suffered the knee injury on a second-half run against TCU, where he was clearly hampered after the play.
It is a shame that Brooks will miss the rest of the season as he was having a sensational run for the Longhorns this fall. Brooks was in the thick of the race for the Doak Walker after being named a semifinalist for the award last week.
Brooks had his first 1,000-rushing yard and double-digit touchdown season before suffering this injury against TCU this weekend. He also came close to reaching 1,500 total yards from scrimmage (1,423) this week.
Undoubtedly, Brooks was in the conversation for team MVP through the first 10 games of the season before he suffered this injury. Brooks significantly contributed to the offensive success in the running and passing games.
Texas could always rely on Brooks to be a solid source of efficient production on the ground and in the receiving game this season. Brooks averaged at least five yards per carry in every game in Big 12 play.
He also led all Big 12 running backs in receiving yards this season (286) and third in rushing yards (1,139).
Texas has leaned on the ground game to close out teams in the second halves of games this season. Brooks was the main reason Texas found success in the second halves of games so far this season. He ranked in the top five among Big 12 running backs in second-half rushing yards and yards per attempt in conference play.
With Brooks out for the rest of the season, Texas turns to true freshman running back CJ Baxter Jr. to shoulder the load with the ground game. Baxter has already been a significant part of Texas’sground game in the last two weeks. He’s had double-digit carries for over 150 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown since the Kansas State game.
Texas also needs sophomore running back Jaydon Blue and redshirt senior Keilan Robinson to step up with Brooks out down the stretch. Blue showed flashes in a few games this season, including his first career-rushing touchdown on a long play in the win over BYU in Week 9.
It will be a major challenge for Sark and the Longhorns to scheme up the offense for Baxter and Blue to find open running lanes down the stretch. But he’ll have to find answers for the ground game quickly as Texas faces the second-best rushing defense in the Big 12 on the road next weekend against Iowa State.