Texas Longhorns Offensive Potential Hinges On Offensive Line

By Marian Hinton
Brendan Maloney: USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns have a new offense heading into the season, and if the first game was any indicator, the fans could be in for an exciting year. Now led by new play-caller Major Applewhite, the team has reverted back to the up-tempo, spread offense that brought them so much success over the last decade. Quarterback David Ash is more experienced and poised to have a breakout season, the wide receiving corp is a year older and filled with loads of young talent, and the stable of Longhorn running backs has the potential to be among the best in the country.

In their season-opener versus the New Mexico State Aggies, the Longhorns showed how explosive and well-balanced this offense can potentially be. Despite a slow start, the offense amassed a total of 715 total yards (359 yards on the ground and 356 through the air) breaking a school record. Additionally, several new playmakers emerged, including sophomore Daje Johnson and true freshman quarterback-turned-running back Jalen Overstreet.

On the ground the Longhorns averaged 8.5 yards per carry, scoring on runs of 24, 38, and 55 yards. Through the air, Texas averaged nearly 12 yards per play, scoring touchdowns on 54, 66, and 74 yard pass plays.

Yes, this year’s Texas offense undoubtedly has the potential to put lots of points on the board; however, everything hinges on the play of offensive line.

Over the last few seasons, the Texas offensive line has failed to live up to expectations. At best, they’ve been average, and that may be being slightly generous. This year, however, marks the third year under offensive line coach Stacy Searels, and he’s finally got a group of guys with an incredibly high ceiling. Against the Aggies last weekend, he was shifting players around, trying to make sure the best five guys were on the field and in position to best help the team. Nevertheless, as of now, they are the team’s biggest question mark.

If coaches can figure out a way to get the promising talent along the line to gel, the offensive line could actually become a strength for this Texas team. If that happens, the Longhorn offense could become one of the most explosive in all of college football.

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