Who Needs to Step Up vs. Kansas State

Jillian Kushner

The defensive backs

Once again, the defensive backs are on my list to step up. Oklahoma had 278 total yards against Texas — 211 of those yards were passing yards. The defensive backs did not cover the receivers nearly enough. The defensive line proved themselves against Oklahoma, but this set a standard they’ll now be held to. The defensive backs have not set a standard — rather, the standards were pretty low. Oklahoma junior quarterback Baker Mayfield attempted 28 passes and completed 20 of them. Senior receiver Sterling Shepard got the majority of the passes with six catches for 95 yards. These brief breaks were the only time the Sooners were able to have momentum because the Texas defensive backs were not able to counter the Oklahoma receivers. The defensive line only allowed 67 rushing yards. The 211 passing yards is where the issue is. The Texas secondary has been a weak spot all season, and week by week, their weaknesses have been continually exposed.

The passing game

Against Oklahoma, Texas only had 55 passing yards. You could blame redshirt freshman quarterback Jerrod Heard or you could blame the receivers. Either way, Texas barely threw the ball, and that could be an issue. Against the Sooners, the lack of a passing game was not the end of the world, but it may be against another team. With senior receiver Daje Johnson out against Oklahoma, a hit in the passing game was expected. Johnson will be back against Kansas State, and the passing game should return with him.

The running game

The running game put on a show against Oklahoma, as Texas had 313 rushing yards. This is a new standard for the Longhorn running backs. While this probably will not happen every week, the backs proved that they can put up huge numbers. Sophomore running back D’onta Foreman and senior running back Johnathan Gray showed their potential in Dallas. Foreman had 117 yards and Gray had 76 yards. Heard also managed to scramble for 115 yards. This side of Heard’s game made a huge difference. These rushers have shown what they are capable of, and now they need to step up each week and put up the numbers we have seen they can do.