Key Texas matchups to watch: Football fights to stay alive, women’s basketball looks to continue hot streak

Nick Hargroue, Sports Reporter

Here are some of the most exciting matchups for the upcoming week in Texas athletics:

Thursday, Nov. 18 — Texas Women’s Volleyball: Texas vs. Kansas State, LHN, 7 p.m.

This Thursday and Friday’s games at Gregory Gym are the last home games in conference play this season, so fans should take advantage of this opportunity to support the dominant Longhorns for one of the last times in person this season.

Texas’ opponent, Kansas State, sits at a respectable 15–8 this season, so the Wildcats will be no pushover for the Longhorns. Kansas State is led by sophomore outside hitter Aliyah Carter, who boasts an elite 4.57 points per set as the focal point of the Wildcat attack.

Junior opposite hitter Skylar Fields bounced back in the Longhorn’s last game against Oklahoma, accumulating 12 kills with a .333 hit percentage as opposed to her two kill performance in the game prior. Fields will need to continue dominating alongside junior outside hitter Logan Eggleston as the two most active offensive pieces for Texas.

No. 2 Texas looks to keep only one loss on their record for the year and finish the season strong against the Wildcats as postseason play looms.

Saturday, Nov. 20 — Texas Football: Texas @ West Virginia, ESPN 2, 11:00 a.m.

Not much good can be said about Texas football as of late, coming off of a loss against a previously one-win Kansas team. The Longhorns will need to win their last two games of the season to make a bowl game, and that starts with going into Morgantown and coming out with a win.

Star sophomore running back Bijan Robinson is out for the rest of the season with a dislocated elbow, so it is up to junior running back Roschon Johnson to lead the Texas backfield Saturday. Johnson is one of the toughest, most unselfish players on the team and does whatever is asked of him in order for the team to succeed, so it will be refreshing to see him get more touches this weekend despite Robinson’s injury.

The defense is still a mess after giving up 57 points to a poor Kansas offense led by a backup quarterback. Texas’ defense will need to figure out some way to stop opposing offenses if the Longhorns want any chance at making a bowl game this season.

Sunday, Nov. 21 — Texas Women’s Basketball: Texas @ Tennessee, ESPN / 105.3 FM, noon

Texas women’s basketball is coming off of one of the biggest upsets of the early season after going to Stanford and beating the reigning NCAA champions on the road.

Freshman guard Rori Harmon led the Longhorns in scoring, exploding for 21 points on 8-16 shooting against Stanford. Junior guard Aliyah Matharu added another 17 points to the total, giving Texas a lethal two-headed attack that resulted in a win.

This Sunday, the Longhorns travel to Knoxville to face undefeated Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee has relied on a stingy defense, holding opposing teams to .303 shooting percentage from the field.

If Texas has enough firepower to overcome a stout Volunteer defense and come out of Knoxville with a win, the No. 12 Longhorns will continue their momentum ahead of a looming Dec. 5 matchup with Texas A&M in College Station.