Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

UT vs. Alabama: Keys to the Game

Assad Malik
Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy enters the field on September 10, 2022 during Texas’ home game versus Alabama.

A contender for the game of the year took place on the Forty Acres around this time last year, as Nick Saban and then-No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide rolled into Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium to face a record setting crowd and an unranked Texas team. This year, the Longhorns are ranked No. 11, and while Alabama is eight spots ahead at No. 3, this time, Texas will be heading to Tuscaloosa. Here are three keys to unlocking a win in enemy territory for the Longhorns come Saturday. 


Establish the run

In 2022, the offseason coverage was about how strong of a running game the Longhorns had. Alabama keyed in on this and held the offense to 79 rushing yards. All the focus on stopping the run allowed for the passing attack to rack up 292 yards through the air.

Most of the chatter during this offseason was focused on the passing game and how strong the receiving corps is in Austin. If the Texas offense is able to establish the run and find success, we could see the same thing happen only reversed. A successful run game forces the defense to bring more players closer to the ball, which in turn opens the passing game.  

Texas being able to run the football well early allows them to control the pace of the game. This means the Longhorns can choose to run a quick tempo offense and not allow the Crimson Tide defense to catch their breath or bleed the clock for as long as possible to withhold possessions from Alabama. 

Make no mistake about it, this will look like a football game, but in reality, fans will be witnessing a chess match between both coaching staffs.  


Deep ball connection

The Longhorns do in fact have a very talented receiving room, with players such as Jordan Whittington and Xavier Worthy leading the pack, they will bring both experience and talent to a group that lost both Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson to the NFL.

A key factor in Texas winning this game is their ability to connect on deep passes once the run game is established. In week one versus Rice, Quinn Ewers underthrew a few passes that could have resulted in six points for the Longhorns.

Over or underthrowing deep balls was a problem that plagued Ewers in the past, and after coming back from his shoulder injury suffered in the Alabama game last year, Ewers struggled to put the right amount of finesse on the ball.

Now a full year removed from that injury should mean the Longhorns will be a legitimate threat pushing the ball down field.  


Win the line of scrimmage

Both squads feature what Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian likes to call “big humans.” The Longhorns’ offensive line averages out to 6-foot-4-inches and 325 pounds, while the Alabama offensive line edges out their opponent with an average height of 6-foot-5-inches and weighing nearly 340 pounds.

The battle in the trenches will be the one fans need to keep their eye on as the game progresses. If Texas can take control of the line of scrimmage on offense and push back the line of scrimmage on defense, their ability to win this game on the road is that much better. 

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About the Contributors
Emmanuel Ramirez, Senior Audio Producer
Emmanuel Ramirez is a journalism junior from Brownsville, Texas. Currently he works as the senior audio producer for Texan Overtime and previously was a general audio staffer. He enjoys throwing down on the grill and playing Smash Bros.
Assad Malik, Photo Editor
Assad Malik is a sophomore RTF major at UT and serves as the Photo Editor for The Daily Texan.