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

Hutch’s Huddle: Week 5

Lorianne Willett
The Texas Football team enters their field ahead of the kickoff of their game against Wyoming on September 16, 2023.

Texas has played some clean football in its undefeated season so far. As a team that gets plenty of attention, receiving both compliments and criticism from the media, the Longhorns have kept their slate clean in terms of poise and performance on and off the field. 

Penalties were a big hurdle for Texas to overcome in its previous season and could be argued as one of the main factors for a few of Texas’ close games. Last year, the team saw an average of almost 50 yards lost per game due to penalties, losing a total of 615 yards altogether for the season while letting its opponents get away with nearly 580 total yards lost due to penalties. While that may not seem like a drastic difference, avoiding penalties can make all the difference for Texas as it looks to keep its win streak alive. 

In the past four games played this season, the Longhorns have minimized its average yards lost on penalties to 35 per game, while their opponents have averaged around 42 yards per game. 

And if you’re wondering, Texas sits as the No. 20 ranked team in the NCAA for least amount of penalties, averaging about four per game.   

“Through four games, we’re one of the least penalized teams in the country right now,” Sarkisian said. “We’re playing really disciplined football.” 

This improvement can seemingly be attributed to the fact that Texas has been displaying some serious chemistry and trust between each other, an attribute that Sarkisian and players alike have noticed and felt this season. 

Discipline comes naturally when your team is a melting pot of veteran leadership and talent, and this weekend’s opponent knows more than a thing or two about that. The Kansas Jayhawks have entered their second season in a row 4–0, and both teams will face each other as ranked opponents for the first time in series history. Texas held onto its No. 3 ranking against Baylor this past weekend while Kansas recently crept into the AP polls at No. 24 after its victory against BYU. 

The Jayhawks are led by head coach Lance Leipold, who also enters his third year with his team alongside Sarkisian and his Longhorns. There’s no debate that Kansas is an experienced squad, as Leipold returned 17 of the 22 starters from the previous season, including junior quarterback Jalon Daniels, who has spent his entire collegiate career with the Jayhawks.  

“We have players in our program that we inherited that stuck to and didn’t decide to go into the portal and have become really good players for us,” Sarkisian said. “And I think some have become really good players for them, too.” 

However, despite Leipold arguably making more productive use of his short time at Kansas, discipline is something that may have been lost during the accelerated rebuild process.  

Penalties have plagued the Jayhawks this season, with their offensive line averaging two penalties a game and their defense averaging 2.3 per game. On the other hand, both sides of the ball for Texas average around one per game. 

Leipold was also hit with two ejection calls in the team’s win against Illinois during Week 2, as Kansas defenders Austin Booker and Cobee Bryant were forced out of the game on separate occasions due to targeting.

In post-game interviews, Kansas defensive lineman Jereme Robinson mentioned that the key to their defensive efforts was bringing a strong and physical presence to the game. For a Texas offense that has stood tall against some notable defensive fronts, this will be another test to see if the Longhorns can match their opponent’s energy and keep their composure under pressure to avoid penalties.

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About the Contributors
Emma Hutchinson, Senior Sports Reporter
Emma is a journalism sophomore from Prosper, Texas and is probably watching Dallas Mavericks highlights as you read this. She currently works on the women’s basketball beat as a senior reporter, but has previously reported on men’s swim and dive and softball. In addition to watching the Mavericks, she enjoys spending her free time with the people she loves most, usually by grabbing some coffee or boba with them.
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.