Final season, Texas soccer aimed to capitalize with its star-studded roster, consisting of five-star then-redshirt freshman Quinn Ewers and now NFL halfback Bijan Robinson. However issues went awry for the Longhorns as they struggled with miscues and sloppy playmaking. Because the projected Huge 12 champion this season and soon-to-be SEC staff, Texas should goal these key points to get pleasure from sustainable success this season.
The Deep Ball
Ewers’ 2022 season had highs and lows, primarily regarding the quarterback’s arm. The redshirt sophomore suffered a clavicle sprain that sidelined him for 3 video games earlier than he returned in opposition to Oklahoma. Ewers’ downfield accuracy, specifically, wants enchancment. Final season, his completion share completed at 58.1%, inserting him a centesimal within the nation and seventh within the Huge 12. Though Ewers’ arm is among the many greatest, one may argue his early-season damage shook his poise within the pocket in opposition to foes like Oklahoma State. When questioned about deep ball accuracy, Ewers remained assured after a profitable spring recreation efficiency.
“I believe we actually took time and labored on the deep balls and acquired the timing down and the depth and the angles of all of the routes,” Ewers mentioned. “We’re simply going to construct up from right here on out, and I’m excited.”
Texas’ offensive success will experience with Ewers, and if this staff needs to compete, Ewers’ effectivity should skyrocket.
Third and Fourth Down Protection
The Longhorn protection considerably improved within the 2022 season. After giving up 31.1 factors per recreation in 2021, Texas’ protection solely gave up 21.6 factors per recreation in 2022. However sure considerations nonetheless uncovered this protection — particularly in clutch conditions. Texas’ opponent third-down share stood at 41.31%, rating 94th within the nation, and their opponent fourth-down share closed at 57.1%. These stats confirmed in opposition to Texas Tech final season when the Longhorns allowed six out of eight fourth-down makes an attempt in Lubbock. Higher ball stress that finishes performs for good may appropriate these extremely under-average defensive numbers.
The Texas protection should end performs within the clutch to compete nationally. In 13 video games, Texas garnered 27 sacks and 173 sack yards, ending at 71st within the nation. Whereas Texas’ stress remained constant, the shortage of closers within the pocket was a obtrusive problem. Whereas sacks don’t equal wins, this correction may catapult Texas to the following stage with an already reliable rush protection.
Fumble recoveries additionally require work. The Longhorns pressured 11 fumbles however solely recovered 4 (36.36%), concluding 119th within the nation behind Oklahoma. Creating extra turnovers may play a key position within the staff’s enchancment.