BEVO BEAT Football

Texas history: 5 Longhorn records that could realistically fall in 2018

Posted July 25th, 2018

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The most unbreakable records in Texas football history range from the 30-game winning streak to Ricky Williams’ rushing record to the four 100-yard rushers in a single game in 1969 against SMU.

We covered these a few years ago and we can probably say with a lot of certainty, that those records won’t be broken this year or any time soon.

MORE: Texas countdown to football: 5 most ‘unbreakable’ records

But which ones could realistically be broken this season, either single season records, career records or maybe even guessing single game record breakers?

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Lets count it down:

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) could challenge Texas’ single-season record for yards rushing by a quarterback. (Nick Wagner/American-Statesman)

5. Most rushing yards for a quarterback in a single season

In 2004, junior sophomore quarterback Vince Young rushed for 1,079 yards, the most by a quarterback in a single season at Texas. He did this on 167 attempts for a crazy 6.4 yards per carry.

That’s insane.

While Sam Ehlinger is unlikely to average 6.4 yards per carry, he did rush for 381 yards last season on 3.3 yards per carry on 114 attempts in nine games. What makes Ehlinger so special is his rare dual-threat ability. He’s not so much a dual threat because of his speed. He’s a dual threat because he’s got a fullback running style (which is why he sometimes gets hurt).

Coach Tom Herman loves to run the quarterback. His offense at Ohio State yielded 938 yards rushing on 171 attempts by J.T. Barrett in 2014, and Barrett got hurt and missed nearly three games that season. His replacement, Cardale Jones, had 296 yards in about three games. While Ohio State had a strong offensive line that season, at Houston Herman’s quarterback Greg Ward rushed for 1,114 yards, more than Young’s record holder, on 197 attempts.

Realistically – if you assume that Ehlinger will indeed be the starter and so many people are leaning that way – he’ll have an opportunity with rushing attempts to go for a 1,000 yards this season.

Texas LB Britt Hager holds the Longhorns’ single-game record for tackles with 27. (Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman)

4. Most tackles in a game

Britt Hager’s 27 tackles in 1987 against Texas Tech is one of our five unbreakable records, but I’ll always drop it on a list of five things that could happen because when it comes to tackle stats, things can sometimes get muddled. As in, sometimes whoever is keeping that stat will count half tackles if a player is one of 10 people tackling someone, so, hey, I can always see it “realistically ” happening.

Gary Johnson had 60 tackles last season. So to think he can have nearly half the tackles he had during his entire junior season in one game is a stretch. But Johnson will have the opportunities because Malik Jefferson is no longer on the roster. Jefferson had 110 tackles last season.

Now, I’m not picking Johnson as the most likely person to do it because in the Big 12, I’m not sure a linebacker will get the opportunity to rack up 27 tackles.

But a defensive back? Brandon Jones was the third leading tackler on Texas last season with 61. With DeShon Elliott gone, Jones will be an important part of the defensive backfield and could, potentially, be someone who could finally knockoff a record that’s been on the books for nearly 31 years.

Could Hager’s son Breckyn do it? Doubtful. As an edge rusher, Breckyn Hager likely won’t have the chance to get to 27 in a game.

3. All-purpose yards in a single game

Hodges Mitchell’s 375 yards against Kansas in 2000 was done with 264 rushing yards, 23 receiving yards and 88 punt return yards. Ricky Williams, meanwhile, had 2,386 all-purpose yards in 1998. He rushed for 2,124 yards and had 262 receiving yards. D’Onta Foreman was 283 yards away from breaking this record in 2017.

During the spring game Lil’Jordan Humphrey had 14 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns. He also had 100 yards receiving. Texas didn’t have live returns, so your guess is as good as ours on who the kick returner will be for Texas, but Humphrey had 61 yards on kick returns last season.

The point is no player will be used more in a variety of ways than Humphrey, so if anyone is going to break Mitchell’s record, Humphrey is the best bet.

Jordan Shipley’s 13 touchdowns in 2009 set Texas’s single-season record for receiving touchdowns. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman)

2. Most touchdown receptions

Jordan Shipley caught 13 touchdown passes in 2009. Texas’ receiving records aren’t as lavish as some programs mainly because of Texas’ long standing penchant to run the ball. Shipley owns most receiving records at the school and it should be noted he played his entire career with the greatest passer in school history.

Collin Johnson will not have Colt McCoy passing to him, but Johnson will have many opportunities as he enters the season as the Longhorns most clear pro prospect this season. So given that Johnson caught six balls for 91 yards and a touchdown in the spring game, and given that Johnson is 6-foot-6-inches tall and 220 pounds which means every fan expects him to get goal line corner routes, it’s easy to envision him scoring a lot of touchdowns.

To be fair, he’s never come close to 13 touchdowns (only five in two seasons).

1. Attendance record

Is this a cop-out? Yes. Yes, it is.

Texas has sold out the game against Southern California and hypothetically they should be able to break the 2016 record for Royal-Memorial Stadium set when Notre Dame arrived on the 40 Acres.

MORE: Texas beats Notre 50-47 in 2016

Given that this will be the biggest home game Tom Herman has coached in at home, fans ought to show up in droves.

Why this won’t happen? Well, in 2016, the Notre Dame game was the very first game of the season. There was no buffer games to extinguish the excitement before the biggest non-conference game of the season. In other words, there was no reason for the fans to think the Longhorns would lose the game at that point in the season.

This year’s attendance to the biggest home game of 2018 could be impacted positively if Texas blows the doors off Maryland and Tulsa to open the season. However, a loss to either one of those schools could sink Texas’ chances to get the 102,315 people needed to tie the record.

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