Every week this fall, we’re looking at a number related to Texas football.
Today’s notable number is 33.
Thirty-three is the number worn by running back D’Onta Foreman. The Texas defense has broken up 33 passes this season, and Edwin Freeman had a 33-yard interception return against Kansas State. Texas has 33 ties in its history, the last of which came in 1995.
Thirty-three also is the number of receptions hauled in by Foreman’s twin brother, Armanti.
D’Onta Foreman has been the talk of the season; his 1,446 rushing yards trail only the 1,581 yards compiled by San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey, who has one game and 38 carries on the Texas junior. Foreman could tie Earl Campbell’s school mark of 11 straight 100-yard games with a triple-digit performance against West Virginia on Saturday. He also has scored 13 times and has been inserted into the Heisman Trophy conversation.
Foreman’s accomplishments, however, have somewhat overshadowed the feats of his brother.
Armanti Foreman tops Texas with his 33 catches and 414 receiving yards — yes, Texas’ leading rusher and receiver are brothers — and Devin Duvernay, Jerrod Heard and Dorian Leonard have matched his three touchdown catches. Foreman has been Texas’ leading receiver in three games, and no team has held the 5-11-inch, 205-pound target under two catches.
A 142-yard performance against Baylor on Oct. 29 was the Big 12’s 18th-best effort this season (Foreman did that damage on just four receptions). Last week’s six-catch outing against Texas Tech set a career high.
“He’s having a solid season,” receiver Jacorey Warrick said. “Of course, it’s hard being a Foreman right now. He’s very supportive of his brother, and he’ll tell his brother to his face that I’m going to try to out-do you every week. That’s just how they are. They’re super close, but at the same time, they compete against one another.”
With three games to go in the regular season, Foreman has already surpassed his production from his first two years. With 10 and 11-catch campaigns, Foreman was Texas’ seventh- and fourth-leading receiver in 2014 and 2015. The four-star prospect out of Texas City also scored four times over his first two years.
Armanti Foreman: By the years
Warrick said Foreman was “just banking on his God-given ability” when he arrived at Texas, but his ascension to Texas’ top target was partially due to improvements at practice and in the film room. Leonard said Foreman has become a leader at practice, and Collin Johnson noted that his teammate was “always bringing it.”
“He’s a guy that goes to practice and he works hard,” said offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert, who added that Foreman’s previous playing experience had been invaluable. “He’s really determined to be a good player and make plays.”
Foreman has missed out on a few scores this season due to an off-setting face mask against Iowa State, a dropped pass against Kansas State and a fumble at the end of a 51-yard catch against Baylor. There is a reason his teammates have nicknamed him “Money,” though.
Sixteen of his catches have resulted in first downs — including eight of his last 11 — and his touchdowns have covered 10, 19 and 40 yards. He also had a 38-yard catch that set up the game-winning kick against Baylor.
Against West Virginia on Saturday, he will face a secondary that’s allowing 245.8 yards per game. Mountaineers cornerback Rasul Douglas leads the Big 12 with five interceptions.
PAST NOTABLE NUMBERS
Aug. 31: 4, and Texas’ new receivers
Sept. 8: 14, and Texas’ 18 Wheeler
Sept. 15: 21, and Texas’ penalties
Sept. 22: 12, and post-bye wins
Sept. 29: 18, and Texas’ third-down conversions
Oct. 13: 2, and Texas’ red-zone defense
Nov. 3: 16, and Texas’ quarterback sacks