Texas vs. Texas Tech: Five questions facing the Longhorns

Posted November 9th, 2018


Five questions facing Texas on Saturday night at Texas Tech:

1. Will Texas establish the run?

Freshman Keaontay Ingram has UT’s only 100-yard rushing performance this season, and graduate transfer Tre Watson is averaging 47.3 yards per game. D’Onta Foreman’s 341-yard day in Lubbock in 2016 ranks third all-time in the Texas record book, and Chris Warren III’s 276-yard night against Texas Tech in 2015 is seventh. The Red Raiders just gave up 206 yards to Oklahoma’s Trey Sermon last week. Will a Longhorn have a noteworthy night?

2. Will Texas stop the run?

The Longhorns have allowed a 300-yard passer in back-to-back losses to Oklahoma State and West Virginia, but the rushing defense has been just as concerning. Four Cowboys and Mountaineers running backs averaged 6.7 yards per carry. Texas also allowed key gains on the ground to its two opposing quarterbacks, neither of which is considered fleet-footed. Texas Tech freshman Ta’Zhawn Henry is averaging 4.1 yards per carry and the Red Raiders will likely have dual-threat quarterback Jett Duffey in this week’s huddle.

Texas wide receiver Collin Johnson(9) after scoring a touchdown speaks to West Virginia Rasul Douglas(13) in the third quarter at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

3. What will Collin Johnson do in is Lubbock return?

What does Johnson remember about his trip to Jones AT&T Stadium two years ago? “My little coming out party was in Lubbock,” he said this week. In that 45-37 win, the then-freshman caught the first two touchdown passes of his career. Two years later, he’s one of five receivers in the Big 12 with 50 receptions. He has turned those catches into 675 yards and five touchdowns. Texas Tech has allowed seven 100-yard receivers in 2018.

4. What happens on the game’s first drives?

Through nine games, Texas has allowed opposing teams to score on seven first possessions. Those 41 points account for 17 percent of the points surrendered by Texas. On the other hand, Texas has scored on five of its opening drives. Those 27 points account for 9.3 percent of Texas’ points. The Red Raiders have scored on four of their nine opening drives and allowed first-possession points in three games.

5. Will Cameron Dicker get a field goal chance?

Texas freshman Cameron Dicker ranks third in the Big 12 with 12 field goals. Nine of those, though, have been kicked at Royal-Memorial Stadium. Dicker’s biggest kick was a 40-yarder that beat Oklahoma, but the Cotton Bowl was filled halfway with Longhorn fans. Dicker has attempted only two field goals over Texas’ three true road games; he hit a 28-yarder at Kansas State on Sept. 29. Will he get a chance to build on his solid season?