The 10th-ranked Longhorns host Louisiana Tech on Saturday (7 p.m., LHN). The eyes of Texas will be upon …
Joseph Ossai, Texas linebacker
Ossai started just twice during the 2018 season, but the freshman made the most from his last opportunity. In the Sugar Bowl, he recorded a team-high eight tackles as the Longhorns out-muscled Georgia. He’ll be one of eight new defensive starters that trot out on the field. Said senior defensive end Malcolm Roach: “I think he’s going to represent the burnt orange very, very good for years to come.”
Devin Duvernay, Texas receiver
Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson got most of the attention last year, but Texas probably doesn’t get to New Orleans without Duvernay’s 41 catches, 546 receiving yards and four touchdown catches. The sure-handed senior didn’t drop a catchable ball last year. Arguably UT’s fastest receiver — he will proudly argue that — Duvernay takes over Humphrey’s spot in the slot this fall. Against Louisiana Tech, he’ll be eyeing the second 100-yard performance of his career.
Jaqwis Dancy, Louisiana Tech running back
A Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis sidelined Dancy during the 2016 season, but he has battled back to become a key player for the Bulldogs. Dancy led the team in rushing last season with 667 yards and nine touchdowns. He also fared well in a limited sample size against Power FIve defenses. Over 10 carries against LSU and Mississippi State last year, he averaged 5.5 yards. The 5-11, 193-pound back has scored three times in Louisiana Tech’s last two openers.
Willie Baker, Louisiana Tech linebacker
Baker was listed as a defensive end last season, but the Monroe News-Star reported this summer that he will play on and off the line in new coordinator Bob Diaco’s 3-4 defense. The six sacks compiled by Baker in 2018 were the second-most among the Bulldogs. The defense, however, needs him to up that production. Louisiana Tech unleashed the country’s sacks leader on opposing quarterbacks last fall, but Jaylon Ferguson and his 17.5 sacks are now with the Baltimore Ravens.