Five reasons Texas’ struggles will continue this season

·3 min read

Texas fans have been in this situation before. An offseason full of expectations, hype, and wishful thinking. Then, once the season begins, disappointment and downright embarrassment take place. Since the 2010 season, it has been a constant cycle.

Steve Sarkisian has taken over and will be hoping to change the narrative surrounding the program. It will be easier said than done, especially with how the Big 12 opponents are expected to fair this season.

After some optimism surrounding Sarkisian’s first season, there is always room for pessimism. Plenty of problems are still in front of Texas, even with the newfound hope. Here are five reasons Texas will continue its decade long struggles during the 2021 season:

Tough road schedule

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In LonghornWire's Big 12 power rankings, four of the top six teams will be road/neutral site matchups for Texas. Of course, Oklahoma will take place in Dallas while road trips to Iowa State, TCU, and West Virginia are on the books. You could not ask for a more difficult conference schedule for Sarkisian's first season, even if Sooner fans made it. Winning two of those four could be a major success. Factor in a trip to Arkansas and Texas will visit some hostile atmospheres this season.

Lack of a go to receiver

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Coming out of spring ball, Jordan Whittington seems to be the only sure thing at wide receiver. Troy Omeire played in the Orange and White game but had on a noncontact jersey. Jake Smith still has a broken foot. Joshua Moore's name rarely was mentioned, despite being the leading receiver last season. Xavier Worthy was brought in late in the 2021 recruiting cycle, hoping to bring speed. Until somebody emerges as the top receiver on the roster, Hudson Card/Casey Thompson is going to struggle.

Lack of replacement for Joseph Ossai

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Joseph Ossai and his disruptive nature are off to Cincinnati after being selected in the third round of the NFL Draft. He will leave a 15.5 tackle for loss and 5.5 sack void along Texas' defensive line. Three transfers have been brought in, hoping to be suitable replacements. Ray Thornton practiced in the spring, while Ovie Oghoufo and Ben Davis will arrive in the fall. Prince Dorbah and Jacoby Jones are in-house names Pete Kwiatkowski is hoping will step up. Ossai was basically Texas' whole pass rush last season. If nobody steps up in his absence, the defense will not be effective.

Questions at offensive tackle

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The interior part of Texas' offensive line seems to be locked down. Jake Majors will hold down the fort at center, while Denzel Okafor and Junior Angilau will feature at guard. Both tackle positions remain open, with Christian Jones and Andrej Karic being the top options. As to who is going to play on the left side is up for debate. Derek Kerstetter could be seen as the wild card if his injury recovery continues to go well. Kyle Flood will take until the season opener to fully set his offensive line.

Quarterback inexperience

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If it were not for Sam Ehlinger and his experience, who knows where this Texas program would be. Nearly four years of being the starter, his toughness and competitiveness won games. Now, a first-time starter in Hudson Card or Casey Thompson will be taking over. The latter being a redshirt junior, while Card retained his freshman status. Both have the capability to be special under Sarkisian. However, until either is fully tested in an in-game situation, we are not sure how they will respond. Sarkisian will have time to prepare both for whenever called upon.

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