2010 College Football Predictions: Texas Longhorns Wins and Losses
Here we go again, Texas Longhorns fans; another season is almost here! This season is all about fresh faces and the chase of the Bowl Championship Series national title.
The last two years, Longhorn fans have been treated to a record of 23-1 and two BCS bowl games. The Longhorns took a major hit on the offensive side of the ball during the off season. Gone is a Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback in Colt McCoy. And gone is one of the best wide receivers to ever play for Texas in Jordan Shipley.
The 2010 Texas Longhorns are led by a new quarterback for the first time in four years in Garrett Gilbert. They have a new go-to wide receiver in Malcolm Williams, James Kirkendoll, or Marquise Goodwin. This year Sam Acho and Blake Gideon are the new leaders on a Texas defense that looks to continue its dominating ways.
There are plenty of questions to go along with this team, though, such as:
Who will step up as the No. 1 running back?
Can Garrett Gilbert handle the pressure of being a full-time starter?
If Gilbert fails, who takes over as the starter?
Is this Texas offense as explosive as years past with this new "Pro" style offense?
Most importantly and most overlooked, who takes over as the Texas placekicker?
You laugh, but seriously, if Hunter Lawrence is not on this team last year, Texas does not play for the BCS national title.
Today those questions are factored in as we take a look at how the 2010 Texas season will play out. Does Texas go 5-7, 4-8, 7-5, or 12-0? You will just have to click through game by game to find out how Gilbert's first year under center finishes.
Sept. 2: Texas Vs. Rice
The last time these two teams met: 2008 Texas 52 - Rice 10
In what is Garrett Gilbert's first game as the Texas Longhorns' starter, he goes to Houston to play the Rice Owls.
I wanted to call an upset. Heck, I even had a dream that Rice pulled the upset of the last 10 years in college football. But facts are facts, and this will be a very ugly game. Oh, it will be close—until the end of the first quarter.
Rice last year ranked 120th overall in points against on defense. On offense the Owls ranked 84th in passing and 104th in rushing overall with a 104th overall ranking in points scored. All of these numbers add up to another Texas win.
Texas 52 - Rice 10
Texas Longhorns 1-0
Sept. 11: Texas Vs. Wyoming
The last time these two teams met: 2009 Texas 41 - Wyoming 10
Last year the Cowboys almost gave Texas a scare when they went there to play. After the first half the score was 13-10 Texas. Then UT came out and scored 28 unanswered points to win the game by 31.
This year the Cowboys of Wyoming come to Austin in what will be the first home game for Garrett.
I expect some mistakes early for Garrett, as Wyoming is not a pushover opponent like Rice was the week before.
But in the end Gilbert gives the home crowd confidence that he can lead the Longhorns and throws for four touchdowns as the defense holds Wyoming to seven points. Kirkendoll returns his first kick for a touchdown of the year, and Texas wins this one big.
Texas 45 - Wyoming 7
Texas Longhorns 2-0
Sept. 18: Texas @ Texas Tech
The last time these two teams met: 2009 Texas 34 - Texas Tech 24
In what will be Garrett's biggest test of the young 2010 season, the Longhorns travel up north to Lubbock, Texas. It is possible that the Longhorns will not have their new offense down to the perfection that is needed to get through the Big 12 schedule.
Where the offense will fail, the defense will bail them out in a very tough matchup.
This one goes down to the wire, but with less than three minutes left in the game, Garrett takes the Horns down the field for the winning drive as Texas kicks the game-winning field goal.
Texas 17 - Texas Tech 14.
Texas Longhorns 3-0
Sept. 25: Texas Vs. UCLA
The last time these two teams met: 1998 UCLA 49 - Texas 31
In fact, UCLA the year before beat down Texas in Austin 66-3.
The Bruins come to play Texas with a very good defense that ranked 27th last year in points against. This should prove to be a tough test for Gilbert and the Texas offense to get the ball through the air. They will have to find a way to grind out a win here.
But—and this is a big question—with the next two games being against Oklahoma and Nebraska, does Texas look past UCLA?
I'm going to say no and go with this final score:
Texas 21 - UCLA 13
Texas Longhorns 4-0
Oct. 2 Texas Vs. Oklahoma: The Red River Rivalry
The last time these two teams met: 2009 Texas 16 - Oklahoma 13
This is arguably the best college football game of the year. The teams are always evenly matched, the atmosphere is one of the best sporting events to go to, and it's centered in the middle of a state fair!
The best part of the game is that this is a truly neutral site. Half of the venue is for either Oklahoma or Texas, and the fanbases are split down the 50-yard line.
Yes, the newly named Red River Rivalry (because you cannot say "Shootout" on television anymore) started in 1900. The first matchup saw Texas beat Oklahoma 28-2. Since then there have been 101 games between these two schools, with Texas leading the series 59-40-2.
This year Oklahoma comes into this game looking to extract revenge for losing the past two years. Oklahoma has one of the best defenses and an offense that returns two potential Heisman Trophy finalists in Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles.
But their Achilles heel is their offensive line. This is where Sam Acho has his breakout game and leads Texas with not one, not two, not three, but FOUR sacks!
This game is a wild one, but Texas squeaks out another victory.
Texas 24 - Oklahoma 17
Texas Longhorns 5-0
Oct. 16 Texas @ Nebraska
The last time these two teams met: 2009 Texas 13 - Nebraska 12 Big 12 Title Game
These two teams hate each other on and off the field. With Nebraska leaving the Big 12 at the end of the year, this will mark the last time that the Longhorns travel north to Lincoln.
This is the last time the Cornhuskers have the chance to beat Texas in their own stadium—and they have the opportunity to ruin Texas' chance at a national title.
The Cornhuskers have one of the best defenses in college football. Last year they ranked No. 1 overall in points against.
But where they are great on defense, they struggle on offense. Last year the Cornhuskers ranked 75th overall in points scored and 101st in passing. They have to keep the Longhorn offense in check like they did last year if they want to win this game.
The offensive line needs to have a huge game for Texas to come out of this game with a win. But here this game will be decided by special teams, much like the Big 12 championship game. Marquise Goodwin returns a kickoff for Texas' lone touchdown, and a field goal in the third quarter gives Texas the lead.
Texas 10 - Nebraska 9
Texas Longhorns 6-0
Oct. 23 Texas Vs. Iowa State
The last time these two teams met: 2007 Texas 56 - Iowa State 3
After the two tough games against Oklahoma and at Nebraska, the Longhorns come back to Austin to take on Iowa State. This should be a game where the backups get some playing time and fans can head on home or to the local establishments early.
But this is not the same Iowa State team that Texas last met in 2007. No, Iowa State has a top-50 defense in points against, giving up 21.8 points per game on average. What is scary about this Iowa State game is their rushing attack, which rushed for 180 yards on average last year.
This game will see Iowa State leading after the third quarter. Yes, they will have a lead in Austin going into the last quarter.
But Texas will pull out the win at home.
Texas 23 - Iowa State 21
Texas Longhorns 7-0
Oct. 30 Texas Vs. Baylor
The last time these two teams met: 2009 Texas 47 - Baylor 13
Baylor has been getting better these past few years.
They have had a top-three draft pick in the NFL draft. They have a great quarterback coming back from a terrible knee injury in Robert Griffin III. When he played against Texas in 2008, he gave the Longhorns defense fits trying to contain him.
But this is Baylor.
Texas 56 - Baylor 24
Texas Longhorns 8-0
Nov. 6 Texas @ Kansas State
The last time these two teams met: 2007 Kansas State 41 - Texas 21
This game has trap written all over it. Weird things happen when the Longhorns face Kansas State in the Mack Brown era. The last time they traveled to play Kansas State, they were beaten only by three (45-42).
The Wildcats have a good rushing game and a good defense. However, they do not put up a lot of points, and they are terrible at throwing the ball. They were just a .500 team last year.
However, like I said this has trap game written all over it since the final three games are at home.
And weird things happen when Texas plays Kansas State.
Kansas State 27 - Texas 20
Texas Longhorns 8-1
Nov. 13 Texas Vs. Oklahoma State
The last time these two teams met: 2009 Texas 41 - Oklahoma State 14
The Cowboys of Oklahoma State come into Austin after Texas' first loss of the season. Oklahoma State does have a good running game with Kendall Hunter. That is, if Kendall is healthy coming into this game.
In fact, the Cowboys will be leading at halftime of this game.
But the defense figures out how to stop Oklahoma State's rushing attack, and Garrett Gilbert leads the Longhorns on a second half comeback.
Texas 31 - Oklahoma State 17
Texas Longhorns 9-1
Nov. 20 Texas Vs. Florida Atlantic
The last time these two teams met: 2008 Texas 52 - FAU 10
Just a tune-up game before the Longhorns play Texas A&M. This one will have the fans in Austin home or down on Sixth Street before the kickoff of the second half.
Texas 62 - FAU 17
Texas Longhorns 10-1
Nov. 25 Texas Vs. Texas A&M: The Lone Star Showdown
The last time these two met: 2009 Texas 49 - Texas A&M 39
This is going to be the best Texas game to watch all year. Better than the Oklahoma game, better than the last game in Nebraska, better than the first game against Rice.
This game will have it all. Both teams trading the lead multiple times. Both teams with chances to put the game away.
And it will be the game where Garrett Gilbert announces to Texas Longhorn fans (after having a subpar year) that he is going to be great and they are going to be treated to two more years of great football.
Both teams put up a combined 500-plus yards of offense, and both quarterbacks throw four touchdowns each.
But while leading the Aggies down the field for the winning score to put A&M into the Big 12 title game, Jerrod Johnson throws an interception that puts the game away.
Texas 38 - Texas A&M 28
Texas Longhorns finish the regular season 11-1
Thanks for clicking through the 2010 Texas Longhorns prediction. Was I too high on the win total, or do the Longhorns go 12-0? Let's have some fun in the comments section—who do they play in the final Big 12 title game?
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