Texas may have had 128 passing yards against Rice, but don’t let that number fool you. Only four receivers had catches Saturday night: John Burt, Armanti Foreman, Johnathan Gray and Caleb Bluiett. Burt had one catch for 69 yards. Foreman had two catches for 43 yards. The issue is that all of the passing yards came from three catches. While some of this is on quarterback Jerrod Heard, the receivers need to do their part, especially against a Cal team that put up 321 passing yards against San Diego State on Saturday.
Once again, Texas’ running game was subpar. The Horns had 149 rushing yards against Rice; 96 of those yards came from Heard. The running backs - D’onta Foreman, Johnathan Gray and Chris Warren - only accounted for 45 rushing yards. They must do better. If the receivers are not stepping up and the running backs are not stepping up, Texas has nothing. The Longhorns beat Rice due to special teams and turnovers. Texas cannot count on those same circumstances against Cal.
The defense must do better on third downs. Rice converted 14 out of 21 third downs. The Longhorn defense could not stop the Owls’ offense. Part of this could be due to exhaustion. Rice had the ball for 44 minutes, and Texas’ offense was only on the field for 16 minutes. Regardless of being tired, the defense has to step up, as Cal is a better team than Rice. Cal is ranked No. 7 in points per game and No. 4 in pass yards per game. Its offense knows how to move down the field. The Bears put up 73 points in Week 1 and 35 points in Week 2. Luckily for Texas, Cal only converted two out of 10 third downs on Saturday.