Prior to last week’s game against Kansas, freshman quarterback Shane Buechele had yet to have a real freshman-type game where not much went right. Well, against the Jayhawks, the worst team in the Big 12, not much went right.
The true freshman threw for a season-low 165 yards and three interceptions with only one touchdown pass. One of the interceptions was returned for a touchdown in the second quarter. But the most crucial interception was an overtime pick that essentially ended the game and gave the Jayhawks the ball only needing a field goal to win.
This week, Buechele and the Longhorns draw a reeling TCU team on Friday afternoon at home, but Buechele needs to make better decisions and not turn the ball over for Texas to have a chance to win.
The Horned Frogs rank sixth in the Big 12 in pass defense. TCU can also get after the quarterback as it ranks second behind Texas in the Big 12 in sacks. The Longhorns need a win if they want to go bowling, and to do so Buechele will need to have a much better performance throwing the ball.
Junior running back D’Onta Foreman has thrust himself into the national spotlight with a breakout season that has garnered Heisman talk. He’s been the best player on this Texas team this season, but if there’s one indictment against him, it’s his ball security.
Foreman entered the Kansas game with five lost fumbles on the year. Against the Jayhawks, Foreman coughed the ball up twice more, including a crucial one late in the fourth quarter.
Foreman did finish the game with 51 carries, 250 yards and two touchdowns. It was Foreman’s 12th straight game of at least 100 yards rushing, breaking Earl Campbell’s school record. But the two fumbles were very costly. Foreman has been a workhorse in this Texas offense, but he needs to do a better job of protecting the ball.
The defensive line
The Texas defensive line has shown improvement throughout the season. Sophomore end Breckyn Hager and freshman end Malcolm Roach have both been very disruptive.
Facing a capable passer in TCU junior quarterback Kenny Hill, the Texas defensive line will have to come ready to play and get after the quarterback. The Longhorns lead the Big 12 in sacks this season, and TCU is tied for third in the Big 12 in sacks allowed while Hill ranks third in the Big 12 in total offense and fourth in passing.
Roach and Hager will need to lead the way on the edge in pressuring Hill. Hill also has 164 yards rushing in his last two games and if Texas wants to win on third down, it can’t let Hill get outside the pocket and make plays with his feet like he’s been able to do recently.