Texas may or may not be back, folks, but one thing is for sure — football season is.
The Texas Longhorns will take on the Maryland Terrapins Saturday afternoon to usher in the Tom Herman era of Texas football.
To catch you up in preparation for the season opener, here's some of BON's preseason coverage to keep you satiated until kickoff:
- BON co-editor Cody Daniel provides a thorough break down of Maryland ahead of tomorrow's game.
- BON co-editor Wescott Eberts looks at how Maryland's offense can pose challenges for Texas.
- The Sunday Morning Optimist will leave you feeling good about Texas' chances this season.
- Thomas Kendziora of SB Nation's Testudo Times thinks the Terps will keep it close against the 'Horns tomorrow.
What to watch for
Can Todd Orlando's defense walk the walk?
Tom Herman has stressed the importance of a sturdy defense all summer long, and Todd Orlando's unit has met the challenge by winning every practice scrimmage. Though the Texas secondary looks much improved behind a depth-heavy group that includes junior DeShon Elliott and electric sophomore Brandon Jones, other areas of the defense are a little more shaky.
Specifically, the lack of defensive line depth has been a storyline this summer, as the 'Horns lost sophomores Jordan Elliott and Marcel Southall to transfer.
At linebacker, all eyes will be on Malik Jefferson. Over the summer, the junior became less of the voice and face of Texas football, and instead focused on getting better on the field.
Also at linebacker, players like sophomore Jeffrey "the Shark" McCulloch and standout junior college standout Gary Johnson could also quickly emerge as contributors and should get some significant playing time against the Terps.
Can Shane Buechele be a leader for the Texas offense?
All in all, Shane Buechele had an excellent freshman campaign for Texas last season. The sophomore, however, no longer has a Doak Walker award winner in the backfield, and thus Buechele may be called upon to be the primary source of offense for the first time this fall.
Buechele has a plethora of weapons at wide receiver, and a solid group of running backs to boot. The opportunity is there for Buechele to become the next great Texas quarterback, he just has to grab it by the horns and become a confident, vocal leader on offense.
The overall look of a Tom Herman-led Texas team
From his first day until his firing, Charlie Strong's tenure had some familiar unpleasant patterns. For example, Texas never really could get the hang of special teams under Strong, and the 'Horns focus on the field wasn't always up to standard.
Texas fans will certainly not get a full idea of what the future of Texas football looks like from a sample size of one game tomorrow, but 'Horns fans may get at least glimpse. Can Texas avoid the silly penalties, miscues, and mental lapses that have plagued the team for the last several years?
Texas always seemed to be on the wrong end of luck under Strong, and its Tom Herman's job to fix that. Texas will need to accentuate its strength, effectively mask its weaknesses, simply play with confidence rather than fear.
How to watch, listen, and stream
Where: Darrell K. Royal Stadium (Austin, Texas)
Kickoff time: 11:05 a.m. CT
Radio: Texassports.com, 104.9 The Horn
Online Streaming: Fox Sports Go
Live Stats: Side Arm Stats
Weather: A sunny 86 degrees
Odds: Texas (-18.5)
Gameday timeline for Saturday's game against Maryland. #ThisIsTexas #HookEm pic.twitter.com/0lHXZUEMfj— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) August 31, 2017
For Texas fans attending the game, there is a new clear bag policy:
- Bags that are clear plastic and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12". This could include:
- Small totes, small backpacks, fanny packs
- One-gallon, clear, resealable plastic storage bags
- Small clutch bags or purses do not have to be clear but cannot exceed 4.5" x 6.5".
- Each person is allowed one large clear bag and one small clutch.
Parking lots operated by the Parking and Transportation Services are no longer accepting cash payments.