As a sophomore, quarterback Sam Ehlinger led the Texas Longhorns to the program’s first 10-win season since 2009-10, earning Big 12 Honorable Mention honors behind Kyler Murray (first team) and Will Grier (second team) in the process.
Ehlinger finished with a 146.83 quarterback rating after completing 275-of-425 pass attempts (64.7%) and throwing for 3,292 yards and 25 touchdowns. After experiencing accuracy issues as a freshman, the Austin Westlake product improved his completion percentage by 7.2 points and his yards per attempt from 7.0 to 7.7.
Along with his impressive numbers through the air, Ehlinger ran for 482 yards (2.9 YPC) and had 16 touchdowns on the ground, setting a school record.
Three rushing touchdowns against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl helped Ehlinger set that single-season rushing touchdown record (17) for a quarterback after breaking Vince Young’s mark (15).
His ability as a power run threat added another dimension to offensive coordinator Tim Beck’s offense and was effective near the goal line all season long — 16 of 33 red-zone touchdowns for the Horns were a result of Ehlinger runs.
Through the air, Ehlinger also showed marked improvement, as his 3,292 passing yards rank fifth in school history.
After throwing two interceptions in the season opener at Maryland, Ehlinger went more than two months and 10 consecutive games without throwing an interception. In the process, he shattered Geno Smith’s Big 12 record (273) for most consecutive passes thrown without throwing an interception. Ehlinger’s streak ended at 308 straight passes in the first half against Kansas. His 5:1 touchdown-interception ratio was good for second best in the Big 12 behind Kyler Murray at 6:1. Overall, Ehlinger’s interception rate dropped from 2.5 as a freshman to 1.2.
Per Bovada Sportsbook, Ehlinger currently holds the ninth-best odds at +1800 to win the 2019 Heisman Trophy following his breakout sophomore season.