Texas Win Total Prediction
In his second season with the Texas Longhorns, Tom Herman guided the team to a 10-4 record. Is Herman set to lead Texas to a 10-win regular season in 2019?
Herman joined Texas in 2017 and the Longhorns went 7-6, but they showed another level in 2018, going 10-4 with a win in the Sugar Bowl while finishing second in the Big 12 with a 7-2 record. According to oddsmakers, Texas is listed with an over/under of 9.5 wins during the regular season in 2019. The over is listed at +105, while the under is listed at -125.
Texas put up 10 wins last year despite being middle of the road on both sides of the ball. On offense, Texas averaged 31.1 points and 411.6 yards per contest. This year, the Longhorns have five starters back on offense. Leading the way is Sam Ehlinger, the junior QB who threw for 3,292 yards and 25 touchdowns as a sophomore with just five interceptions. Ehlinger also rushed for 482 yards and 16 touchdowns. Ehlinger has a pair of solid returning receivers, led by Collin Johnson, who caught 68 passes for 985 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018. In the backfield, leading rusher Tre Watson is gone, but Keaontay Ingram wasn’t far off, rushing for 708 yards. One concern for Texas this year is the O-Line, which has just two starters back. How the new line pieces together will be the key.
Texas gave up 25.9 points and 393.6 yards per game on defense last year and the team has only three starters back this year. The entire defensive line is gone, as well as most of the linebackers. Gary Johnson had 90 tackles and 6.5 sacks from the LB position last year. He is gone. Charles Omenihu led the team with 9.5 sacks in 2018. He is gone. In the secondary, Texas returns both safeties. Caden Sterns led the team with four interceptions and also had 62 tackles. He is back alongside Brandon Jones, who had two interceptions and 70 tackles in 2018.
Texas definitely doesn’t have an easy schedule. While opening with Louisiana Tech at home, the Longhorns then host LSU before facing Rice at NRG Stadium in Houston. Big 12 road games include West Virginia, TCU, Iowa State and Baylor. Home games will be with Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State and Texas Tech. Then you add in the annual rivalry game with Oklahoma on Oct. 12.
Texas is a team that definitely seems to be trending upward in terms of progress under Herman. While I think the Longhorns will have a say in the title picture this year, I am not sure they can win 10 of the 12 games on this schedule. LSU is going to be a very challenging game in Week 2 and the opening of Big 12 play with Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Oklahoma will be very challenging. Texas hasn’t been invincible to a bad loss either, so you can’t guarantee any game as a lock right now. I am going to take the under for the Longhorns this year, as I don’t think their defense will be 10-win worthy.
College Football Prediction: Texas Under 9.5 Wins -125