As a byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficulties it brought to the college football world, the only nonconference contest for No. 14 Texas is its opener against UTEP. This isn’t the flashy showdown like the Longhorns’ game vs. LSU would have been, but it’s college football, and we should just be grateful for that right now.
Texas vs UTEP Live Stream
Mismatched games like these don’t usually tell us a lot about the favorite, but it will be interesting to see how Texas looks given the disrupted offseason. The Longhorns, after all, have hopes of getting back to the Big 12 Championship Game — and beyond — so stumbling out of the gate in any way against the Miners would be more revealing than anything.
That’s not expected to happen, though. Texas is a massive favorite and quarterback Sam Ehlinger is back to claim his spot as not just one of the best players in the Big 12, but all of college football. There are also some newer names looking to make an instant impact as well. We’ll get to those later. What should you expect from Saturday night’s game in Austin? We break down everything below, including our picks against the spread.
Texas vs UTEP Live Streaming
Texas: Everyone knows about Ehlinger at this juncture, but who’s around him is every bit as important. Making his debut in the wide receiver corps is Michigan transfer Tarik Black. He’s a player to watch at the “X” position, getting the start over Brennan Eagles. Black, a former blue-chip recruit, was marred by injuries during his time with the Wolverines, though he finally put together a halfway decent season in 2019 with 25 catches for 323 yards, though only one touchdown. At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, Black fits the mold of the big-bodied wideouts that Texas loves in this offense. He can be the true outside threat to balance the Longhorns ground attack. There’s been a lot of buzz around Black since he joined the Horns, so now it’s time to see whether that hype is realized against a manageable opponent.
Back when everything was still normal in college football, Texas coach Tom Herman did some house cleaning.
Tossed out were the offensive and defensive coordinators in favor of new assistants with past connections to Herman and the Big 12. By spring, four more new assistants were on staff.
Such a major rebuild after a disappointing 8-5 finish in 2019 would typically raise the temperature on a fourth-year coach who is 25-15 with the Longhorns and paid $6.2 million in expectation that No. 14 Texas will soon return to a Big 12 championship not won in more than a decade.
But the drastic shakeup largely got lost in the spring and summer of a pandemic. And while football was largely on hold for six months, the season is now rapidly approaching, pushing offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich, defensive coordinator Chris Ash and the others through a crash course of new plays and play calling.