It has been a difficult decade for Texas Longhorns fans. Every year I believe the team will be better than they turn out to be. Last year, I predicted the Horns would finish 9-3. They ended up 8-4. I tend to be optimistic.
That is the nature of much of what I will write here about the Longhorns. This is a FAN space more than a DATA space for UT. I admit it. I bleed burnt orange and my dad's Silver Spurs are on the bookshelf behind me. I am the middle generation of what is now three Longhorns graduates. I suspect my daughter will someday have a child in Austin too. That is just how it is in this household. What is different here is that we are real about who we are. Ok that's the disclaimer. Now it's time for this year's bold prediction.
First, a look at the depth chart (updated here) and the talent the Longhorns have should convince anyone that the 2023 Texas Longhorns should be VERY good. I think the question is just how good the Longhorns can be. Here is my official prediction of the 2023 Texas Longhorns season.
On offense, the Longhorns should be a juggernaut IF Quinn Ewers is able to take a step forward. So much of the Longhorns season depends on Ewers. You tell me what you think of Ewers, and I can probably predict what you think the Texas record will be this season.
Last year the Longhorns averaged 34.5 points per game. My prediction below says the 2023 Horns will average 35.7 points per game. Why would the Horns score more after losing their top two RB? Ask yourself will Quinn Ewers be better than
K.J. Jefferson ____
Stetson Bennett ____
Frank Harris ____
Max Duggan ____
Hudson Card ____
J.J. McCarthy ____
Dillon Gabriel ____
Will Levis ____
Tanner Mordecai ____
Sean Clifford ____
Casey Thompson ____
In 2022, Quinn Ewers had a 132.6 Quarterback Rating. EVERY one of the QBs listed had a QBR of 150-165. Folks, he is going to be better. A lot better.
BetOnline.ag has Ewers at 3000.5 yards passing as over under and 25.5 TD passes as over under.
If I told you Ewers had these stats at the end of the 2023 season, could you believe it?
That is the AVERAGE of the 10 QBs listed not named Card above. Do you think he can meet those numbers?
The improvement on each of these metrics is significant but I truly believe are attainable.
The offense is so deep all over.
Quarterback- Beyond Ewers, the Longhorns have arguably one of the best sets of backups in college football.
Wide Receivers- The Longhorns have a top 2-3 WR room.
Running Back- The Horns have unproven but highly rated talent.
Tight End- Texas has probably the second-best TE in the country
Offensive Line- The Longhorns have at least 8 linemen they would play. Banks might be the best player on the whole team.
Do I think with that supporting cast Ewers can make that step forward? YES, I do. Therefore, I think the offense will be as good or better than last year. I included a full table of rushing and receiving stats below. In general, I think the rushing will drop about 20% (yards) and the receiving will increase about 26% for a net increase of about six percent.
Defensively, the Longhorns are also similarly VERY deep with young talent pushing upperclassmen for playing time. Muhammed, Hill, and even Lefau may force themselves on the two deep or even start as the season progresses. Competition appears to have pushed many players to be better. It is not crazy to think the Jaylen Ford led defense is better than last year too.
- if the Horns were 8-4 last year
- if both the offense and defense should be better
- if top recruits push their way into critical roles
How good can the Texas Longhorns be in 2023? Let's go through the schedule game by game.
I think the Horns could lose at Baylor, Kansas St. at home, or at TCU but I do not expect them to lose more than once in the Big 12. I have them missing out on the CFP and having a great battle with LSU in the Cotton Bowl. Overall, I think at the end of the year the Texas record will be 11-3.
Part of my optimism in the Longhorns is that I THINK most of the rest of the Big 12 is not as good as they were last year too.
If I were to actually plot the distribution of likely outcomes this year it probably looks like this.
I think 10-2 is the most probable. Going 9-3 is probably the next most likely outcome. An epic 11-1 season is more likely than 8-4 to me.
So, leave a comment on your bold predictions for your team or for the Longhorns in the comments below,
Overall, NCAA Predictions still to come later this week.
Hook 'Em Horns!
(Yes this is a mainly Astros site but this season I do intend to cover the ups and downs (no none of those!) of the Longhorns in 2023. Please join me too on that journey here.)
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