The 2019 Texas schedule was one of the more fortuitous set-ups the Longhorns have had in some time. They only had to leave the state of Texas twice, including the bowl game, and from the beginning were encountering a down Big 12 that lacked many high level passing and receiving combinations. The best receivers, Tylan Wallace and Ceedee Lamb, lacked high level passers and the best passers, Sam Ehlinger and Brock Purdy, lacked either a topline outside receiver or the opportunity to play against Texas.
When UTEP visits Austin on September 19th, they’ll likely arrive 0-2 after games versus Texas Tech and at Nevada. What does that mean? The Miners should walk into Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium 2-24 in 26 games under Dana Dimel.
The UTEP game was pretty darn encouraging for Texas, all things considered. The biggest concerns from watching live were the play of Chris Warren (better than it looked on review) and the breakdown on a few UTEP run plays (also not as bad on review).
Charlie Strong has 8.5 by 11 inch pieces of paper pasted everywhere around the Moncrief complex that say things like “Believe,” “Stay Humble,” “Don’t Believe the Hype” and “We Have Done Nothing Yet” in order to try and keep his team grounded even after a big win against Notre Dame and a No. 11 ranking. While Texas took a few minutes to really get the offense going after multiple pre-game injuries across the board, they eventually reached the end zone five times on its way to a convincing 41-7 victory over the UTEP Miners.
Blowout wins in non-conference play are back! Texas played with a major handicap by ultimately going without four starting offensive lineman as well as the de-facto "sixth OL" Caleb Bluiett. It's hard to overstate how much of an impact it has on this offense when they can't use the TE for pass-protection or to account for a LB in the run game.
Head coach Sean Kugler's UTEP Miners had a promising start to the 2016 season, whipping New Mexico State 38-22 in their season opener on the strength of Aaron Jones' 249 yard rushing performance (he added another 43 yards receiving). Fresno State transfer QB Zack Greenlee overcame a slow start to go 15 of 27 for 229 yards and throw 3 touchdowns with no interceptions. UTEP led 24-3 at half and then blunted a brief second half rally to coast to a more dominating win than the final score suggests.
At Big 12 Media Days, Oklahoma’s head coach Bob Stoops noted that the ideal non-conference slate would include (paraphrasing) a premier match-up against another big time program, a challenging game against a team capable of beating you, and then a game that you should be able to chalk up as a win. Over the last few years Texas’ hasn’t intentionally scheduled to arrive at that result but that’s been more or less what has happened.