Matchups determine results of games. That bodes well for the Longhorns heading into the season. Several position groups for the team are built to overpower their opposition. It all begins at receiver.
Texas has five indefensible wide receivers. Xavier Worthy, Ja’Tavion Sanders and Jordan Whittington return as the most proven, while AD Mitchell and Isaiah Neyor bring some of the most unrealized upside.
Other position groups can hold their own and morph into the mechanism necessary to negate their opponents. The Texas secondary fits that description with several veteran playmakers and elite up-and-comers.
Let’s look at how the team matches up against its 2023 opponents.
Texas offense vs. Rice defense: Texas should overpower Rice. It should out-physical, outrun and out-athlete the Owls across the board. Holding Texas under 50 points would be impressive.
Texas defense vs. Rice offense: Rice quarterback JT Daniels might get his team into the end zone once or twice but a shutout is nearly as likely.
Texas offense vs. Alabama defense: This matchup should determine the game. The Crimson Tide should have a dominant front six while the Longhorns have the ability to score on anybody. Texas signal caller Quinn Ewers performed well in last season’s matchup. Receivers Jordan Whittington and Xavier Worthy also got loose on the Alabama defense. Whoever wins this matchup wins the game.
Texas defense vs. Alabama offense: I’m not sure Alabama can move the ball on Texas’ defense this season. Longhorns defenders are far more proven than Tide offensive players, and Alabama has yet to figure out who is its starting quarterback. If Texas can score, it can run away with this game even on the road.
Texas offense vs. Wyoming defense: Wyoming was a solid defense last season finishing No. 57 in the nation in total defense. The Cowboys put up a respectable yards allowed per play with 5.35. Unfortunately for them, they’ll face an overpowering set of receivers that could be impossible to defend as a whole.
Texas defense vs. Wyoming offense: Texas should be able to contain Wyoming. As with the offense, the Longhorns defense should have the better players.
Texas offense vs. Baylor defense: The Longhorns had little trouble scoring against Baylor last season. While the featured running backs will be different, Texas should be able to move the ball on the ground. The team will want to avoid getting in third and long against Baylor.
Texas defense vs. Baylor offense: The Longhorns defense contained the Bears last season. Texas likely isn’t getting worse on the defensive side. Baylor will need its crowd to rattle Texas offensively and hope it has just enough on offense.
Texas offense vs. Kansas defense: Texas ran for over 400 yards last year in Lawrence, Kansas. Jonathon Brooks had 108 of those yards on 11 carries. ‘Horns head coach Steve Sarkisian might be able to tell Quinn Ewers to take the day off that week.
Texas defense vs. Kansas offense: Last season, Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels was great against nearly everyone but Texas and Kansas State. Texas rolled past the Jayhawks last year, 55-14. Unless the Longhorns quit early like they did in 2021, I’m not sure what makes this matchup any different.
Texas offense vs. Oklahoma defense: Contrary to what my commentary might suggest, I believe Oklahoma’s defense will be vastly improved in 2023. Unfortunately, there are still glaring defensive holes at cornerback and receiver is Texas’s strength. I’m also not sure Billy Bowman can matchup with any of the Longhorns five best receivers. Texas should score 48-or-more points again this year.
Texas defense vs Oklahoma offense: If Oklahoma receivers Jalil Farooq and Austin Stogner are healthy, this could be a shootout. The Sooners moved the ball without passing much in the game last season. Oklahoma should be able to take advantage of defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski’s passivity.
Texas offense vs. Houston defense: Houston was the No. 105 defense in college football last season and I’m not sure it will improve this year. There might not be a single position I would feel good about in this game defensively if I’m Houston.
Texas defense vs. Houston offense: Houston should be able to score. The offensive line is the question mark for the Cougars. Texas faithful should be familiar with new Houston signal caller Donovan Smith who led Texas Tech’s upset victory over the Longhorns. Albeit, Houston probably cannot score enough to keep up with Texas.
Texas offense vs. BYU defense: BYU has some of the ingredients necessary to muddy this game. I think the Cougars might disrupt though I expect the Longhorns to win the game.
Texas defense vs. BYU offense: Things have gone poorly for the Texas defense in recent meetings with BYU. Even so, Kwiatkowski’s risk-averse defensive philosophy might be to the Longhorns advantage in this game.
Texas offense vs. Kansas State defense: The Texas offense has feasted on the K-State defense for much of its six-game winning streak over the Wildcats. I would anticipate that to continue. Kansas State loses more than half its starters including the elite edge Felix Anudike-Uzomah. Xavier Worthy should go off in this game again.
Texas defense vs. Kansas State offense: I like Kansas State’s offense in this matchup. Wildcats quarterback Will Howard should make this game interesting. I just like the Texas offense over K-State’s defense to a greater degree.
Texas offense vs. TCU defense: Texas should be able to score, but TCU has a better-than-usual secondary led by cornerback Josh Newton. It could be enough to neutralize Texas and pull an upset.
TCU offense vs. Texas defense: TCU got shut down by Texas last year. It could happen again this year, but the home-field advantage could swing momentum and make for an unpredictable game. The Horned Frogs can score in this one.
Iowa State Cyclones
Texas offense vs. Iowa State defense: The matchup is so lopsided it doesn’t make sense that the Cyclones continue to make this a battle every year. The Longhorns should have difficulty moving the football against the web created by Iowa State defensive coordinator Jon Heacock despite having better athletes.
Texas defense vs. Iowa State offense: Texas had difficulty keeping up with Iowa State’s route combinations last season. That said, the Texas defense should keep the Cyclones from scoring much. The more dominant defense should win this game.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas offense vs. Texas Tech defense: Texas has a huge advantage here and perhaps more of an advantage than it has over Oklahoma’s defense. Longhorns receivers should feast especially following the departure of Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson. It would not surprise if a healthy Texas team scores more than 50 points in its Big 12 finale on Black Friday.
Texas defense vs. Texas Tech offense: The Tech offense might be the toughest that the Longhorns face in 2023. The Raiders return their top pass catcher from last season on one of the better offenses in the conference last year. Both teams could eclipse 40 points in this matchup.