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Big 12 Preview Series: Is Texas the Big 12 Team to Beat in 2020?



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WVSN’s Big 12 Preview Series will give a snapshot of all nine of WVU football’s Big 12 opponents throughout this week. The schedule for this week is:

Monday: Baylor and Iowa State
Tuesday: Kansas and Kansas State
Wednesday: Oklahoma and Oklahoma State
Thursday: TCU and  Texas
Friday: Texas Tech

Like Oklahoma State, Texas seems like a popular pick to finally wrestle the Big 12 title away from Oklahoma in 2020.

The Longhorns return arguably the best quarterback in the Big 12 this season in senior Sam Ehlinger. After being passed over in favor of Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy for all-conference honors in 2019, Ehlinger was selected to the All-Big 12 preseason team ahead of this season.

To ensure that Ehlinger, who threw for over 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns last season, has a successful final season, Longhorns coach Tom Herman brought in a new offensive coordinator in Mike Yurcich. Yurcich was most recently the quarterback coach at Ohio State in 2019 and prior to that the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State.

“It’s a match made in heaven,” Herman said of Ehlinger and Yurcich. “Mike’s got a tremendous track record with elite quarterback play, elite offenses everywhere that he’s been and I think Mike would be the first to tell you that having an opportunity to coach Sam Ehlinger was one of the big draws to taking this job. It’s been a really seamless transition for Sam. Sam’s going to be good regardless of who’s coaching him and it was my job as head coach to bring in somebody that can really elevate his game.”

It was so far, so good for the pairing in the Longhorn’s first game of the season. Ehlinger threw for 426 yards and five touchdowns in a 59-3 rout of UTEP over the weekend.

The one concern for Ehlinger this season would be that Texas loses both of his top receivers from 2019, Devin Duvernay, who made over 100 receptions and topped 1,300 yards. and Collin Johnson. They do return Brennan Eagles, who made 32 receptions for 522 yards, and leading rusher Keaontay Ingram as well as all-conference tackle Samuel Cosmi.

Defensively, Texas returns defensive backs Caden Sterns and D’Shawn Jamison as well as Joseph Ossai, one of the top linebackers in the Big 12.

Five Key Departures:

WR Devin Duvernay

  • 1st Team All-Big 12 in 2019
  • Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year finalist in 2019
  • 106 rec., 1,386 yards, 9 TD

S Brandon Jones

  • 2nd Team All-Big 12 in 2019
  • 86 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 2 INT, 4 PBU

C Zach Shakelford

  • 1st Team All-Big 12 in 2019
  • 40 career starts

DL Malcolm Roach

  • Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2019
  • 40 tackles, 9 TFL, 3 sacks

WR Collin Johnson

  • 38 rec., 559 yards, 3 TD

Top Five Returners:

QB Sam Ehlinger

  • Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2019
  • Preseason All-Big 12 in 2020
  • 3,663 passing yards, 65,2% completion 32 TD, 10 INT
  • 663 rushing yards, 7 TD

OT Samuel Cosmi

  • 2nd Team All-Big 12 in 2019
  • Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year finalist in 2019
  • Preseason All-Big 12 in 2020
  • 26 career starts

LB Joseph Ossai

  • Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2019
  • Preseason All-Big 12 in 2020
  • 90 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 2 INT

CB D’Shawn Jamison

  • Preseason All-Big 12 in 2020
  • 35 tackles, 3 INT, 3 PBU

S Caden Sterns

  • Preseason All-Big 12 in 2020
  • 58 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 PBU


  • Sept. 12 vs UTEP
    • won 59-3
  • Sept. 26 at Texas Tech
  • Oct. 3 vs TCU
  • Oct. 10 vs Oklahoma
  • Oct. 24 vs Baylor
  • Oct. 31 at Oklahoma State
  • Nov. 7 vs West Virginia
  • Nov. 21 at Kansas
  • Nov. 27 vs Iowa State
  • Dec. 5 at Kansas State

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