NCAAF Game Preview - Louisiana Tech at Texas
Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:00 PM EDT

GATec
14
Clem
52
F
Duke
3
Ala
42
F
UGA
30
Vand
6
F
Hou
31
Okla
49
F
FlAtl
21
OHSt
45
F
GaSo
3
LSU
55
F
MidTN
21
Mich
40
F
ND
35
Lou
17
F
LaTec
14
Tex
45
F
Oreg
21
Aub
27
F
TxSt
7
TxAM
41
F
EWa
14
Wash
47
F
Utah
30
BYU
12
F
Idaho
7
PSU
79
F
FlaAM
0
UCF
62
F
Tuls
7
MSU
28
F
Wisc
49
SoFL
0
F
MiaOH
14
Iowa
38
F
NoIa
26
IASt
29
F(2OT)
Syr
24
Lib
0
F
NMSt
7
WaSt
58
F
SoAl
21
Neb
35
F
NW
7
Stan
17
F
Alb
21
C Mi
38
F
UCLA
14
Cin
24
F
RMor
10
Buff
38
F
Wagn
21
UConn
24
F
Mor
3
BGSU
46
F
C Ark
35
W Ky
28
F
GWebb
28
Char
49
F
AlaSt
19
UAB
24
F
FLInt
14
Tul
42
F
SDSU
21
Minn
28
F
NoCol
18
SJSU
35
F
Kent
7
AzSt
30
F
Rice
7
Army
14
F
UMass
21
Rut
48
F
UtSt
35
Wake
38
F
Purd
31
Nev
34
F
ColSt
31
Colo
52
F
OkSt
52
OreSt
36
F
Miss
10
Mem
15
F
MisSt
38
ULLaf
28
F
InSt
17
Kans
24
F
Akr
3
Ill
42
F
ECU
6
NCSt
34
F
How
0
MD
79
F
Toled
24
KY
38
F
Ind
34
Ball
24
F
Boise
36
FlaSt
31
F
JMU
13
WVU
20
F
URI
20
Ohio
41
F
Buck
12
Temp
56
F
HolyC
7
Navy
45
F
Colg
7
AF
48
F
GASt
38
Tenn
30
F
SCar
20
UNC
24
F
E Mi
30
CoCar
23
F
ETenn
7
App
42
F
MonSt
10
TxTch
45
F
PorSt
13
Ark
20
F
VaTec
28
BC
35
F
SamHu
31
NM
39
F
(N/A)
7
UTSA
35
F
Camp
14
Troy
43
F
UCDav
13
Cal
27
F
VMI
17
Marsh
56
F
IllSt
10
NIU
24
F
Monm
13
WestMI
48
F
AlcSt
10
SMiss
38
F
Nich
14
K St
49
F
SFA
17
Bayl
56
F
SMU
37
ArkSt
30
F
Norf
21
OD
24
F
Mizzu
31
Wyo
37
F
Abil
31
NorTx
51
F
UVA
30
Pitt
14
F
Gram
9
ULMon
31
F
HBU
34
UTEP
36
F
ArkPB
7
TCU
39
F
Web
0
SDSU
6
F
SoUt
23
UNLV
56
F
Fres
23
USC
31
F
Louisiana Tech-Texas Preview
Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:15 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Texas is back? The Longhorns should try winning a season-opener first.

Tom Herman's first two years at No. 10 Texas got off to rough starts as the Longhorns lost twice to Maryland. So, no more first-game Power Five opponents the next few years.

Texas opens the 2019 season against Louisiana Tech of Conference USA on Saturday night. Despite being a heavy underdog, the Bulldogs might be a much tougher matchup than they're given credit for with senior starter J'Mar Smith at quarterback and playmakers on both sides of the ball.

"Starting 1-0 would be nice," Herman said this week. "That's always the goal."

That goal got flattened the last two years by Maryland. Texas recovered well enough last year to finish second in the Big 12 and go 10-4 with a Sugar Bowl win over Georgia.

"I feel like the first game is nerve-wracking, especially for the younger guys," Texas senior wide receiver Collin Johnson said. "We have to play relaxed with a chip on our shoulder."

Herman clearly likes this schedule setup better, particularly with No. 6 LSU coming to Austin a week later. Herman noted that Texas and Southern California were the only programs in the country in 2017 and 2018 that played 11 Power Five opponents.

There's no point scheduling that way if the rest of the country isn't doing the same, Herman said.

"Everybody wants to talk about expanding playoffs and this, that and the other, some form of unified scheduling model across all conferences is something, I think, we need to tackle much sooner than worrying about the playoffs," Herman said. "And you've got teams in other conferences only playing eight conference games and four non-Power 5 schools. So you're comparing apples to oranges when you talk about schedule and toll on these kids' bodies."

The 10-team Big 12 requires its schools to play a round-robin schedule and at least one Power Five non-conference opponent on future schedules.

"It's something I expressed displeasure in as well that we're hurting ourselves if we're mandating all of these schedule issues," Herman said. "You certainly want to do it week two rather than week one."

Maybe that's good for Louisiana Tech: Catch Texas early.

"I think it's good for college football when Texas is winning," Bulldogs coach Skip Holtz said. "I know what type of challenge we have in front of us."

TEXAS BACKFIELD

The Longhorns are hurting for running backs after a rash of training camp injuries left only two scholarship backs available. Starter Keaontay Ingram has fought through a knee bruise and has been held out of contact for weeks. Behind him is freshman Jordan Whittington. If either one gets hurt before Texas plays LSU, it could be big trouble for the offense.

SIZE ADVANTAGE

At 6-6, 220 pounds, Johnson is a monster of a matchup for most cornerbacks. He'll likely face the Bulldogs' 5-9 Amik Robertson, who had four interceptions as a freshman. Texas also starts John Burt, who is 6-3.

"Their receivers are huge ," Holtz said. They can reduce it down to one of their 6-6 wide receivers in a jump ball with a 5-9 corner."

BIG PLAY BULLDOGS

Texas' rebuilt secondary will have its hands full. Smith passed for more than 3,000 yards last season and his top target is Texas native wide receiver Adrian Hardy, who had 75 catches for 1,145 yards and six touchdowns last season. Herman called Hardy "a guy that can play anywhere in the country."

PUNT RETURNS

Texas has two speedsters fielding punts. Senior Devin Duvernay and freshman Jake Smith both have the wheels to quickly get to the end zone if they can find a crack in coverage. Texas had one punt return for a touchdown last season, and the Bulldogs didn't surrender any.

MISTAKE-FREE FOOTBALL

Turnovers can swing a game toward an underdog, but the Bulldogs might not get many chances. Sam Ehlinger threw just five interceptions last season and went a Big 12 record 308 consecutive passes without getting picked off.

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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