Does Quinn Ewers, Texas Longhorns have a top-15 team?

Times may be a-changing for the Texas Longhorns, according to Joel Klatt.

At first glance, Texas’ 4-2 record this season isn’t something to gloat about. When one puts the magnifying glass closer, however, the Longhorns have been a highly reputable team in the 2022 college football season.

Texas began the season with a 52-10 victory over Louisiana-Monroe and lost in the closing moments to Alabama the following week, 20-19. Quarterback Quinn Ewers left the loss to Alabama in the first quarter with a shoulder injury. Ewers then missed the team’s ensuing three games (a 41-20 victory over UTSA, a 37-34 overtime loss to Texas Tech and a 38-20 victory over West Virginia). Ewers returned for the Red River Showdown, a dismantling of the Oklahoma Sooners.

Texas trounced Oklahoma 49-0, in what was the largest margin of victory in the rivalry’s history, and on the latest edition of “The Joel Klatt Show,” Klatt said the now-No. 22 ranked Longhorns’ victory was a glimpse of what could be to come for the program under head coach Steve Sarkisian.

“To this point in Steve Sarkisian’s career at Texas, at least it’s been about potential and disappointment, and now for the first time, I think what we saw on Saturday in Red River was the realization of the potential,” Klatt said. “We saw what could be with Texas bubble up to the top. We saw them put it all together not for a quarter, not for a drive, not for a half, not for three quarters, but for four quarters in a big moment. That was a big moment for them.”

Texas destroys Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown: Longhorns are the best in the Big 12

Joel Klatt explains why the Longhorns showed their true potential against the Sooners and breaks down why Texas is among the top eight teams in the country.

Ewers finished the Longhorns’ Week 6 victory with 289 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, one interception and a 182.2 quarterback rating, completing 67.7% of his passes.

Texas also has one of the most productive running backs in the country in Bijan Robinson. He has totaled 645 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns on 5.9 yards per carry. Robinson also has 203 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown.

The Longhorns are averaging 38.8 points (fourth in the Big 12), 445.3 yards (fifth), 178 rushing yards (seventh) and 267.3 passing yards (fifth) per game. They’re also averaging 6.94 yards per play (third) and have four giveaways (tied for third).

Defensively, the Longhorns are surrendering 17.8 points (third in the Big 12), 338.2 yards (fourth), 126.2 rushing yards (sixth) and 212 passing yards (second) per game. They’re also giving up 4.53 yards per play (first) and have four takeaways (ninth).

Klatt sees Texas as a top-15 team due to their high-level defense and a healthy Ewers under center.

“Tell me that Texas shouldn’t be in the top 15 right now,” Klatt said. “If you’re a top-15 team, do you want to see Texas right now? Absolutely not. Not with their defense playing better, and not with Quinn Ewers at quarterback. Just to show you how well they are playing with him at quarterback, check this out: [Ewers] has been the quarterback for Texas this year in 20 offensive series, so 20 drives. In those 20 drives that Ewers has been the quarterback, Texas is averaging 4.5 points per drive.

“Now you might be wondering, is that good, Joel? Let me give you this for context. CJ Stroud — who right now is literally in the driver’s seat of one of his Lambos that he’s getting in an NIL deal for the Heisman Trophy race in the best offense in the country at Ohio State — in his drives for Ohio State, they’re averaging 4.49 points per drive.”

Kansas State (5-1 overall, 3-0 in conference play) is in first place in the Big 12. Texas (2-1 in conference play) is fifth. Four of the Longhorns’ six remaining games are against currently ranked Big 12 opponents (Oklahoma State, Kansas State, TCU and Kansas).

“Currently, Texas is the best team in the Big 12, and Quinn Ewers makes them that way,” Klatt concluded.

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