A revamped offense
If the Longhorns hope to find success in 2016, it all starts with the offense. New offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert has his work cut out for him, but has plenty of pieces to work with. The real challenge will be how quickly Gilbert can implement his up-tempo, spread offense. The offense brings back an experienced offensive line and two dynamic running backs in junior D’Onta Foreman and sophomore Chris Warren. And receivers like sophomore John Burt and freshman Collin Johnson give Gilbert lots of options on the outside.
Hello, Shane Buechele
For the seventh year in a row, the Longhorns are still searching for a quarterback. Seemingly an eternity has passed since Colt McCoy last donned the burnt orange on Saturdays in Austin. Texas still has not found an answer under center, and this year the quarterback battle has essentially turned into a three-man race. Tyrone Swoopes is back for his senior season, and sophomore Jerrod Heard is still recovering from a shoulder injury. But freshman Shane Buechele is drawing the most hype from Texas faithful. Strong has given Buechele high praise this offseason. But it’s still unclear if he’ll start against Notre Dame. Still, it’s almost certain we will see Buechele at some point this season.
What about a kicker?
One of the most overlooked topics this offseason has been who will be kicking for the Longhorns this season. Many have been quick to say goodbye to Nick Rose after he struggled last season, but none of the kickers on Texas’ roster are proven. There may be some hope, however, as LSU’s starting placekicker Trent Domingue announced on Sunday he is transferring to Texas.
It's now or never for Charlie Strong
The pressure is mounting for head Charlie Strong after back-to-back losing seasons. It’s hard to say how many games Strong will need to win to keep his job. Is it seven, eight or nine? Does he just have to make a bowl game? Does he have to win a bowl game? Regardless, another losing season and all bets might be off. Whatever happens this season, it will be the defining moment of the Charlie Strong era at Texas.