Texas finished the season with a 22-17 saving-face win over Kansas State after a six-game losing streak, but the focus had already been shifted to next season. Fortunately, the only to go is up after such a disappointing first year under coach Steve Sarkisian, who is already getting his team ready for the opening game of the 2022 season against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks on Sept. 3.
The Longhorns will need to be careful not to look too far ahead for the Week 2 matchup with Alabama, as the Warhawks will be aiming for a major season-opening upset in Austin.
The Warhawks were dead last in the Sun Belt conference in offensive yards per game last season (328.4) and were second-last in points scored per game (20.9). Quarterback Chandler Rogers led the team with 1,311 passing yards and nine touchdowns, though Rhett Rodriguez took over the reins late in the season. Senior receiver Boogie Knight, who led the Warhawks with 45 catches, 588 yards, and three scores in 2021 is set to return this season.
Make sure to stick with LonghornsCountry.com through our season preview series, where we will analyze every opponent on the Longhorns schedule in 2022. We've already looked at the Louisiana-Monroe matchup as a whole.
Now, let's take a look at the offensive players on Louisiana-Monroe's roster that the Longhorns should keep an eye on.
QB Chandler Rogers
Rogers didn't blow anyone away with his passing stats last season, but he was a respectably efficient signal-caller for the Warhawks. He threw for 1,311 yards, nine touchdowns, and just three picks on an efficient 62.6 percent. Rogers also led the Warhawks with 139 rushing attempts, but only scored one touchdown on the ground. His 367 rushing yards were good for third on the team
He did, however, out-pass highly-touted Tennessee Titans third-round pick Malik Willis in ULM's 31-28 upset over Liberty on Oct. 16, throwing for 225 yards and two scores compared to just 135 yards, one score, and three interceptions for Willis.
A week later, Rogers had his best game of the season in a 41-31 win over South Alabama. He went 25-35 passing for 369 yards and four touchdowns, which included an 81-yard score to receiver Will Derrick with a minute left in the third quarter to give the Warhawks the lead for good.
The Mansfield, Texas native split reps with Rhett Rodriguez at times, but with the QB1 job now looking like it'll be his to open up the season, the Longhorns should prepare for both his mobility and pocket prowess on Sept. 3.
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RB Andrew Henry
Henry looks to reclaim his role as lead-back this upcoming season. And though the Warhawks weren't exactly an elite rushing offense, Henry found some solid production throughout last season.
The Dallas native led the team with 485 yards and four touchdowns on 131 carries. Even with a smaller frame at 5-10, 185, Henry proved his ability as a playmaker.
His best game of the year came in a 29-16 win on Sept. 25 against Troy, as Henry had 19 carries and rushed for a season-high 108 yards and had a 40-yard touchdown. He also added two catches for 12 yards.
The Longhorns gave up the third-most rushing yards per game (201.6) in the Big 12 last season and would be wise to keep a close eye on Henry.
WR Boogie Knight
Though the Warhawks struggled to pass the ball at times, Knight was the definition of consistency in ULM's offense.
He was the team's runaway leader in catches (45) and receiving yards (588), while adding three touchdowns. Knight's best game of the year came in ULM's win over South Alabama, as he tallied six grabs for 75 yards and a score, his best total line of the season.
With loads of experience as a fifth-year senior headed into 2022-23, he could make the Longhorns secondary pay, a group that has been known to be inconsistent in recent seasons.
You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7
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