Dec 3, 2011; Waco, TX, USA; A Texas Longhorns helmet on the field before the game against the Baylor Bears at Floyd Casey Stadium. The Bears defeated the Longhorns 48-24. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Knowing the Big 12: Texas Longhorns

The fifth Big 12 opponent on the schedule for the Kansas Jayhawks in 2012 will be the Texas Longhorns. The Longhorns finished last season with an overall record of 8-5 and a conference record of 4-5. Four of Texas’ five conference losses were to ranked opponents. Those ranked Big 12 foes included: the Oklahoma Sooners (#3), the Oklahoma State Cowboys (#6), the Kansas State Wildcats (#13), and the Baylor Bears (#12). The Longhorns earned the chance to play in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl against the Cal Golden Bears where they won by a score of 21-10.

Texas lost six starters this offseason with two being on offense and four being on defense. The starters that were lost include: David Snow (left guard), Cody Johnson (fullback), Kheeston Randall (defensive tackle), Keenan Robinson (middle linebacker), Emmanuel Acho (weakside linebacker), and Blake Gideon (free safety).

The Longhorns also loss one starter on the special teams squad. Justin Tucker graduated from Texas this past offseason after doing both the punting and the kicking at Texas over his four years with the team. Tucker entered the 2012 NFL Draft, but went undrafted. He was then signed as an undrafted free agent by the Baltimore Ravens to possibly set up a position battle between Tucker and Billy Cundiff.

The biggest story that surrounds the Texas Longhorns this offseason is who will be named the starting quarterback for Week 1. Mack Brown,head coach of the Longhorns, will have to make the choice between naming either David Ash or Case McCoy the team’s starting quarterback. Case McCoy is the younger brother of former Texas Longhorns’ quarterback, Colt McCoy.

Last season, Case McCoy played in eleven games where he recorded 1,045 passing yards on 89 completions, seven passing touchdowns, and four interceptions. Ash played in twelves games last season and he recorded 926 passing yards on 84 completions, three passing touchdowns, and eight interceptions. McCoy had a Quarterback Rating of 132.3 while Ash had a Quarterback Rating of 103.8.

The only aspect that Ash brings to the table that McCoy does not is running with the football. Last season, Ash recorded 103 rushing yards on 65 attempts, and one rushing touchdown. McCoy did not see the same success running the ball as he recorded -3 rushing yards on 24 attempts, and zero touchdowns.

Also, the Longhorns gained a new addition to their special teams unit this offseason because of the Penn State sanctions. Former Penn State kicker/punter, Anthony Fera, transferred to Texas this offseason. Last season, Fera recorded 14 field goals out of 17 attempts, 20 extra points out of 20 attempts, and 62 punts where he averaged 42 yards per punt.

However, it is uncertain when Fera will take the field with his new Longhorn teammates. It was discovered that he has a groin injury and has not yet practiced with Texas. There is no timetable set for when Fera will be cleared to practice with the Longhorns.

The Texas Longhorns will enter the regular season ranked #15 in the preseason polls.

2012 Texas Longhorns Schedule -

Wyoming 9/1
New Mexico 9/8
@Ole Miss 9/15
@Oklahoma State 9/29
West Virginia 10/6
Oklahoma 10/13
Baylor 10/20
@Kansas 10/27
@Texas Tech 11/3
Iowa State 11/10
TCU 11/24
@Kansas State 12/1

Other “Knowing the Big 12″ Previews -

TCU Horned Frogs
Kansas State Wildcats
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma Sooners
Baylor Bears

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft Anthony Fera Baltimore Ravens Big 12 Billy Cundiff Blake Gideon Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Cal Golden Bears Case McCoy Cody Johnson Colt McCoy David Ash David Snow Emmanuel Acho Justin Tucker Kansas Jayhawks Kansas State Wildcats Keenan Robinson Kheeston Randall Mack Brown Oklahoma Sooners Oklahoma State Cowboys Penn State Penn State Sanctions Texas Texas Football Texas Longhorns

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