The Other Side: A Preview with The Daily Texan

Deana Nichols, Contributing Writer

The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide takes on the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10. This matchup has not been seen since the 2010 BCS National Championship Game when Alabama capped off an undefeated season with a 37-21 victory. The last time these teams faced each other in a regular season appearance was almost a century ago in 1922, with Texas defeating the Crimson Tide 19-10.  

The Longhorns have some key players this season and the team is hoping to see them shine through against the Crimson Tide. One player to look for in particular is sophomore Ja’Tavion Sanders, who was previously a wide receiver and is now a starting tight end for the Longhorns.  

Ja’Tavion Sanders finally looks to have found his role with the Longhorns,” Hunter Dworaczyk, senior sports reporter for The Daily Texan, said. “[He] has emerged as a security blanket for the young quarterback and caught six passes for 85 yards and a touchdown on Saturday.” 

There are many teams who shift the way they practice when anticipating a matchup with a team like Alabama, but Longhorns haven’t. The team hasn’t been stressing out over practice this week and has been practicing confident humility, especially in the media. 

The team has made sure not to make any comments or predictions that would give Saban ‘bulletin board’ material for his team,” Dworaczyk said. However, [Steve] Sarkisian and players have not made any comments that would suggest the team is overly intimidated either.”  

Coming off last Saturday’s big win against the University of Louisiana at Monroe, 52-10, the Longhorns are ready for this Power Five opponent. With a solid foundation already in place, the team isn’t stressed about the pressures this game can bring to Texas.  

“[They are preparing] just like they do every other team,” Jordan Mitchell, associate sports editor of the Daily Texan, said. I think if anything, Sarkisian is trying to tell the team not to let this game get too big or let the noise interfere with playing the Longhorns’ brand of football. 

Prior to being the head coach for the University of Texas, Sarkisian spent time under Alabama head coach Nick Saban as Alabama’s offensive coordinator. Sarkisian has been taking what he learned under Saban and translating it into great coaching. 

This season, the coaching staff as a whole has largely focused on the team’s culture,” Dworaczyk said. “Sarkisian admitted last season that his team wasn’t very close, so the focus has been building a team that can hold each other accountable when adversity strikes.”  

Kickoff is set for Saturday, Sept. 10 at 11:00 CT on FOX. 

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]