It's been four years since Texas last won at least 10 games in a season, but the odds are in the Longhorns' favor this year. Mack Brown's team returns 19 starters (including 10 on offense) from a nine-win team in 2012, and hopes to start 2013 with a bang against New Mexico State. Television coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on Longhorn Network.
The Aggies, on the other hand, have not had a winning season in more than a decade, and look to improve on last year's 1-11 record as an Independent team (they're currently in a post-WAC pre-Sun Belt limbo). New Mexico State also has a new head coach in the form of Doug Martin, who was the team's offensive coordinator in 2011.
Rankings and records: Texas is ranked 15th in the country by both the AP Top 25 Poll and the Coaches Poll. New Mexico State is unranked in both polls. Texas is 4-0 in the all-time series between the two schools, winning by an average margin of nearly 40 points.
Vegas: Texas is a 42-point favorite Saturday. The over/under is 57.5 points. OddsShark has details and wagering information.
Weather: It looks to be hot and sunny in Austin, with a high of 100 degrees.
Three names to know
Quarterback David Ash is a bona fide star for Texas, really developing nicely after being thrust into the role two years ago as a true freshman. Last year, Ash passed for 19 touchdowns against eight interceptions, with three 300-yard games and a four-touchdown performance at Ole Miss. Both of his top targets from last season return, as Jaxon Shipley (59 receptions for 737 yards and six touchdowns in 2012) and Mike Davis (57 receptions for 939 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012) look to lead one of the most formidable passing attacks in the nation.
With Alex Okafor, last year's Big 12 sack leader, gone to the Cardinals, Texas will turn to lineman Jackson Jeffcoat and linebacker Steve Edmond to lead the charge on defense. Jeffcoat had 26.5 tackles for a loss over the past two seasons, and Edmond had 89 tackles last year - good for second on the team.
Wide receiver Austin Franklin could play a big role for New Mexico State in the game. The junior started all twelve games last year, leading the team in receptions (74), receiving yards (1,245) and receiving touchdowns (nine). While quarterback is very much a position of concern for the Aggies, Franklin is a playmaker who could turn some heads Saturday.
Two things at stake
An opening win on the road against Texas would undoubtedly be one of the biggest in the history of New Mexico State's program.
For Texas, the quest to 10 wins starts here. A loss would critically hamper those chances and strengthen the calls for Mack Brown's job.
How to witness
TV: Longhorn Network.
Radio: Longhorn Radio Network. You can listen live on New Mexico State's athletic website.
Online streaming: Through the Longhorn Network.
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