The Texas Longhorns may have won their season opener against North Texas Saturday night by the score of 38-7, but they also may have suffered a huge loss.
Center Dom Espinosa left the game in the third quarter with an apparent high ankle sprain. The fifth year senior has started every game for Texas since 2011. That is a huge piece missing out of the heart of their offensive line.
It turns out that the news may be worse than originally thought. This post made it to Twitter Sunday afternoon:
I’m hearing C Dom Espinosa has a broken ankle is out for the season. Big loss for the O line.
— Hook’em Headlines (@HookemHeadlines) August 31, 2014
If this is accurate, it could torpedo the Longhorns’ hope of a Big 12 title. At the very least, Espinosa is likely out for the game against BYU on Saturday.
Espinosa is on the preseason watch list for the Rimington, Outland, and Lombardi trophies for this season. He is also the 13th ranked draft-eligible center for the 2015 draft, according to ESPN.
To make matters worse, Espinosa was the only returning starter from the 2013 Longhorn offensive line. If he is indeed out for the season, QB David Ash could be running for his life even more than normal.
Redshirt freshman Jake Raulerson replaced Espinosa on Saturday night. There was a fumbled exchange between him and Ash, but one would think that with more reps, they could rectify that problem. The real issue for Texas is losing an All-Conference player at what was already their biggest question mark coming into the season.