Sam Ehlinger is 2019 Heisman contender after Sugar Bowl win

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Texas Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger is absolutely on the shortlist for the 2019 Heisman Trophy after winning the Sugar Bowl over the Georgia Bulldogs.

After defeating the Georgia Bulldogs in the Allstate Sugar Bowl 28-21, it’s safe to say that the Texas Longhorns are back. Despite being a major underdog in this bowl game, Texas looks to be an early favorite to win the Big 12 next year.

But for the Longhorns to win their conference next season, they will need more performances out of quarterback Sam Ehlinger like he showed Tuesday night versus Georgia. We’ve got a whole offseason to think about it, but Ehlinger has certainly put himself as an early contender/front-runner for the 2019 Heisman Trophy.

Ehlinger outperformed Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm in the Sugar Bowl, carrying the Texas offense entirely on his back. He might have only completed 19 of 27 passes for 169 yards against a strong Georgia secondary. However, his punishing running style up the middle with his 230-pound frame was too much for the Georgia front-seven contain.

Ehlinger rushed for 64 yards on 21 carries for three touchdowns. Georgia could not slow him down once he got the Texas offense into the red zone. Dawg Nation should be very happy that he doesn’t play in their division, as Ehlinger ran with the ball in a similar vein to that of what Tim Tebow did with the Florida Gators a decade ago.

Sure, Ehlinger will probably be a more accurate passer than Tebow ever was at Florida. However, the punishing red-zone running style clearly works in college football.

Given that the Big 12 is largely made up of finesse defenses to attempt to contain the many Air Raid attacks in the conference, Texas might be the toughest team of them all next year. Their biggest competition next year will be the arch rival Oklahoma Sooners, who got largely pushed around by the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Capital One Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens on Saturday night.

Yes, the defense was swarming for Texas and the execution by the offensive weaponry was spot on. That being said, Texas will go as far as Ehlinger takes them next year. It’s been about a decade since Texas looked to be this good.

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Not to say that the Longhorns will be playing in a national championship like it did against Alabama in 2009, but Ehlinger is the straw that stirs the drink for Texas’ title hopes next fall. At the very least, he has put it firmly in our minds of guys that can win the Heisman next year. He plays quarterback for a traditional power on the come up. What is not to love about that?