Texas debut for Card and Sark against Louisiana-Lafayette

No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette (0-0) at No. 21 Texas (0-0), Saturday at 4:30 p.m. EDT (FOX).

Line: Texas by 8 1/2 according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Texas leads 2-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Texas is looking to reboot its program under new head coach in Steve Sarkisian who needs a win to maintain an offseason of good will and energy in Austin. Louisiana-Lafayette aims to be this season’s splashy Group of Five program with 20 returning starters off a team that went 10-1 in 2020. The Ragin’ Cajuns won on the road at Iowa State last season.

KEY MATCHUP

Texas quarterback Hudson Card is making his first career start against a veteran defensive secondary anchored by Louisiana safety Bralen Trahan. Card beat out Casey Thompson for the starting job, but he has just one career completion in two seasons in Austin. Trahan had four interceptions of Louisiana’s 16 team picks last season and has eight in his career.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Texas: RB Bijan Robinson will be the centerpiece of Sarkisian’s offense this season. The former five-star recruit out of high school finished 2020 with a flurry: 355 yards on just 19 carries over the final two games.

Louisiana-Lafayette: The Ragin’ Cajuns need a disruptor at the the line of scrimmage to pressure Card into mistakes. That could be defensive lineman Zi’Yon Hill, who 49 tackles and four sacks last season.

FACTS & FIGURES

Texas placekicker Cameron Dicker will also handle punting duties. … Louisiana-Lafayette is ranked to start the season for the first time in school history. … Texas expects close to 100,000 fans after limiting capacity to under 25,000 last season because of the pandemic. … The Longhorns lost four of their top five tacklers from last season.

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