Now sophomores, running backs Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron and wide receiver Jaxon Shipley are among the leading weapons on an offense that appears to be finding its footing, averaging 514.3 yards and 49.3 points per game.
"Our confidence is high," Brown said. "We all have confidence in each other. This team, we believe in each other and have faith in each other. We're going to go in and just play ball. I know the coaches have made great decisions for years. They've been coaching this game for a long time. So they're going to call the plays, and we're going to go out and execute as well as we can."
That execution has been helped forward by the emergence of a fourth skill player from the Class of 2011: quarterback David Ash.
"He hasn't thrown an interception all year," Shipley said. "Especially having a game like that, throwing for 300-something yards and no interceptions, and I think four touchdowns. I mean you've got to put your trust in that guy. He's definitely very confident right now.
"I think we've shown that we can throw the ball down the field, and we've got a good passing game," Shipley said. "Those teams are going to have to play the passing game as well as the running game. Because I know that they've been playing the run a lot, because we do have a good run game. I think last game showed that we're dangerous downfield, and they're going to have to play that as well."
At the same time, Bergeron said the Texas offense "had an identity from the jump."
"We had something to prove from last year, and we are really just building on what we had from last year and going up from there," Bergergon said. "We have been going out and playing our game. We are doing what we have been coached. Each player has been brought here for a reason, and that is what we are doing."
But Bergeron conceded that the stakes were higher in conference play.
"It is the beginning of conference play, and we have put an emphasis on that," Bergeron said. "It is time to play now. We are trying to win the Big 12 Championship, so this is our first stepping-stone to get there."
"We know we're going into the conference," Brown added. "We honestly want to play every game like it's our last. It doesn't matter who we're playing. If we're playing the worst team or the best team – we're going out and firing off the ball like we always do. And like we've always practiced."