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Notes & Quotes from Texas's Postgame Press Conference against Baylor

Photo Courtesy: Ricardo B. Brazziell - Austin-American Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK
Our Devon Messinger was in attendance for the postgame press conference following the Texas Longhorns 38-6 win over the Baylor Bears. Below, we have embedded all of the notable takeaways from Steve Sarkisian, along with several key members of the Longhorns football team.
Steve Sarkisian:

No. 3 Texas leaves no doubt against Baylor, winning 38-6

Photo Courtesy: Sara Diggins - American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK
On Saturday, the Longhorns made the trek up I-35 to take on the Baylor Bears for potentially the last time in Waco. Despite of several miscues on special teams, the Longhorns marched into McLane Stadium and left no doubt thanks to strong performances from sophomore running back Jonathon Brooks and the Texas defensive line. Ultimately, the final score was decided by the end of the fourth quarter, with Texas winning their first game of conference play 38-6 over Baylor.
After rushing for 164 yards last weekend against Wyoming, Jonathon Brooks was once again on a mission - finishing the night with 106 rushing yards and two touchdowns. In addition to Brooks, the Texas offense was firing with Quinn Ewers showing accuracy and passing for 293 yards and a touchdown. However, Ewers also took a page out of Brooks's repertoire and showed off his wheels on a 29-yard touchdown rush that gave the Longhorns an early 14-3 lead with 9:07 left in the second quarter.
While Brooks and Ewers kept the offense loaded and firing, the Longhorns defense continued to have another impressive performance. Against Baylor, the defense only allowed allowed a total of 60 rushing yards, most of which came during garbage time in the fourth quarter. Several Longhorns such as Byron Murphy II, T'Vondre Sweat, and Vernon Broughton brought their A-game all night and were virtually unstoppable up front. Furthermore, senior linebacker Jaylan Ford came up with a big third quarter interception when the Bears were looming in the red zone. Other than moderately shaky play from the Texas secondary at times, the Longhorns defense was playing lockdown all night. For now, the Texas defense has been the most consistent part of this year's team and should be considered the team's overall strength.
In the receiving game, junior tight end Ja'Tavion Sanders had a monster night in which he caught five passes, including a one-handed grab, for 100 yards. Sanders provided some major chunk yardage plays when the offense was on the brink of stalling, and showcased why the Longhorns offense can be a nightmare for opposing defenses when it is firing on all cylinders.
Following the game, Quinn Ewers spoke of Sanders' play and said, "I think he did a phenomenal job... he has the ability to make big plays like he did tonight."
While the offense had a solid game, it too missed a couple of opportunities to put additional points on the board. However, the real disappointment of the night was Texas's special teams play on punt returns. Although Xavier Worthy had one impressive return, which would have been a touchdown had he not gotten tripped up by the last line of defense, the return game was hard to watch. Even with such a sizable lead for most of the game, it almost seemed like the special teams group wanted to make things interesting. Both Xavier Worthy and Jordan Whittington muffed punts in Saturday's contest and, unfortunately for Texas, both were recovered by Baylor. With that being said, the Longhorns defense bailed these athletes out by minimizing the damage and not allowing the mistakes to kill the team's momentum.
After Saturday's win, Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian addressed the media and discussed the team's business-like nature and said that he was happy that the team "showed such great composure." Now, with a win over Baylor under their belts, Texas can let loose a little bit and celebrate a 1-0 start to conference play in their last year as a member of the Big 12 Conference.
Next weekend, the Longhorns will host an undefeated Kansas team at home. Kickoff from Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is set for 2:30 P.M. (CT), and the game will be televised on ABC.
Game Stats:
QB Quinn Ewers: 18/23, 293 passing yards, 2 total TDs RB Jonathon Brooks: 18 carries, 106 rushing yards, 2 TDs TE Ja'Tavion Sanders: 5 receptions, 110 receiving yards LB Jaylan Ford: 8 tackles, 1 INT DT Byron Murphy II: 4 tackles, 2 sacks

Live Notes from No. 3 Texas vs Baylor

Follow along as I jot down notes during Texas's week four matchup against the Baylor Bears. This article will be updated throughout Saturday night.
On Monday, Baylor head coach Dave Aranda stated that it was unlikely that Bears starting quarterback Blake Shapen would be healthy enough to start against the Longhorns. Shapen has missed Baylor's last two games due to an MCL injury. However, Shapen is practicing in pregame warmups and appears to be a game-time decision for Aranda. First Quarter:
To no real surprise, Baylor redshirt sophomore quarterback Sawyer Robertson gets his third start in-a-row at quarterback for the Bears. While the Texas defense had a rough go of things on Baylor's last drive of the first quarter, the defensive front has been incredible thus far. In fact, during the first nine minutes of play, the defense had tallied three sacks. Jett Bush, Byron Murphy II, & Vernon Broughton all with early first quarter sacks. Nice job by Jonathon Brooks to find the end zone early on a 40-yard touchdown rush. Last weekend against Wyoming, Brooks tallied 164 yards on the ground but did not come away with a touchdown. Second Quarter:
The Longhorns secondary has not had their best start so far, with a defensive pass interference on Michael Taaffe and a miscue by Jerrin Thompson. However, the defensive front has helped to pick up some of the slack thus far. One thing that Xavier Worthy has struggled with so far this season on special teams is letting punts roll for extra yards - to the detriment of the team's field position. In the second quarter, Worthy picked up a punt, that he would have oftentimes let bounce around, and took it across midfield. Hopefully, this is a sign of maturity on special teams for Worthy, the star receiver who actually did not field punts at the high school level. Well... maybe I jinxed that last one. Worthy's muffed point resulted in three points for Baylor. The Longhorn running backs have been having themselves a decent game so far tonight. Jonathon Brooks has two first half touchdowns while freshman CJ Baxter was able to score his first career touchdown. What I liked most about Texas's second quarter, besides from a momentary let down from special teams, is that they were able to put their feet on the accelerator - something that the team has seemingly struggled with right before halftime in recent games. Halftime Thoughts:
Overall, if you are a Longhorn fan, you should be pleased with the first half. The Longhorns defensive front has feasted thus far. For the most part, the Texas offense did not stall in the second quarter and made the contest a three possession game. The main downside in today's game has been miscues in the secondary and Worthy's muffed punt. While both are less than ideal for Steve Sarkisian's Longhorns, the defense has limited damage and has only allowed six points through the first two quarters. Third Quarter:
Every time that the Texas secondary has let up a big play, the rest of the defense has bounced back and held their own. This time, Longhorns linebacker Jaylan Ford tallied his second interception of the year, this time with Baylor in the red zone. I have said it before but it is promising that the Texas defense has been able to help the team win games this season. Longhorns fans have not seen that in a while. Third down conversions have been a sore spot for the Longhorns so far in 2023, so it was good to see Quinn Ewers move the chains against Baylor with a deep 51-yard pass to freshman Johnny Cook. Even better for the Longhorns? They capitalized on this with a touchdown just two plays later when Ewers found Xavier Worthy on a 21-yard completion. What is going on with Texas's punt returns? The team has muffed two tonight, one by Xavier Worthy and now one by Jordan Whittington. It is too early to have a knee-jerk reaction but you can feel confident that punt return will be more of a focus in practice next week. Fourth Quarter:
The difficult part about not being able to score points when you are up big is that it limits the amount of time that backups have in the game. It is already hard enough to sprinkle them into the contest routinely, so you have to provide yourself with a sizable cushion so you can substitute them into the game early. With that said, the defense was able to substitute early in the fourth quarter and the Longhorns were able to put Maalik Murphy in at quarterback. 

GAME DAY: #3 Texas Longhorns @ Baylor Bears

The Texas Longhorns (3-0, 0-0) head north on Interstate 35 for what looks to be the final meeting with the Baylor Bears for quite some time.  With the Longhorns making their move to the Southeastern Conference next season, their annual matchup with Baylor and a host of other Big 12 teams has been tabled indefinitely.  The two teams will cap the series by playing their 113th game against one another, a series that dates back to 1901.
Baylor has a lone win against Long Island University and Texas is undefeated, but while the start of the season looks different for both teams, Saturday's contest has plenty of meaning for both.  A clean conference slate means opportunity for both programs, but both have work to do on the field if they intend on winning more so than not in the slate of Big 12 games that await. 
For the Longhorns, Steve Sarkisian's offense needs to find its rhythym early - Quarterback Quinn Ewers needs to find synergy with his receivers in the first half of play - something he has had difficulty doing in the first three games.  The running game possibly gets CJ Baxter back in the lineup, but Jonathan Brooks placed his stamp on the field last weekend with a 167 yard performance against Wyoming.  Getting the ground game established early in front of a hostile crowd at night is a priority for the Longhorns. 
Baylor quarterback Sawyer Robertson will start his third consectuive game after replacing starting quarterback Blake Shapen who left with an injury in the Bears' season opening loss to Texas State.  Robertson, a redshirt sophmore and Mississippi State transfer, has seen limited time behind center in his time at both schools.  This is something the Longhorns hope to exploit to their advantage through pressure and blitzes.

What:  #3 Texas Longhorns vs. Baylor Bears
When: Saturday, September 23, 2023
Time: 6:30 PM
Location:  Waco, TX
Venue:  McLane Stadium
Spread: Texas -17 (updated)
All Time-Record:  Texas leads Baylor 80-28-4
Last Meeting:  Texas defeated Baylor 38-27 (11/25/2022 – Austin, TX) Discuss the Texas vs. Baylor game for FREE with other Texas Longhorns fans
Relevant Information

How to Watch/Stream/Listen to the Texas versus Baylor Game

Sep 16, 2023; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas flags on the field after the Longhorns scored a touchdown during the second half against the Wyoming Cowboys at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
The No. 3 Texas Longhorns take an early season undefeated record into Waco on Saturday to face the Baylor Bears for the final time as members of the Big 12 Conference.  The game, which will be played at McLane Stadium, will serve as the 113th meeting between the two schools, dating back to 1902. 
Baylor started the season with loss at home to Texas State, followed by a home loss to the Utah Utes.  Dave Aranda's team earned their first victory of the season last week, also at home, after posting a 30-7 win over Long Island.  The Bears have won six straight conference openers datiung back to 2017, but they will have their hands full against a talented Texas team that boasts its highest ranking since 2009 - when they played in the BCS Championship game.
Texas sputtered out of the gate against Rice in the team's season opener but defeated the Owls in Austin 37-10.  The 'Horns then jumped in the polls after winning their second contest of the season against the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa.  Last weekend took a strong fourth quarter for the Longhorns to pull away from the Wyoming Cowboys in Austin, but they did and maintained a perfect record through three nonconference bouts.
Texas vs. Baylor on the Field
Last Meeting Between the Two Teams:  #23 Texas Defeated Baylor 38-27
Last Meeting Between the Two Teams in Waco:  #16 Baylor defeated Texas 31-24
All-Time Series in Waco:  Texas leads Baylor 31-18-2
All-Time Series:  Texas leads Baylor 80-28-4
How to Watch/Stream/Listen to No. 3 Texas vs. Baylor
Kickoff Time:  6:30 PM
Streaming:  ESPN+
On the Call:  Dave Pasch (play-by-play), Dustin Dvoracek (analyst) and Tom Luginbill (sideline) on the call
Listen:  Longhorn Radio Network (Craig Way, Roger Wallace, Will Matthews)
Live Stats:  https://www.statbroadcast.com/events/statbroadcast.php?t=1&gid=bay
The Line
Texas is favored by 14.5 points over Baylor

Gut check: Where the Longhorns stand headed into Big 12 play

Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian watches a play during the Texas Longhorns' game against the Wyoming Cowboys, Saturday, Sept. 16 at Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. Photo: Mikala Compton/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK
The Texas Longhorns begin their final Big 12 tour this Saturday at McLane Stadium in Waco and they do so by getting through non-conference play undefeated for the first time since 2012. This season appears to offer the most winnable Big 12 Conference in years and it would only be fitting that Texas wins it in their last season to compliment them winning the first ever Big 12 title in 1996.
Texas Has a Championship Level Defense
The Longhorns have shown through three games that the defense has taken yet another step forward. At the start of the season head coach Steve Sarkisian and defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski made forcing more turnovers a team emphasis. To this point the defense has forced a turnover in each game for a total of six over three games.
Against Alabama the offense gets most of the recognition, but the defense made several key plays to swing momentum. The biggest came with 13:54 left in the fourth quarter when safety Jerrin Thompson intercepted Jalen Milroe and returned it to the five yard line. That set up the 5 yard rushing touchdown by Jonathan Brooks. At this point in the game it was 20-16 in favor of Texas but Alabama had all the momentum. That key interception killed the crowd noise at Bryant-Denny Stadium and Texas never looked back on the way to their biggest road win in nearly 20 years.
The Offense Needs to Work on Consistency
The Texas offense has shown flashes of greatness through three games but the fireworks many anticipated in the offseason haven’t materialized yet. In the Alabama game, both quarterback Quinn Ewers and his wide receivers flashed their moments of greatness. In the Rice and Wyoming games they seemed to have a disconnect. If Ewers can maintain consistency with his mechanics and hone his timing with the wideout corps, the Texas passing game can be lethal. Tight end JT Sanders had zero catches against Wyoming following his five catch, 114 yard performance against Alabama. Sanders should not have a game with zero catches and hopefully Steve Sarkisian finds a way to use him more moving forward.
Coming into the season, it was known that losing Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson would impact the running game significantly. While the running game hasn’t been what Sark would like, the Longhorns did finish Alabama off by running the ball and taking the last 7:14 seconds off the clock. In Tuscaloosa the ground game only managed 105 yards on 37 carries for 2.8 yards per carry. That normally won’t get it done.
Five-star freshman Cedric Baxter was a large part of the equation in kickstarting the running game, but Baxter didn’t play against Wyoming and left the Rice and Alabama games with injury. Jonathan Brooks has done a solid job in Baxter’s absence, but in order to succeed Texas needs several backs to perform and add the depth the staff felt they had headed into the season. Brooks had over 160 yards last week against Wyoming and averaged over 7 yards per carry. 
The Coaching Staff has Clearly Improved
Arguably the biggest question of the Texas program headed into the season had nothing to do with the players. It had to do with the year-three coaching staff and their perceived inability to win big games. Sarkisian was roughly a .500 coach as a head coach and had never finished better than 9-4. While it is still early in the season, it appears they have turned the corner with the win in Tuscaloosa.  Sark handed Nick Saban his first home night loss since 2015 and won where Saban had notched a 52-1 record over the last 53 games.
The Longhorns under Sark and his staff have seemingly had trouble closing out games in the fourth quarter. In year one Texas had second-half leads in 4 of their 7 losses. In year two they had second half leads in 4 of their 5 losses. The fight the Longhorns showed in Alabama when they were down 16-13 to start the fourth quarter proved this year's team is different.
As Texas heads to Waco this weekend to begin Big 12 play for the last time they can be confident that they are well-coached and have the talent to make a run into the College Football Playoff.

2024 5-Star OL Brandon Baker trending towards Longhorns?

With 2024 five-star offensive tackle Brandon Baker, of Mater Dei High School, set to make an announcement on Sunday, watch our Devon Messinger & Dylan DeRaud discuss one of Texas's biggest targets.
To watch the video form of our discussion surrounding Baker, simply click the on the video above.
Baker Trending Towards Texas?
According to the 247Sports Composite, Baker is the nation's highest-rated offensive tackle in the nation's 2024 recruiting cycle. Unfortunately for Texas, Baker's recruitment of course is heavily contested with Alabama, Georgia and USC among some of the other 27 schools who have extended an offer his way.
While Texas does have competition for Baker, it appears that the Longhorns have positioned themselves well. In fact, currently, four 247Sports experts have predicted that Baker will commit to Texas with their crystal ball entries - with two of these entries being submitted earlier today.
247Sports National Scouting Analyst Gabe Brooks has praised Baker's athleticism, which compounds well with Baker's 6'5" and 285 pound frame, and rates the Mater Dei product as a potential multi-year starter with early NFL Draft potential.
If Baker chooses Texas on Sunday, he will become Texas's highest-rated commit on the offensive line since 2022 (a true testament to offensive line coach Kyle Flood's ability to earn pledges on the line) when Texas reeled in Devon Campbell and Kelvin Banks Jr.

Staff Predictions: #3 Texas Longhorns vs. Baylor Bears

Texas Longhorns wide receiver Xavier Worthy (8) runs the ball forward as Baylor Bears safety Al Walcott (13) attempts to stop him during the Texas Longhorns game against Baylor on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. Photo: Mikala Compton/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK
The Texas Longhorns (3-0, 0-0) and the Baylor Bears (1-2, 0-0) first played each other at the turn of the 20th century.  Since then, they have played 112 times and there has been no love lost between the two teams.  With Texas set to depart the Big 12 for the SEC after this season, it is no secret the Longhorns will get opponents' best shots on and off the field.  The often-used cliché "Texas is everyone's Super Bowl" rings true, particularly this season amongst teams that have struggled out of the gate like the Bears. At his Monday press conference, Baylor head coach Dave Aranda's comment "I can't tell you how many times this offseason I heard 'Dave, just win this one game (the Texas game)'' adds further credence to it.
The Longorns begin their Big 12 "Farewell Tour" this weekend at McLane Stadium and head coach Steve Sarkisian knows not to overlook seasoned head coach Dave Aranda or his players. 
Baylor lost starting quarterback Blake Shapen to injury in the Bears' loss to Wyoming, and Mississippi State transfer Sawyer Robinson will lead the Baylor offense for the third straight week after losing to Utah and defeating Long Island in weeks two and three.
The 'Horns and Bears are set to square off in Waco for the 52nd time, which could be the last for quite some time.  A Baylor win would be a massive upset in front of a sold-out crowd at McLane Stadium and would even the Bears' season record at .500.  Texas is favored by 14.5 points and needs a win to continue their hopes of earning a spot in the College Football Playoff for the first time in school history.  With a 6:30 kickoff looming under the lights, expect a rowdy crowd and both teams to fight for a win to claim the last victory between the two in the Big 12 Conference.
Baylor's season thus far is lackluster, but can Dave Aranda draw up a game plan for the Bears that will produce a massive upset over the third-ranked Longhorns?  Will Texas fall trap to the Bears and get caught underestimating their capabilities?  The HornSports Staff shares their thoughts and score predictions on Saturday's game in Waco.
Aaron Carrara (3-0)
The Longhorns struggled to get things going offensively last week against Wyoming but managed to put together a solid fourth quarter that was the knockout punch against the Cowboys.  Emphatically - Texas cannot wait three quarters to find their offense this week in Waco.  Sawyer Robertson has struggled at quarterback for the Bears, but on paper Baylor averages more than 6 yards per play offensively and 418 yards per game. The good news is the Texas defense has played extremely well this season and is the strength of this team so far.  Dave Aranda's defensive mind will have his guys ready to try and stop the Texas running game that flourished last week behind sophmore Jonathan Brooks. Saturday presents a rare night game in Waco that will be televised on ABC and Baylor will hang with Texas in the first half until Quinn Ewers and the offense find their rhythym and do their damage in the second half.
Score Prediction: Texas 34, Baylor 17
Devon Messinger (2-1)
On Saturday, the game will really come down to Baylor's quarterback play. It appears, at least according to Baylor head coach Dave Aranda, that redshirt junior Blake Shapen will be unable to suit up against the Longhorns. As a result, redshirt sophomore quarterback Sawyer Robertson will get another opportunity for the Bears, and try to improve on his three interceptions to one touchdown pass ratio. If Robertson clicks on Saturday, the Bears have more than enough weapons to make things interesting in Waco.
Meanwhile, for the Longhorns, Saturday's game will be a mental test as McLane Stadium will be sold out and you can expect it to be loud. However, the Longhorns were able to keep their heads on straight in a tough road environment at Alabama earlier in the season. If Quinn Ewers is completing his passes around 63%, the Longhorns will be in a good spot to start conference play 1-0.
Score Prediction: Texas 34, Baylor 20
Todd Glawson (2-1)
After a shaky, white-knuckled three quarters of football against Wyoming, the 3-0 Longhorns will travel to Baylor for the last time as a conference foe. Much like the result of their first match-up in 1901, they will attempt to leave Waco in a cloud of dust with a convincing victory in tow. Baylor hasn’t been playing great football thus far and they’ve been hit with the injury bug early as starting QB Blake Shapen is sidelined and RB Dominic Richardson appears doubtful. Other than this being a night game in a sold-out McLane Stadium, the winning blueprint should be rather straightforward. Sark and Texas’ offense need to clean up several mental mistakes and re-focus coming off of an uninspiring, lackadaisical performance. Playing down to inferior opponents continues to be a lingering issue. The defense must remain locked in and prioritize stopping the run game forcing a green, back-up QB - Sawyer Robertson - to beat them with his arm. I like Texas to control the flow of this contest and cover the 14.5 points, mainly because of another great defensive effort. Hello 4-0. 
Score Prediction: Texas 38, Baylor 13
Jameson McCausland (2-1)
The farewell tour in the Big 12 begins Saturday in Waco. Baylor has looked really bad through the first 3 weeks of the season on both sides of the ball, but I fully expect the Bears to put together their best performance of the year on Saturday night. Dave Aranda will have a defensive plan in place that forces Texas to be a little uncomfortable and there is certainly a lot from the Wyoming game plan that Jeff Grimes can copy for the Baylor offense led by a backup QB. 
We have reached the point of the season where style points really don't matter, but it would make Texas fans feel a whole lot better if the Longhorns put together a solid performance Saturday night. It might take the Texas offense a quarter or so to get going, but I expect the Longhorns to slowly pull away and open Big 12 play with a win.
Score Prediction: Texas 31, Baylor 17
Marc Henry (1-1)
The Longhorns are coming into their contest against the Baylor Bears, ranked number three in the country and have big expectations heading into their Big XII opener. Not only does Texas have national championship aspirations on their list of season goals but winning the Big XII is their first priority.
Quinn Ewers and the Longhorn offense come into Waco with potential to be one of the most explosive, high powered offenses in the Big XII conference. The Texas offense had a flawless output in Tuscaloosa against Alabama, scoring 34 points on the road in a hostile environment and Ewers had a great performance. The Lornghorns quarterback passed for 349 yards and 3 touchdowns, showing off the skill set that warranted his 5-Star rating coming out of high school. Texas has the offense to compete at a high level with any team in the country.
The Longhorns achilles heel has been their inability to come out and take control in the first half of games this season. Against Wyoming and Rice the offense started out lukewarm. In both contests, the offense sputtered early on in the first half of both games. Eventually they were able to get into a rhythm but it took until after halftime for the Texas offense to get on track. Heading to Waco to face a Baylor defensive squad who is giving up over 300 yards a game this season, getting off to a fast start is essential. Coach Sark knows he has the weapons in his arsenal to drop bombs offensively and they need to establish themselves from the first snap. 
Look for Coach Sark to get Ewers warm from the first snap by calling high percentage plays. Texas has to take the Bears' crowd out of the game early, by establishing the running game, controlling the time of possession and establishing their dominance up front. The Longhorns have the blueprint for success to go into Waco and pull out the win.
Score Prediction: Texas 31, Baylor 14
Dylan DeRaud (2-1)
In what's anticipated to be a hard-fought defensive battle, the Texas Longhorns will be tested in front of a sold out Mclane stadium crowd which might be the last time Baylor and Texas play for the foreseeable future. With Baylor liking to muck games up and Texas struggling to get rolling in first halves, this game could be a field goal fest, where every point is precious. 

Look to the Texas defense to be the deciding factor in this game. Baylor has struggled to score this season with a turbulent QB room. Expect T’Vondre Sweat and Jaylan Ford to leave their imprint on this game. They'll excel in forcing Baylor into costly mistakes and that could silence the crowd. As the game unfolds, Texas will find their rhythm on offense, and their playmakers like Xavier Worthy will take over. I have Texas ultimately winning this game in big part to the talent difference and how this team has looked different mentally this season compared to 2022. 
Score Prediction: Texas 23, Baylor 13
Mitch Lovell (2-1)
The Texas defense will be ready as they have been each week this season. Sawyer Robertson only completing 45% of passes but averaging over 7 yards an attempt so they may hit a big play or two. The Texas offense has been up and down through 3 games but can’t argue with 3-0. Dave Aranda and company will test the Texas OL with looks they haven’t seen yet but Texas offense looks more like they did in Tuscaloosa and CJ Baxter has a big game in his return to the lineup. Worthy has first breakout game as well 150 yards 2 TD's.
Score Prediction: Texas 38, Baylor 17
Ryan Swantkowski (3-0)
The Texas defense will be ready as they have been each week this season. Sawyer Robertson only completing 45% of passes but averaging over 7 yards an attempt so they may hit a big play or two. The Texas offense has been up and down through 3 games but can’t argue with 3-0. Dave Aranda and company will test the Texas OL with looks they haven’t seen yet but Texas offense looks more like they did in Tuscaloosa and CJ Baxter has a big game in his return to the lineup. Worthy has first breakout game as well 150 yards 2 TD's.
Score Prediction: Texas 35, Baylor 14

X-Factors to watch in Texas' game against Baylor [VIDEO]

Photo Courtesy: Joshua McSwain
After a shaky first three quarters to the Wyoming Cowboys, the Longhorns will take on a Baylor team who snapped a six-game losing streak last weekend against the Long Island Sharks. Today, our Devon Messinger and Dylan DeRaud name their X-factors to watch in Saturday's Big 12 opener for the Longhorns.
To watch the video form of our X-factor picks, simply click on the video above.
Messinger's X-factors:
To begin, the main X-factor in this game will be Baylor's quarterback play. With redshirt junior starter Blake Shapen potentially missing another game of action on Saturday due to an injury, redshirt sophomore Sawyer Robertson should be getting another chance to start. Unfortunately for Baylor, quarterback play has not been a pretty sight so far this season, with Robertson throwing three interceptions to just one touchdown through three games. Despite of this, the Baylor offense has weapons to work with and the Longhorns will be in trouble if Robertson can throw his best fastball on Saturday.
Lastly, on the Texas side of things, can Texas handle the McLane Stadium road environment? Attendance in Waco will be a sellout but Texas fared just fine when playing Alabama in Tuscaloosa two weeks ago. However, McLane Stadium has proven to be a tricky place to play and the Bears may catch the Longhorns off guard due to their slow start to the season. As a result, Texas's X-factor will be the team's overall ability to remain mentally resilient in Saturday's night game.
DeRaud's X-Factors:
The big X-factor to keep an eye on is the performance of Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers against the secondary of Baylor. While Ewers has showcased improved ball security this year avoiding turnovers, he faces the daunting task of going up against a good Baylor defense. The key for Texas will be mitigating Ewers' inconsistency and ensuring they don't provide Baylor's struggling offense with extra opportunities. In what may transpire as another low-scoring first half, Texas must focus on limiting the damage until the second half when their offense can potentially hit its stride. Ewers' ability to make accurate and tightly contested throws will be under scrutiny, as Baylor's secondary aims to disrupt his rhythm and deny playmakers like Xavier Worthy the luxury of catching the ball in open space. If Texas can find a way to navigate these challenges and execute their quick passing game while setting up deep shots effectively, they have a great shot at avoiding a possible upset. However, this Baylor secondary is young and has not been tested by a team with a quarterback with the talent of Ewers. Baylor will need to take advantage of any turnover opportunities if they want to win the Battle of the Brazos.

All you need to know about the Baylor Bears football team [VIDEO]

Photo Courtesy: Joshua McSwain
For what may very well be the last time, the Longhorns will travel to Waco to take on the Baylor Bears on Saturday. Today, our Devon Messinger and Dylan DeRaud break down Baylor on both sides of the football.
To watch the video form of our Baylor scouting report, simply click on the video above.
Messinger's Scouting Report of the Baylor Offense:
At quarterback for Baylor is where the question marks start. On Monday, Baylor head coach Dave Aranda stated that redshirt junior quarterback Blake Shapen is expected to be out on Saturday due to injury. If Shapen is unavailable to go, redshirt sophomore quarterback Sawyer Robertson will have another opportunity to start for the Bears. Unfortunately for Baylor fans, Robertson has struggled so far this season and has thrown three interceptions to just one touchdown pass. Either way, whoever starts at quarterback this weekend will have to step up if the Bears want to give the Longhorns a run for their money.
At running back, Aranda has 2022 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year Richard Reese at his disposal. Along with Reese, Oklahoma State transfer running back Dominic Richardson has also gotten a large majority of the snaps at running back. Last weekend against Long Island, even freshman Dawson Pendergrass eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark.
When Baylor lines up to throw, 6'3" Ketron Jackson and 6'2" Hal Presley are the weapons at wide receiver. Height is definitely an advantage that the two junior wideouts possess over the Texas secondary and, when you add in 6'5" red zone threat Drake Dabney at tight end, things are bound to get a little messy for the Longhorns defense.
Lastly on offense, the Baylor Bears offensive line allowed three sacks to Texas State in week one, however has bounced back with consecutive clean sheets to Utah and Long Island.
DeRaud's Scouting Report of the Baylor Defense:
On December 29th, 2022, Baylor welcomed back defensive coordinator Matt Powledge, who previously coached at Oregon for one season. The Bears’ defense have faced some challenges in the 2023 season though, allowing an average of 333.7 yards per game. While their pass defense has ranked 19th in the country, they have struggled against the run, ranking 108th. Notably, Texas State managed 441 yards of total offense against them, including 143 rushing yards, while Utah rushed for a whopping 224 yards.
The Baylor defense has shown flashes with two interceptions in the season, coming against Utah and Long Island. Key defensive players include senior linebackers Matt Jones and Mike Smith Jr, who have made significant contributions this season with 17 and 15 tackles respectively. Senior linebacker Byron Vaughns recorded two sacks against Long Island, but overall has had limited tackles.
On the defensive line, senior T.J. Franklin and Gabe Hall have each secured a sack, with Hall also missing last weekend's game against Long Island. Hall will be one to watch as he is a threat in the trenches due to his sheer size, and also possesses NFL-caliber upside.
In the secondary, Bryson Jackson has stood out as a seasoned veteran, while sophomore Devyn Bobby has also contributed with 12 tackles. Outside of them, the secondary for HC Dave Aranda is very young and will be the matchup to watch against the talent of Texas’s receiving corps.

Longhorns Recruiting Road Trip: Waco Connally vs China Spring

On Friday, I made the trek to Waco to cover two teams that I have not covered before (an impressive feat in and of itself) - Waco Connally and China Spring. And, honestly, it was hard to pick a better, more anticipated, matchup than Waco's highly anticipated offering. For China Spring, the Cougars are back-to-back state title winners with a UNT commit at quarterback. Meanwhile, Connally, one of the top-ranked teams in the state (similar to China Spring), features Kobe Black, a cornerback who has no shortage of schools to choose from with 30 college offers.
Week Four:
According to the 247Sports Composite, Kobe Black is the third-highest rated cornerback recruit in the country. Of course, recruits this highly-rated do not grow on trees. Good news for Texas fans is that the five-star cornerback appears to be leaning towards Texas, if the four crystal ball predictions in favor of the Longhorns are any indication.
In addition to playing in the Connally secondary, Black also spends a considerable amount of playing time on the offensive side of the ball, where he is able to showcase his athleticism. Against China Spring, Black was able to find the end zone with a rushing touchdown, however the championship-winning Cougars were able to contain Black offensively for most of the night. With this being said, defense is Black's calling card and the senior cornerback showcased an ability to step up and make a tackle in the secondary while being relatively untested.
Also starring for Connally, 2024 three-star running back Kiefer Sibley had himself another stellar performance offensively, rushing for 205 yards and two touchdowns against the Cougars. Sibley has been quietly dominant for two seasons now and the scholarship offers are starting to catch up. Currently, Sibley has 9 offers from schools such as Colorado and Nebraska, but I expect to see that number increase as Connally approaches the playoffs.
Other than the performance of these two individuals, every single storyline (and rightfully so) belongs to China Spring. I have known the name of 2024 three-star quarterback Cash McCollum for two seasons now, but Friday was the first chance that I have really had to fully watch him play. In my opinion, McCollum continues to look more and more like a steal for the North Texas Mean Green football team. When rewatching the game tape, McCollum reminds me a bit of Austin Novosad, the second highest-rated quarterback prospect in the state of Texas last year. Both quarterbacks have a similar frame, standing in at 6'4" and 6'5" respectively, and have similar styles under center. Ultimately, Novosad ended up committing to Oregon late in the cycle and it appears that McCollum will have a home in Denton next season. On Friday, McCollum showed off his arm and passed for six touchdowns with ease, propelling China Spring to a 61-41 win.
Extra Point:
I really am hoping to see Kobe Black once again this season as he tries to take Connally deeper in the playoffs than they have been in recent years. Likewise, China Spring looks poised to make a deep playoff run once again, and I would not be surprised too see them again at some point.
Lastly, both Sibley and McCollum have a handful of offers already but I would not be surprised if that number continues to grow. For North Texas, the Mean Green will definitely have to put up a fight in recruiting Cash until the buzzer as more schools get an eye on him. And, for Sibley, the senior running back already has solid options but may end up turning into an under-the-radar addition come December.
Miles Logged:

Scouting Report: Baylor

(Photo: USA Today)
Non-conference play has concluded and the Big 12 slate begins for Texas Saturday night in Waco against Baylor. The Bears have had a rocky start to the season, dropping contests to Texas State and Utah before defeating lowly Long Island from the FCS ranks for their first win of the season. Dave Aranda has had a rough stretch in Waco since winning the Big 12 in 2021. He is 7-9 since then. There are very few Matt Rhule players left on the roster, and that has not been a good thing for the green and gold.
Blake Shapen injured his knee in the opening game against Texas State and missed the next two games. Dave Aranda said he is doubtful for Saturday's matchup, leaving redshirt sophomore Sawyer Robertson as the man behind center. The Mississippi State transfer has looked shaky so far in his extended action, completing 45% of his passes with only 1 touchdown compared to 3 interceptions. Utah picked him off twice, including a bad throw over the middle late in the 4th quarter that set up the go-ahead touchdown. Robertson does have a strong arm and can push the ball down the field, but the consistency has not been there. He is a capable runner (9 rushes for 47 yards).
Oklahoma State transfer Dominic Richardson entered the year as the lead running back but he is also banged up and questionable for Saturday's contest. If he can't go, Richard Reese and Dawson Pendergrass will carry the load. Reese had a good freshman season in 2022 and is averaging 4.5 yards a carry. At receiver, Arkansas transfer Ketron Jackson lead the team in receptions at 10. Hal Presley and Monaray Baldwin are two other names to know. 
The Baylor offensive line lost a ton of production and experience in the offseason and it has shown. The only returning starter for the Bears was G Gavin Byers. The brotherly duo of Clark and Campbell Barrington transferred in from BYU to take over at center and LT, respectively. The unit has struggled mightily with penalties in the first 3 games.
Texas State did whatever they wanted to against the Baylor defense in week 1 in a shocking upset. Dave Aranda is a defensive guy and will surely have his fingerprints all over the gameplan on Saturday. Aranda's defense sacked Quinn Ewers 5 times in Austin last year. 
Gabe Hall and TJ Franklin anchor the defensive line for Baylor at the two DE positions. Both have been at Baylor forever and may never run out of eligibility. The Bears did lose NT Siaki Ika to the NFL in the offseason and have struggled to replace him. Middle linebacker Dillon Doyle also departed as a multi-year starter and was replaced by Liberty transfer Mike Smith. Fellow LB Matt Jones has played a ton of football and is a solid player.
The backend of the Baylor defense is shaky. Starting safety Devin Lemear is another guy who is banged up and questionable for Saturday. If he can't go, it would be a major blow to the Baylor defense. The secondary will never be mistaken for what Matt Rhule was trotting out 4 or 5 years ago.
Overall Thoughts
Conventional wisdom says that surely Baylor will be ready to go in this one considering the circumstances surrounding the game (national TV, Texas coming to town, sold out crowd). With that being said, if they trot out there and play like they did against Texas State or Long Island, Texas should and will cruise to a victory. 
The margin for error is slim for Baylor. It's hard to envision an upset without multiple Quinn Ewers turnovers and some defensive lapses. Texas has shown a tendency to play down or up to their competition level, so we will see what teams shows up in Waco Saturday night.

Baylor game against Longhorns this weekend sold out

The Bears have distributed more student tickets than ever before since they began playing in McLane Stadium
Sep 2, 2023; Waco, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears head coach Dave Aranda on the sidelines during the second half against the Texas State Bobcats at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports
The Texas Longhorns (3-0, 0-0) open Big 12 play against the Baylor Bears (1-2, 0-0) in at McLane Stadium in Waco on Saturday.  The game will begin the Longhorns' "Farewell Tour" in the Big 12, as the program will offically participate in Southeast Conference (SEC) play next season.
Baylor started the season with consecutive home losses to Texas State and Utah before notching their first win over Long Island last weekend.  Texas sits ranked No. 3 in the country in the AP Top-25 Poll with a 3-0 record which includes a road win over then-ranked No. 3 Alabama.
The Longhorns will enter a loud, raucous, environment at McLane Stadium that has officially sold out its tickets for Saturday's contest.  Additionally, Baylor announced that it has distributed more student tickets to the game than ever before at McLane Stadium.
Texas always has a target on their back regardless of who and where they play, but this season being their last in the Big 12 has heightened the desire for teams to send them packing with a loss.  Sarkisian and the Longhorns should expect to play in more sold out environments as conference road play continues.
Kickoff will be at 6:30 PM on Saturday with the game being televised regionally on ABC.

Instant Reaction: Texas's Nail-Biting Win Over Wyoming [VIDEO]

Last Saturday, the Longhorns put their foot to the gas pedal late in the fourth quarter against Wyoming. With Baylor looming, our Devon Messinger & Dylan DeRaud share their reactions to the Wyoming game. To view their reaction in video form, simply click on the YouTube video above.
[Messinger's Thoughts]
On Saturday, the Longhorns defense prevailed once again. Thanks to strong performances in the secondary from Jahdae Barron and Jerrin Thompson, the Texas defense was able to keep Wyoming to just 10 points. Offensively, Jonathon Brooks was given an opportunity to shine and he took it - positioning himself well in his competition with freshman CJ Baxter, who missed the game due to injury. Lastly, wide receiver Xavier Worthy was once again the ignitor of the Longhorns offense, ultimately sparking the late-game production with his big 44-yard fourth quarter touchdown reception.
While the Longhorns were able to rise up the AP Poll, becoming the third-ranked team in the nation, not all of Saturday's play was charming. Unfortunately for Quinn Ewers, his accuracy was not quite where it should be against the Cowboys, however the receivers also squandered many chances with dropped passes as well. On the bright side for Longhorn nation, Ewers' leadership capabilities were on full display as he rallied the troops on the sideline and was involved in the last two scoring plays on offense. Meanwhile, on defense, the unit is still having some issues with gap control and keeping containment of their opponent, which contributed to Wyoming's 62-yard touchdown rush in the first quarter. The defense also took a while to adjust to Wyoming's barrage of out routes, however, when the adjustment came, it resulted in Jerrin Thompson's pick-six touchdown.
[DeRaud's Thoughts]
Against Wyoming, Texas demonstrated their continued commitment to being a second half team. Despite a sluggish start, Texas ultimately claimed a commanding 31-10 victory, thanks in large part to their championship-caliber defense.
The first half saw Quarterback Quinn Ewers struggling, managing only 57 passing yards, leaving Texas only up 10-7 at halftime. However, the defense, led by Jerrin Thompson and Jahdae Barron, permitted just 291 total yards with Wyoming splitting 136 passing yards and 155 rushing yards. With Thompson starting the 4th quarter off with a pick-six and Barron being all over the field. Texas was able to quell any upset chances as the defense didn’t allow any second half points for Wyoming and the Texas offense got clicking. The highlight on offense was Jonathon Brooks leading the way with 164 yards rushing on 21 carries. Showcasing his ability to be the feature back on offense and take the opposing defense’s focus off the passing game. 
Texas' knack for second-half dominance was evident once again, albeit to the detriment of Longhorn fans' mental health. No matter how you look at it though after the win, Texas remains a force to be reckoned with in college football. 

#TXHSFB Prospect Watch: Celina vs. Anna

The Celina Bobcats and Anna Coyotes are two of the best teams in the State of Texas in 4A Division I. Both teams came into last Friday night's ( 09/15/23) matchup looking to keep their early season momentum trending in the right direction. The undefeated Bobcats ranked number five in 4A DI after playing a close game in week three.  They lost to Anna twice in 2022, including a tight contest in the state playoffs that ended their season. The Coyotes, ranked number three in 4A Division I, were coming into this game off of a bye week, hoping to continue their win streak over the Bobcats. In what turned out to be a thrilling four overtime slugfest, the Celina Bobcats outlasted the Anna Coyotes 42-40 to stay unbeaten.
We spotlight several outstanding performances and prospects who should start to receive some buzz on the recruiting trail this season.

Logan Gutierrez (RB) | Class of 2026 | Celina HS | @LoganGUT03

Gutierrez has been on a tear this season, in week two he had a 25 carry, 254 yard, 5 touchdown performance and backed that up against Anna with 123 yards and two touchdowns, including a crucial 18 yard romp in their second overtime to snatch a victory 42-40 in a thriller. Logan runs well between the tackles, he has an explosive burst through the hole, he runs with excellent forward lean with a lower center of gravity and he shows great balance to shrug off intial contact at impact. Gutierrez is cat quick, with nimble feet, he has the ability to change directions quickly, which enables him to make defenders miss in the open field and he has the speed to separate from defenders at the second level. Logan’s numbers have been impressive early this season and he has shown that he can tote the load for the Bobcats. He has the skill set to line up in the slot and be effective, which may be his true position at the next level. Only a sophomore, Logan has begun to build his recruiting resume with his fast start to the season.

Zaydyn Dimas(OL) | Class of 2025 | Celina HS | @zaydyn9

Dimas is a 6’3 300 pound powerhouse, who is physical at the point of attack, his powerful punch at impact stuns his opponents, he uses great leverage with violent hands to get control of defenders early and he plays with a mean streak. Zaydyn plows defenders, he has excellent leg drive with a strong base, he has a stout compact build and he has the short area quickness to pull and lead his running backs to the second level consistently. Celina is heavy run team that relies on Dimas’s power and strength to gash defenses and he was a key cog in the Bobcats come from behind four overtime win against the number three ranked Anna Coyotes 42-40. A two year starter, Dimas was selected 7-4 DI Offensive Newcomer of The Year as a sophomore and Texas A&M Commerce has jumped in early to offer Zaydyn this past offseason. Dimas has the makeup at guard that college programs covet. Look for his profile to rise as the Bobcats continue to churn out rushing yards this season.

Sean Steens (WR) | Class of 2024 | Anna HS | @SteensSean

Steens has excellent quickness, which enables him to create separation early from defenders in tight coverage. Sean has flexible hips with ability to sink, cut and burst during his routes that allows him to get open routinely. He has a high football IQ combined with superb vision, that enables him to find creases in defenses to sit down and get open, making grabs in traffic consistently. Steens excels at yards after the catch, he has the short area quickness to make defenders miss and the long speed to make a house call for six. Although the Coyotes lost in overtime, Steens was eating all night, leading the Coyotes wideouts with 12 receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown. Steens was active on the camp scene this offseason, camping at Lamar University, UNT, Texas State, SFA and attended Junior Day at Texas A&M Commerce. Schools may not want to miss the opportunity to offer Steens, who has all the traits in his game that slot receivers posses at the next level.

Ziondre Williams | Class of 2026 | Anna HS | @ZiondreWilliams

Williams showed great poise and composure in high intensity situations and his ability to make plays under constant pressure was a noticeable trait in his game. Ziondre’s decision making, combined with his ability to be on time with his throws were a key component that lead to him airing out the football for 341 yards on the night and his connection with Steens was on point most of the night, as the tandem hooked up for a late score in the fourth quarter. Ziondre moves well in the pocket, he has the skill set to be a threat in the running game and he used his speed to avoid pressure. In the open field, Williams is a talented runner, who has excellent short area quickness in the open field and he has the speed to elude defenders. Texas State has extended an offer to the sophomore signal caller and he has the potential to develop into a top quarterback in the state in his class for the next couple of years at Anna.

Jadun Mason Davis (DB) | Class of 2024 | Anna HS

Mason-Davis has a lean, athletic build, with extended arm length and he uses that to his advantage in press coverage to get hands on wideouts early in their routes. Jadun is a sticky defender, who has active hands in coverage, which enables him to alter his opponents at the point of attack and he didn’t give up many receptions versus Celina. Jadun transitions into his back pedal smoothly and this allows him to plant and change directions quickly. Mason-Davis had one the biggest plays in the first half. The Coyotes blocked a Bobcats field goal attempt and the ball bounced into Jadun’s hands. Mason-Davis scooped the ball up and raced up the sideline for six, showing off his wheels. Jadun has the physical characteristics of a playmaker at the cornerback position. In his junior season, he was voted 8-4A DI Second Team All District.

Sarkisian's Pre-Baylor Presser Highlights

After defeating Wyoming on Saturday 31-10, the Longhorns get ready to start Big 12 play as they travel up I-35 to face the Baylor Bears in Waco on 9/23. Here's everything Sark had to say regarding the win over the Cowboys, the upcoming game, team updates and more: 
Sark thought that the Horns were "really sound on special teams" on Saturday and he is "really proud of that unit." Defensively, he pointed out 3 key plays that frustrated him, but outside of those, the team played "pretty sound." Offensively, Sark emphasized the impressive blocks made by the WR unit. Quinn Ewers has yet to turn the ball over this season, and his last interception was last season against TCU (6 games ago). Sarkisian: "I hate to jinx the guy, but Quinn taking care of the ball I think has been big for us..." yet adds that the overall "passing game needs to improve."  Asked about the Big 12, Sarkisian stated that he knows it has "good coaches... good players... and tough environments to play in" and that they will "have to analyze each team as we [Texas] go..." He was asked if he would like to keep any of the Big 12 rivalries after the move to the SEC: "I think it's great for the state of Texas..." yet realizes it's challenging to keep all of the rivalries alive as there is a "trickle-down affect" and that "you can't play everybody."  Sarkisian emphasized at the start of the season how the 'Horns needed to finish games better. Today, he stated that he was proud of how the team has achieved that so far, but currently is not satisfied with how his team is starting games off. Sark was asked about Baylor and the Big 12 games meaning more now that it could be the last time they play each other due to the SEC move: "We need to understand what we are walking into... we understand the environment... we have to embrace it... now more than ever are there 'Horns down... we can't sit here and be a punching bag..."  CB Jahdae Barron played very well on Saturday with 9 tackles (team high) and 1 pass break-up. When asked about him, Sark said he has been the "glue" of the secondary/defense and has "one of the higher football IQ's" on the team.  Injury Updates: OL Cole Hutson and DL Kristopher Ross will both miss 3 to 4 weeks. Sarkisian said he hopes to have them back for the Oklahoma game. RB CJ Baxter was at practice today.  Now ranked 3rd in the nation, let's see how the Longhorns hold as they enter Big 12 play this weekend.

Can reigning National Champs Texas Volleyball find its stride as Big 12 Conference play begins?

Photo: Sara Diggins/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK
Not since 2018 has Texas Volleyball started Big 12 Conference play with as many as three losses. Seemingly rebuilding the program following their National Championship in 2022 after losing key position players who graduated, the Longhorns were upset by unranked Long Beach State in their season opener, followed by defeats on home court from then #2 Stanford and on Friday by #11 Washington State. Their path to Tampa Bay this December isn’t impossible given the glimpses of a lethal offense witnessed in some of their most dominating sets and the opportunity to develop a strong chemistry among the new and veteran players over time. In fact, in 2018 the Longhorns persevered to win the Big 12 title and move to the tournament quarterfinals before losing to BYU after a similar three-loss preconference season start.
Starting with back-to-back matches versus Oklahoma in Norman this Friday and Saturday, the program will be tested in a conference they have dominated, but Texas’ 2023 record places them in the bottom quarter for now. Moreover, five of 13 Big 12 teams join the Longhorns in the NCAA’s Top 25 this year: #12 BYU, #18 Baylor, #20 Kansas, #22 Houston and #23 Iowa State. The Sooners are 6-3 but Texas will be their first ranked contest this season.
Over the past week, #6 Texas wasn’t the only upset among the NCAA Top Ten:
#5 Stanford over #2 Louisville #14 Creighton over #9 Minnesota Top Ten teams that pulled out a win in five-set squeakers:
#7 Oregon over #8 Pitt #1 Wisconsin over #3 Florida

No. 4 Texas awakens late, beats Wyoming 31-10

Photo Courtesy: Mikala Compton - Austin American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK
If you like watching lopsided Longhorn victories, Saturday's game probably was not for you. Through three quarters of heart palpitating-play, the Longhorns found themselves in a tight contest that was starting to go Wyoming's way. However, thanks to a late fourth quarter bolt of production, the Longhorns were able to outlast the Cowboys 31-10, resulting in their first 3-0 start to a season since 2012.
Entering Saturday's game, the lights were going to be bright in Austin - both literally and figuratively after the team's celebrated win over Alabama and, more importantly for Saturday, a new LED light display was being introduced at Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. However, like they showcased in week one against Texas Tech, the Wyoming Cowboys are not a team to play around against. Even with backup quarterback Evan Svoboda getting the start against the Longhorns, due to an injury that typical starter Andrew Peasley sustained late against Portland State last Saturday, the Cowboys showed their grit. In fact, at the end of the third quarter, the game was tied at 10 points apiece following a lengthy 10:22 Wyoming scoring drive that drained the game clock.
However, like Texas-fan and WWE legend The Undertaker, the Longhorns rose from the dead and exerted a lethal jolt into the side of the Cowboys. This all started when, with 14:12 left in the game, Quinn Ewers found Xavier Worthy on a short pass which Worthy turned into a 44-yard touchdown run. Then, with Texas already leading 24-10, following a Ewers 5-yard touchdown rush, Longhorns safety Jerrin Thompson sealed the game with a 27-yard pick-six touchdown - extending Texas's lead to 31-10 with 8:46 remaining in the contest.
Before the awakening of the Longhorns late in the game, the Wyoming sideline sobered the Longhorns early with a first quarter 62-yard touchdown rush that gashed the Texas defense. Additionally, the Longhorns offense sputtered for the majority of the game, with a few bright spots - such as defensive lineman Bryon Murphy's first half 1-yard touchdown reception on offense. However, the Longhorns, as Steve Sarkisian has reiterated week-in and week-out, are versatile and have been able to win ballgames when not at their best, saying after the game: "that's what championship teams do."
While Texas was able to right the ship on Saturday, for seemingly the third time this season already, the Longhorns cannot make a habit of repeatedly needing to do so. With the conference title picture being as open as it ever has been, it will be important for the Longhorns to remain steadfast in their 'John Wick," mentality that the team has harped on - if they want to march up I-35 to Arlington in December. Currently, the onus is on the Longhorn offense to catch up to the defense, a unit which should be able to go to sleep just fine tonight, having allowed only two scores in the contest.
Next weekend, Big 12 Conference play will commence as the Longhorns will travel to Waco to take on the Baylor Bears. Kickoff from McLane Stadium is set for 6:30 P.M. (CT) and the game will be televised on ABC.
Game Stats:
QB Quinn Ewers: 11/21, 131 passing yards, 2 TDs RB Jonathon Brooks: 21 carries, 164 rushing yards WR Xavier Worthy: 4 receptions, 56 yards, 1 TD DB Jahdae Barron: 9 tackles, 1 PBU DB Jerrin Thompson: 3 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 1 TD

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