The Texas Longhorns (4-1, 2-0) snapped a two game losing streak to TCU last weekend, defeating Gary Patterson and the Horned Frogs 32-27 in Fort Worth. Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0) went on the road and beat Kansas State 37-31 to stay undefeated in and out of conference play.
The Sooners have won three straight and seven of the last ten games against the Longhorns.
The 117th matchup between these programs takes place on Saturday at 11:00 am at the Cotton Bowl with the winner taking the Big 12 driver's seat into the second half of the season.
The HornSports Staff weighs with their predictions on the outcome of the game.
Jameson McCausland (4-1)
For a team that is 5-0, Oklahoma has faced a lot of criticism in recent weeks and most of it is justified. The Sooners have struggled to run the ball this year, which normally is the bread and butter of a Lincoln Riley offense. The Oklahoma offensive line has a lot of questions entering Saturday's matchup in both run blocking and pass protection.
For Texas, the big storyline will be Casey Thompson making first career Texas-OU start. Thompson looked very good against Rice and Texas Tech, but struggled last week against TCU and has now thrown an interception in 3 straight games. We know Steve Sarkisian will find a way to get Bijan Robinson his touches, but a big factor in this game will be the ability of Thompson to push the ball down the field to the Texas receivers.
If you would have asked me to pick this game before the season or even after the Arkansas game, I would have taken Oklahoma by double digits. I like what Texas has shown over the last 3 weeks on both sides of the ball, but the Sooners appeared to figure some things out offensively last week and will have the best pass rusher on the field in Nic Bonitto. I think that is the difference in the game.
Score Prediction: Oklahoma 31, Texas 28
Devon Messinger (4-1)
Against TCU, the Longhorns won the turnover battle quite handily. On Saturday, the Longhorns will once again need to tap into this magic against Oklahoma.
Everyone knows about the talent of Oklahoma redshirt sophomore quarterback Spencer Rattler. While Rattler has had a relatively slow start to the year, the Oklahoma offense started to click once again in their game versus K-State. As a result, besides Bijan Robinson needing to have a big game for Texas, the key for the Longhorns will be their ability to pressure Rattler into making poor decisions. Additionally, Longhorns quarterback Casey Thompson will need to keep a clean sheet and keep Oklahoma's defense honest against the passing game.
Texas's game against Oklahoma will certainly be a litmus test for both teams. Moreover, this year's Red River Showdown could have a tremendous impact on Sarkisian's football program, both on the field and off.
Score Prediction: Texas 34, Oklahoma 31
Tristan Larsen (4-1)
Oklahoma has been holding on to their 5-0 record by the skin of their teeth. Now, they match up with Texas in a game that should serve as their toughest test at this point in the season.
Spencer Rattler, by many a first round selection, has been slightly disappointing this season, but so has the Oklahoma offensive line. Texas has had a new burst of energy since Casey Thompson became the starter a few weeks ago. Nonetheless the battle will be Bijan Robinson verse the Oklahoma defensive front. The Sooners are just one of 15 teams in the nation that are holding opponents to under 100 yards a game on the ground. They haven’t faced someone remotely close to the caliber of player that Robinson is though. Conventional wisdom would make you to think to choose Texas to win this one. Oklahoma has been struggling, winning multiple games by one possession. The Sooners however seem like the team that will just find a way to keep surviving. No matter how ugly they look in some weeks they just keep surviving. Robinson will keep Texas in it, but Texas’ inability to get to Rattler will be their downfall.
Score Prediction: Oklahoma 31, Texas 28
Mitch Lovell (4-1)
The latest edition of the RRS will be tight from start to finish. At the end of the day I think Lincoln Riley will have his offense looking better than it has all season, and prove to be just too much for the Longhorns.
Score Prediction: Oklahoma 31, Texas 28
Aaron Carrara (4-1)
The Sooners are a better team than their on-field performances indicate through five games. Texas is.... well, we're still unsure if Texas is a Big 12 contender or lower tier bowl team? What we do know is the Longhorns have their quarterback in Casey Thompson and a legit Heisman candidate in Bijan Robinson. I would feel much better about picking Texas in this one if the passing game was clicking, but I'm taking the Longhorns anyways. Oklahoma hasn't shown they can put together a complete game, and the Longhorns take advantage of that and win by a Cameron Dicker field goal.
Score Prediction: Texas 34, Oklahoma 31
Throw out the records for both teams headed into the Cotton Bowl. Texas feels like the more prepared team at this point, and I expect Casey Thompson and the Longhorn WRs to have a bounce back game after their struggles in Fort Worth, especially if OU keys on Bijan Robinson. Sark grabs tons of momentum for the remainder of the season this Saturday in Dallas.
Score Prediction: Texas 35, Oklahoma 30
The Longhorns and Sooners will square off at 11:00 am on Saturday at the Cotton Bowl for the 117th time in history. The Sooners are ranked in the Top 10 but have struggled in several games this season. Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian rolls into his first Red River Rivalry with a 3-game winning streak and a Heisman candidate running back.
Here are four things to keep an eye on that could help Texas leave Dallas with the Golden Hat.
1. Can the Longhorns OL hold their own?
Oklahoma’s best unit on their team may very well be their defensive line. This will also likely be the toughest line Texas will face all season on the defensive side of the ball. Yes, even better than the Razorbacks' that dominated Texas for sixty minutes. Oklahoma linebacker Nick Bonnito vs left tackle Christian Jones will serve as a key matchup that could determine who wins in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday. Bonnito has a lethal combination of speed and power and Jones has struggled in pass blocking at times this year. This is a matchup in which Steve Sarkisian must give Jones some additional help in the form of a running back or tight end to chip Bonnito. The Longhorns have gotten significantly better play from their offensive line since leaving Fayetteville but this will be a major test.
2. Will Sark have his team ready for his first rumble with the Sooners?
While Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian has coached and played in big rivalry games, this one is just a little different. Saturday's game takes place at a neutral site, and brings a blend of road and home atmosphere into one raucous stadium. In few games can you feel the momentum shift like this one, and Texas must start fast which has been a problem for the Longhorns in past years. Sark is a great offensive mind and he will likely lay all the chips on the table and hold nothing back to try and win this one.
3. Oklahoma will test the Longhorn DB’s... how will they react?
The Texas secondary hasn’t been tested too often this season and when they have been it hasn’t gone particularly well. Texas Tech attacked the corners downfield and had great success in doing so. I was surprised that Gary Patterson and TCU didn’t do the same last week in Fort Worth, especially without starter Josh Thompson. You can bet that Lincoln Riley will test the secondary over and over on Saturday. If they hold their own it could be a long day for an Oklahoma offense that has struggled at times this year. The Sooners haven't had their typical explosive offense but they still have talent in their wide receiver room. Tight end Austin Stogner can present issues in coverage as well and it will be a task for the Longhorns to slow him down as well.
4. Can the Longhorns DL wreck havoc on Oklahoma’s OL?
Oklahoma is known for having elite offensive lineman year after year but this season they look vulnerable. This is an area where Texas should be able to beat Oklahoma in the trenches. Texas has been rotating several defensive linemen in every game to keep players fresh to maximize reps. Spencer Rattler hasn’t lived up to expectations so far this year, largely in part due to the Oklahoma line being subpar. As we saw last year in Dallas when Rattler was benched, if you get to him early he can be rattled. When that happens, bad throws turn into interceptions. Getting pressure will be pivotal in this game for the Longhorns.
Texas improved to 2-0 in Big 12 play last Saturday after securing a big win in Fort Worth against TCU, but all focus has now shifted to the Red River Rivalry and the 117th meeting between Texas and Oklahoma.
The Sooners enter the game with a 5-0 record but have had some unexpected scares to open the season, including close wins over Tulane, Nebraska and West Virginia.
What has caused some head scratching performances from Lincoln Riley's team and what can Texas expect on Saturday afternoon? Let's dive in:
Expectations were sky high for sophomore QB Spencer Rattler after a really good freshman campaign. Rattler entered the season has the favorite for the Heisman trophy and it was widely thought he would be the first QB off the board in the 2022 NFL draft. So what has gone wrong for the Oklahoma QB? Rattler's decision making has taken a step back this year. He is pushing the ball down the field into very tight windows and as a result, Riley is choosing to not call as many downfield shots as previous years. Rattler did have his best game of the season a week ago against Kansas State, completing 22 of 25 passes for 243 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but still tossed an ill-advised interception where he underthrew a WR along the sideline.
Another underlying issue is the Oklahoma offensive line, which is giving Rattler very little protection compared to what we are used to seeing from Bill Bedenbaugh's unit. Despite having 4 senior starters up front, the Sooners have allowed 9 sacks on the season, including 6 the last two games against West Virginia and Kansas State.
The Oklahoma running game has also not been as explosive as in years past. The Sooners only have two scholarship running backs on the roster, Tennessee transfer Eric Gray and Kennedy Brooks. Both are averaging over 5.0 yards a carry, but as a team the Sooners are only averaging 155 rushing yards per game, which ranks 75th in the country.
Oklahoma does have plenty of weapons to get the ball to when the passing game is clicking. Marvin Mims leads the team with 264 receiving yards on 14 catches but has yet to find the endzone so far this year. Arkansas transfer Mike Woods and true freshman Mario Williams are tied for the team tied in receptions with 20. Riley also loves to utilize TE Austin Stogner and FB/TE Jeremiah Hall in the passing game. Stogner had a good game against the Longhorns a year ago (6 catches for 56 yards and a TD).
Alex Grinch has a done a really good job of turning around the Oklahoma defense compared to where they were just 3 years ago. This is the most talented defensive unit the Sooners have had in quite a while, and it all starts up front with the defensive line. The Longhorns offensive line will face their toughest test of the season going against Nic Bonitto and Isaiah Thomas coming off the edge. With Denzel Okafor out for the season with a knee injury, Kyle Flood will be counting on Andrej Karic to hold his own while making his first career start at RT.
On the backend, Oklahoma has one of the best safety duos in the conference in Pat Fields and Delarrin Turner-Yell, who missed last weeks game but is expected to return on Saturday. Freshman Billy Bowman, who was committed to Texas for over a year before flipping to Oklahoma, starts at nickel and has flashed a ton of a potential.
Overall, Alex Grinch is going to lean heavily on his defensive line to slow down the Texas running game and put the Longhorns into 3rd and long situations where he is able to turn up the heat with the pass rush. Grinch is very aggressive so do not expect Oklahoma to sit on their heels and let the game come to them.
Oklahoma has a few more holes than people would have thought heading into the season, but they are still a top 10 team in the county and should be favored on paper. The biggest question mark is going to be if Texas is able to move the ball through the air offensively. Alex Grinch is going to dedicate almost all of his resources to stopping Bijan Robinson, so the Longhorns will need to connect on some big plays through the air which is something they were not able to do in Fort Worth.
Defensively for Texas, the play of Spencer Rattler is a true wildcard. He appeared to settle into a groove last week against Kansas State but is still prone to costly turnovers. If the Longhorns are able to slow down the Oklahoma rushing attack and force Rattler to beat them down the field with a shaky offensive line, then Texas has a really good chance of emerging victorious.
The Texas Longhorns' recruiting class for 2022, already ranked 5th in the country according to the 247Sports Team Rankings, is filled with 14 four-star commits. Not only did Sarkisian and company add a 15th, but they added quite possibly the best one yet on Wednesday.
Texas, say hello to Brenen Thompson.
Thompson is a four-star wide receiver out of Spearman, Texas playing for the Spearman Lynx. The 5’10 wideout is a speedster, who most recruits and analysts alike agree will be electric at the next level. Per the 247Sports Composite, he’s the 14th ranked player in the state of Texas and the 11th ranked player at his position in the nation. Per those same rankings, Thompson is the highest-ranked recruit Texas has landed in its 2022 class. Coach Sarkisian has struck again.
Thompson joins Armani Winfield as the lone other wide receiver commit in the class. After beefing up the defensive line, it’s clear what direction Sarkisian and company are heading in to fill out the rest of the class.
The speedy wide receiver this year had made visits to Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and Oregon along with Texas. He held offers from Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, and Oklahoma among others. At the end of the day, Thompson is staying home.
Earlier this year, Thompson was clocked at running a 10.38 and a 21.27 in the 100 and 200-meter dash respectively. His 21.27 was good enough to win the Class 3A 200-meter state championship. Thus, Thompson, despite being injured, has been dubbed as one of the fastest athletes in this class. He’s now Sarkisian’s newest weapon at Texas for years to come.
Name: Brenen Thompson
Position: Wide Recevier
High School: Spearman
City, State: Spearman, Texas
Three Best Traits
Pure Speed - If it wasn’t clear from the text above, lining up Thompson out wide and saying hike is like firing a bullet out of a gun. Thompson uses his acceleration to get off the line and embarrass opposing defensive backs from the get-go. Even if a defensive back manages to stay with him through his first move, good luck trying to keep Thompson maintained in man coverage any longer than that. From a sheer athlete perspective, he is near one of a kind.
Diversity - At Spearman, Thompson lined up all over the field. He took snaps at wide receiver, running back, and cornerback. Needless to say, he did it all for the Lynx. He’s ultimately just a fun weapon for Sarkisian to utilize in a variety of ways. Just give Thompson the ball in open space and watch for great things to happen.
Athleticism - While most everyone who earns a Division-I scholarship can list athleticism as a strength, Thompson’s athleticism puts him in the top 1% of the top 1%. He’s a guy who’s so fast and so naturally gifted you have to game plan for him if you’re an opposing defensive coordinator. The list of guys who can do the things that Thompson can do on the football field is very, very small.
Areas for Improvement
Experience at the Highest Level - Spearman, being 3A, is a small school. Thus, he didn’t have too much competition at the 3A level. Now, this criticism does go both ways as it’s equally as impressive seeing what he does with such little help around him. Still, one has to wonder if the lack of competition could delay his progress at the next level.
True WR Ability - In High School Thompson was used as an offensive weapon and has many good qualities for a wide receiver. But since he played so much elsewhere on the field he didn’t have time to focus as much on route running and ball skills. There’s no doubt however that this is something Sarkisian’s staff can work on with Thompson as soon as he enters the Forty Acres.
Ultimately, this is a giant win for the Longhorns. Thompson should very quickly become a household name in the Sarkisian offense. The stacked class that is the Longhorns' 2022 Class just got even more stacked. Despite the loss of Quinn Ewers and others, Sarkisian and this staff have gone above and beyond to ensure this is one of the better Texas recruiting classes in recent memory.
Texas’ 2022 class is about to take the next step. It was already top-five, but with Thompson’s commitment it could rise to as high as number two in the nation ahead of SEC powerhouses such as Alabama and Georgia. Of the 22 total commits Thompson is just the seventh on offense for Texas. He joins fellow four-star running backs, Jaydon Blue and Jamarion Miller along with his future quarterback Maalik Murphy. Rounding out the offense is the aforementioned Winfield along with multiple interior linemen, Cole Hutson and Conner Robertson. The future of Texas football is looking glaringly bright, and when they make the move to the SEC, they’ll have the weapons to compete.
After visiting the University of Texas two weekends in a row, Harold Perkins was a player that I wanted to see in action. So, on Thursday, I travelled to Cypress, TX to see what the 2022 five-star linebacker could do against Cypress Lakes.
Additionally, on Friday, I covered Stony Point's district matchup against Cedar Ridge to watch 2023 running back Cameron Cook, who has recently received an offer from Southern California.
Despite being projected as a star linebacker at the collegiate level, Perkins is Cypress Park's main weapon on offense. In fact, Perkins, who plays on both sides of the ball, currently leads the team in rushing with 627 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.
Entering Thursday's game, Cy Park had a 4-0 record and was off to a hot start to their season. In contrast, the Cy Lakes Spartans have stumbled out of the gate - with an uninspiring 0-4 record. However, after watching the Spartans line up against Cy Park, it is apparent that their roster has some aptitude for football.
Unfortunately for Cy Lakes, Perkins was a man on a mission for the Tigers, rushing for 162 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 7 carries. Also, funny enough, it seemed like Cy Park's coaching staff tried their best to keep Perkins on the sidelines to get him some rest. However, after the Tigers offense would find itself in a third-and-long, or even fourth-and-long situation, Perkins was subbed back in on mop-up duty.
For example, at one point in the first quarter, Cy Park found themselves in a fourth-and-seven situation in opponent's territory. Out of both field goal & punt range, Cy Park opted to instead dial up a run play for Perkins who took it to the house - giving the Tigers a 14-0 lead.
It is not difficult to see why Perkins is so highly touted, thanks to his jaw-dropping athleticism that he makes look easy. And, while he had a relatively quiet night on defense, thanks to Cy Lakes avoiding his side of the field, Perkins was still able to tally a sack.
When the final whistle blew, Cy Park advanced to 5-0 with a 56-0 win over Cy Lakes.
Like Thursday's game, I was excited to watch two teams that I had never covered before in Stony Point and Cedar Ridge. So far this season, Cedar Ridge has been a team to beat in the 25-6A district, along with Vandegrift. Meanwhile, Stony Point has gotten off to a shaky start to their season and would face a big challenge against the Raiders.
For Stony Point, the passing game quickly became obsolete against a dynamic Raiders defense. Cedar Ridge's pass rush was simply too dominant, forcing a countless number of sacks and quarterback pressures. Additionally, Raiders senior Jackson Donohoe was able to make a nice diving interception grab in the second quarter.
As a result, the offense had to rely on senior Jaden Leonard and junior Cameron Cook to run the ball against a stacked box. Both Leonard and Cook showed flashes of success running the football, however in the end the Raiders defense did not allow many big plays.
When presented with a decent running lanes, Cook was able to piece together sizable runs. However, Cook did have a second half fumble, which he was able to bounce back from as he had his longest rush of the game afterwards.
For Cedar Ridge, junior quarterback Aidan Liston had an impressive outing, throwing for three touchdown passes. Liston was delivering an accurate ball all night and had no problem hitting receivers in stride.
Senior receivers Matthew Brooks and Taye Jackson both look like solid receiving threats. Brooks showcased his big 6'3" frame on a couple of catches while Jackson showcased his speed on a deep-pass by Liston that resulted in a touchdown.
Lastly, on offense, junior running back Karlos Jackson II was bouncing off of defenders and was taking advantage of sound offensive line play by Cedar Ridge. Furthermore, Jackson was involved in the scoring action as he rushed for a first quarter touchdown.
Ultimately, the Raiders were able to win in style, 34-0.
I imagine that there are several players on Texas's recruiting big board that would be viewed as home run additions, one of them having to be Harold Perkins. While Texas is very much in the race for Perkins, evident by his back-to-back trips to the Forty Acres, they have some work to do to land him. In fact, Perkins currently has two 247Sports crystal ball predictions in favor of Texas A&M. But, I believe that it is still too early to guess where he will end up. Moreover, Perkins will not be making his commitment until January at the Under Armour All-American game.
Switching topics, I enjoyed watching the Stony Point versus Cedar Ridge game. The Raiders have a lot of talent and have the ability to upset a team or two in the playoffs. For Stony Point, I liked what I saw from Cameron Cook but I will have to see him again in the future. It is clear that the junior running back has some talent but it is difficult to be showcased when going against a dominant Raiders squad. But, whenever USC is one of the first schools to offer a Texas kid, your ears should perk up.
You can’t discuss this game without mentioning the elite performance from Bijan Robinson. The sophmore had 216 yards on 35 carries and if he wasn’t in the Heisman conversation before, he certainly is now. Steve Sarkisian's game plan was something Tom Herman's never included - feeding Robinson the ball as many times as it takes to win. With 3rd & 6 and the game on the line, Sarkisian told Bijan to win the game and he did just that. One of the things that makes Robinson so great is his balance. On Saturday he forced 15 missed tackles, which is rare from any running back.
The Longhorns' red zone offense struggled on Saturday. Cameron Dicker kicked two short field goals and Bijan Robinson was stuffed on 4th and goal in the 4th quarter. Those are three possessions where Texas struggled to finish drives. Against better teams, those shortcomings could be an issue. Winning more so than not in the red zone is a must for Texas to continue winning games. Also, Casey Thompson missed on a few deep balls and Xavier Worthy had a few missed catches that would have helped the offense stay on the field and potentially score six.
Texas had far too many penalties, especially given the Longhorns have been a fairly disciplined team so far this year. I will acknowledge that the refs Saturday weren’t even serviceable, but 9 penalties for 97 yards is inexcusable. Texas isn’t a good enough to give up nearly 100 yards in penalties and expect a successful outcome. This will be something to watch for next Saturday in Dallas. In a rivalry game like Texas - Oklahoma there will be testy moments where tempers flare, and the Longhorns must stay composed.
Let's jump straight into it as the Longhorns moved to 4-1 on the season and 2-0 in conference play.
Steve Sarkisian was the first person to admit after the game that Texas was very sloppy at times today. The Longhorns settled for field goals far too often in the red zone and struggled mightily to get the passing game going. Despite all that, Texas was able to beat a team they were 2-7 against the previous 9 years. TCU made their fair share of mistakes as well, but this certainly felt like a game Texas would have lost in previous seasons.
Bijan Robinson put the Texas offense on his back. The sophomore carried the ball 35 times for 216 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He was the best player on the field and Steve Sarkisian showed no hesitation in putting the ball in his hands with the game on the line. If Robinson continues to build on what he's done through the first 5 games of the season, he should be in New York in December.
The Texas receivers struggled today outside of Jordan Whittington. Xavier Worthy had several drops and was a non-factor for most of the afternoon and Joshua Moore was only able to catch 3 passes for 13 yards. Marcus Washington played a good amount and continues to show excellent effort as a blocker, but Texas will need more consistency from the position group moving forward to help out Casey Thompson.
Speaking of Thompson, he experienced some struggles today for the first time in his career. He completed 12 of 22 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown along with a bad interception. The interception was a bad decision to throw into triple coverage down the field to Xavier Worthy. Worthy was being held on the play and it probably should have been a flag, but Thompson simply can not make that throw. He also forced several other throws into tight windows that could have been picked off. He did rebound nicely to throw a touchdown to Whittington on a RPO early in the 4th quarter.
The Texas offensive line had an up and down day, but the biggest storyline was the injury to Denzel Okafor. Once Okafor went down, Kyle Flood opted to slide Derek Kerstetter inside to LG and insert Andrej Karic at RT. Karic had several nice blocks in the running game and appeared to play well off the bench.
Pete Kwiatkowski and the Texas defense did enough to get the job done. The Longhorns forced 2 defensive turnovers (the 3rd turnover came on special teams) and should have had another when both DeMarvion Overshown and Luke Brockermeyer had their hands on a Max Duggan pass. Kwiatkowski appeared content with getting TCU to dink and dunk their way down the field while waiting for a mistake and limiting big plays. The plan worked for the most part as the Horned Frogs were unable to push the ball down the field through the air.
The lone sack for the defense came on a strip sack from Anthony Cook on a beautifully called nickel blitz. Cook had another outstanding game and might be the best player in the Texas secondary right now.
The defensive line was asked to contain Duggan for much of the game and try to shut down the running game with Zach Evans. Duggan's longest run of the day was 10 yards. Evans had a good game (15 carries for 113 yards) and probably should have received more touches.
The one aspect the Texas defense is lacking right now is consistent pass rush from their edge players. It is not likely something that is going to change over the course of the season, so the coaching staff is going to have to make do and lean on their interior defensive line to try to get to the quarterback.
Outside of Bijan Robinson, the MVP for the game should go to Cameron Dicker. The senior was 4/4 on field goals and also averaged 46.5 yards on his two punts. Dicker had been inconsistent to start the year, but Texas needed him to come through today and he delivered.
FORT WORTH, TX -- Bijan Robinson rushed for 216 yards and two touchdowns, and Cameron Dicker's four field goals powered the Longhorns (4-1, 2-0) to a 32-27 victory over TCU (2-2, 0-1) at Amon G. Carter Stadium. The win was the first against the Horned Frogs in three seasons, and the first in Fort Worth since 2013.
Texas tallied 414 total yards of offense in a hard-fought victory, with 239 of those yards coming courtesy of Robinson. Texas quarterback Casey Thompson threw for 142 yards and a touchdown and one interception.
TCU turned the ball over three times and the Longhorns managed just nine points off of those turnovers. TCU tried to give the game away, but Texas couldn't close the door, allowing Gary Patterson's team to hang around until late in the game.
When the game clock expired however, Texas had done enough to improve its overall record to 4-1 and 2-0 in Big 12 play.
Offensive lineman Denzel Okafor was carter off the field early on after suffering an injury and being replaced by Andrej Karic.
The Longhorns will face Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas next Saturday at 11:00 am.
TCU's JD Spielman took the opening kickoff 87 yards setting up Zach Evans' 12-yard touchdown run to account for the first points of the game and a 7-0 lead for the Horned Frogs.
On their first offensive possession, the Longhorns drove the ball to the TCU 5-yard line but tight end Jared Wiley was flagged for a false start. Dylan Horton then sacked Casey Thompson for a 10-yard loss, allowing Cameron Dicker to make good on a 38-yard field goal.
After a stop and a solid TCU punt, the Longhorns began the next drive at their own 1-yard line. Texas went three-and-out but after review, TJ Carter was flagged for targeting on Jordan Whittington. The penalty gave Texas a fresh set of downs. Casey Thompson had a 41-yard rush on the 99-yard drive, which was capped with Bijan Robinson's 4-yard touchdown run to give the Longhorns a 10-7 lead.
Derius Davis' fumble at the Texas 40-yard line on TCU's ensuing possession was recovered by D'Shawn Jamison. Texas was forced to settle for another Cameron Dicker field goal after failing to convert on third down.
JD Spielman gave the Horned Frogs a 14-13 lead on an 11-yard touchdown reception as the first quarter came to a close.
The Longhorns punted for the first time in 10 quarters on the opening possession of the second quarter, but the punt was muffed by Derius Davis, and the Longhorns recovered at the TCU 9-yard line.
Texas once again was forced to settle for a Dicker field goal, giving the Longhorns a 16-14 advantage with 13:22 remaining in the second quarter.
TCU answered with a field goal of their own, a 25-yarder from Griffin Kell to regain the lead at 17-16.
Good field position and a couple of defensive penalties helped Texas on the next possession, which ended with Bijan Robinson's second touchdown run of the game (4-yards).
Texas took a 23-17 lead into the locker room at halftime.
After a Longhorn punt to open the second half, TCU quarterback Max Duggan fumbled after being sacked by Texas DB Anthony Cook. Cook recovered the fumble at the Texas 49-yard line but Texas was penalized for an unsportsmanlike conduct. Three plays later Casey Thompson hit Jordan Whittington for a 31-yard strike. The Longhorns had to settle for Cameron Dicker's fourth field goal of the day, this time from 28 yards, to extend the Texas lead to 26-17.
Griffin Kell's 36-yard field goal capped a 7 play, 56-yard ensuing TCU drive leaving Texas clinging to a 26-20 lead.
The scoring continued for Texas to start the fourth quarter, with Jordan Whittington hauling in a Casey Thompson pass for 32 yards and a touchdown. The Longhorns attempted a two point conversion but weren't successful and held on to a 32-20 lead.
Texas was stopped on a 4th & goal at the TCU 1-yard line on their next possession. Max Duggan then engineered a 99-yard TCU drive that was capped by Kendre Miller's 3-yard touchdown run. The Horned Frogs cut the Texas lead to 32-27.
Bijan Robinson's two first downs on the final drive of the game were enough to run the clock out after TCU used its remaining timeouts.
The Texas Longhorns (3-1, 1-0) head to Cowtown this week to face the TCU Horned Frogs (2-1, 0-0), a team that has had their number more times than not over the last decade. Gary Patterson is nothing short of masterful in his pre-Texas game preparation, and the Longhorns should expect to see a Horned Frog team that is ready to play on Saturday.
A win sets the Longhorns up with a perfect conference record and Big 12 title aspirations as they head into the Red River Shootout next week. A loss derails the momentum established since the loss in Fayetteville and makes the preseason goal of a conference championship much more difficult to achieve. The Big 12 is up for grabs and Texas needs a win against TCU in order to stake their claim.
What: Texas Longhorns (3-1, 1-0 Big 12) vs TCU Horned Frogs (2-1, 0-0 Big 12)
Venue: Amon G. Carter Stadium
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
When: Saturday, October 2nd, 2021
Time: 11:00 a.m. (CST)
On the Call: Dave Pasch, Dusty Dvoracek, Tom Luginbill
All-Time Series: Texas leads, 63-27-1
Last Meeting: TCU defeated Texas 31-33 (10/3/2020 Austin, TX)
Depth Chart: Texas vs TCU
Frog Notes: TCU hasn't been kind to Texas
Scouting Report: TCU Horned Frogs
Staff Predictions: Texas vs. TCU
Four Keys to the Longhorns Winning in Fort Worth on Saturday
The Longhorns are tired of losing to the Horned Frogs, but are they ready to do something about it? Texas hasn't won in Fort Worth since 2013 and have an abysmal record against TCU head coach Gary Patterson. Casey Thompson is firing on all cylinders, but can he lead the Longhorns on the road to their third straight win? The HornSports staff gives their thoughts on the outcome of the Texas vs. TCU game in Fort Worth.
Jameson McCausland (3-1)
It's hard to ignore what Gary Patterson has done to Texas the last 9 years. TCU is 7-2 against Texas, including a 3-1 record when the game is played in Fort Worth. Coaches and personnel have changed over the last decade, but the results have mostly stayed the same. The Horned Frogs lost last week to SMU, but I fully expect Patterson to have his team ready to play on Saturday.
If TCU is able to return 3 defensive starters who missed the SMU game due to injury, this game will get very interesting. The Mustangs ran for 350 yards and while Texas has a strong running game, it is a safe bet to assume that Patterson will have his run defense ready to go.
Another wildcard in this game is the weather. Conditions could be nasty in Fort Worth Saturday morning which could throw a wrench in the game plan for both teams. The weather combined with the early kickoff should limit any home field advantage TCU may have, which is good news for Texas.
Despite all the history pointing towards TCU winning this game, I believe Texas secures a huge road win.
Score Prediction: Texas 28, TCU 24
As far as predictions go, this one is a major case of heart vs. head. Although one could argue this is the first true test for the Casey Thompson-led offense, it’s still difficult to ignore the incredible efficiency we’ve witnessed in the last two weeks. However, there’s the giant Horny Toad sitting in the corner of the room with Texas losing seven of the last nine match-ups. This is THE game for Gary Patterson and his troops. He will do everything in his power to make Sark adjust on the fly by attempting to take away weapons like Xavier Worthy (three defensive starters will be back for TCU), while eating clock and patiently setting up Max Duggan to expose the big play tendencies of the Longhorn defense. I’m going to ride the Casey Thompson train until proven otherwise, but I think it will be a white-knuckled Saturday in Fort Worth. If the 70% chance of rain comes to fruition, your guess is as good as mine.
Score Prediction: Texas 38, TCU 27
Devon Messinger (3-1)
Coming off of a loss to SMU, the Horned Frogs, led by Longhorn killer Max Duggan, will look to bounce back with a win over Texas. Furthermore, last weekend, sophomore running back Zach Evans rushed for 113 yards and could present some challenges for Texas on defense.
Casey Thompson will be the X-Factor for the Longhorns in this game as he will need to take care of the ball against a TCU defense that is turnover-happy. Additionally, Thompson will have to be able to convert on third downs to put the Longhorns in a position of success. However, the Horned Frogs defense has been rather lackluster this year and Bijan Robinson should have plenty of opportunities to take control of the game early.
Score Prediction: Texas 34, TCU 20
Aaron Carrara (3-1)
I've been burned on this game so many times the easy prediction would be to take TCU. Patterson's dominance over Texas is well-documented, but at some point the tables will inevitably turn. I think Saturday is that point. Steve Sarkisian has a firm handle on what the capacity of his team is and he will develop a game plan to match. Texas doesn't get caught looking this year and the 'Horns improve to 2-0 in Big 12 play with the Sooners looming.
Score Prediction: Texas 42, TCU 34
Tristan Larsen (3-1)
Texas is firing on all cylinders after decimating the Red Raiders last weekend. Bijan Robinson continues his ascend towards the best running back in football, while the chemistry between Casey Thompson, Jordan Whittington, and Xavier Worthy is something coaches have to be pleased with thus far. TCU meanwhile, even outside of the SMU loss, has more than enough offensive firepower to match Texas drive for drive. Quarterback Max Duggan has looked good while former 5-star RB Zach Evans looks comparable to Robinson. This game will be an offensive showcase that will come down to which defense can make a stop first. Expect both teams to put up 30 plus points as this should be a close one till the end. TCU has owned this rivalry as of late winning seven of the last nine overall. I have faith that Steve Sarkisian and his staff will come more prepared than previous coaching staffs, leading Texas to a close and hard fought victory.
Score Prediction: Texas 36, TCU 31
Mitch Lovell (3-1)
Following two games in which Texas didn’t punt, TCU will have their hands full containing an explosive Texas offense. With the efficiency Casey Thompson has operated with since taking over at quarterback, it’s hard to bet against him. With that being said, TCU has certainly found ways to consistently win against Texas and Gary Patterson will have his team ready like always.
Score Prediction: Texas 38, TCU 28
TCU head coach Gary Patterson's success against the Texas Longhorns is well-known. And equally, especially in Austin, Texas' lack of success against the Horned Frogs is common knowledge. The Longhorns are 2-7 against TCU over the last nine seasons, and haven’t won in Fort Worth since Mack Brown’s final season with Texas in 2013. Throughout those nine seasons, the Frogs are 2-7 leading up to the matchup against the Longhorns. Saturday's game is TCU's Super Bowl and Steve Sarkisian understands that.
Here are four things I will be keeping an eye on in Saturdays matchup in Cowtown.
1. How will the Texas Offensive Line Hold Up?
Last week was the best performance we’ve seen from Kyle Flood's unit this season. They helped facilitate a 70 point offensive performance and didn’t allow a single QB pressure. TCU Defensive lineman Khari Coleman is expected to return from injury and that will be an X-factor on Saturday. Coleman is regarded as Patterson's best on the line and he could cause fits for Casey Thompson if the Texas front five struggle.
2. How Will The Longhorns' Secondary Respond?
Last week Texas gave up four passes of 40 yards or longer. Texas Tech was the first real test for the Texas secondary and they undoubtedly failed that test. Quentin Johnson and company will test the secondary once again Saturday. The former Texas commit will be looking to make his mark in front of the 'Horns.
3. Can TCU Contain the Texas Offense?
Texas has scored 128 points in the last two games. TCU’s defense didn’t look good in their 42-34 loss to SMU at home last week. The Horned Frogs missed 20 tackles against the ponies and if that happens again it, will be a long day for TCU. Bijan Robinson and Xavier Worthy are difficult to contain in general, but if you have tackling issues each can turn what should be short yardage plays into big gains.
4. Can Sark Win On The Headset?
The Texas roster consistently dons more talent than TCU each year. What TCU doesn't have on the roster they make up for in coaching. The Horned Frogs have been better prepared and better coached in the last decade. Steve Sarkisian has an opportunity to eliminate the TCU ghost of the past that constantly has haunted the Longhorns. The Longhorns have the better team and there is no reason they shouldn't leave Fort Worth 2-0 in conference play as the head to the State Fair the following weekend.
The weather forecast for kickoff includes thunderstorms, rain and a temperature in the low 70's. If conditions get too messy, Sarkisian will rely on the mobility of his quarterback and the power and speed of his running backs. It could be a ground & pound type of day at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Before Texas Christian University joined the Big 12 Conference in 2012, the Texas Longhorns didn't blink twice when talking about the Horned Frogs the week before the two teams played one other.
And they had good reason not to.
Texas had won 28 of 30 from TCU, dating all the way back to 1967.
Since making the jump from the Mountain West to the Big 12 with a short in-name-only stay in the Big East in between, Gary Patterson's Horned Frogs have been downright cruel to the Longhorns.
In the nine games played since 2012, TCU is 7-2 against Texas and has only lost once to them in Fort Worth (2013).
Gary Patterson has the Longhorns' number, and the numbers don't lie.
Patterson ranks first nationally (past and present) among head coaches in winning percentage against the Texas Longhorns (.700) - minimum of 6 games played.
Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian isn't blind to his team's past struggles against the Frogs either.
"We're not naive to the elephant in the room that we're 2-7 against TCU the last 9 years."
Despite the Longhorns' thrashing of Texas Tech last weekend and TCU losing at home on a Hail Mary to SMU, Sarkisian isn't taking Patterson or the Frogs lightly.
"We're also not going to buy the lie that we're going to play the same TCU that just played SMU on Saturday. We're going to get a little different animal."
Saturday's game at Amon G. Carter Stadium will be the fourth straight home game for the Horned Frogs and will give the Longhorns an opportunity to get the monkey off their backs.
Kickoff will take place at 11:00 AM and the game will be televised on ABC.
Texas and TCU will meet for the 92nd time on Saturday. The Longhorns own a 63-27-1 record all-time against the Horned Frogs and are 27-12 against TCU in Fort Worth.
Texas lost to TCU 33-31 last season (Austin, TX).
TCU had a 5-game winning streak prior to losing to SMU last weekend.
Gary Patterson's 7 wins against Texas are second among all head coaches since 1996. He only trails Bob Stoops who has 11.
TCU has a two-game win streak and a three-game win streak in Fort Worth against the Longhorns.
The Horned Frogs are 46-19 in regular season games following a loss under Gary Patterson.
In six of the last nine odd-numbered years TCU has won at least eleven games.
TCU running back Zach Evans is averaging 7.8 yards per carry, which is No. 1 nationally among active players with a minimum of 95 attempts. Evans has also rushed for 100+ yards in four of the last five games.
Texas running back Bijan Robinson has rushed for 100+ yards in six of his last eight games. The Longhorns are 6-0 in these games.
Texas will return to Fort Worth on Saturday as they search for their first road win against TCU since 2013. Amon G. Carter stadium has not been kind to the Longhorns, who have been outscored 111-41 in their previous 3 matchups in Fort Worth.
TCU has struggled to open the 2021 season, losing last weekend to SMU after barely squeaking out a win against Cal two weeks prior. Gary Patterson's defense was gashed against the Mustangs and has a lot of question marks entering Saturday's matchup. Let's take a look at what to expect from the Horned Frogs on both sides of the ball.
Max Duggan will be facing Texas for the 3rd time in his career and Longhorn fans are well aware at how dangerous he can be, particularly with his legs. As a passer, Duggan appears to be the same player he's been the previous few years. If he's connecting on deep throws, the TCU offense can be explosive and put up points. The problem for the Horned Frogs has been Duggan's inconsistency when pushing the ball down the field. He struggled against SMU despite a solid stat line (16/28 276 yards and 3 TD's).
Former 5-star Zach Evans ended up in Fort Worth following a wild recruitment and is on pace to have a big sophomore season. Evans leads the team in rushing with 330 yards and is averaging close to 8 yards a carry. Kendre Miller serves as the primary backup but Evans will carry a heavy load on Saturday.
In the passing game, the clear #1 target for Duggan is former Texas commit Quentin Johnston. Johnston somehow did not record a reception against SMU so there's a good chance TCU looks to get him to the ball early. Taye Barber, who has seemingly been at TCU forever, has had good games against Texas each of the last 2 years and is coming off a strong performance last week (5 catches for 114 yards and a TD).
The TCU offensive line has not been very good through the first 3 games of the season. Against Cal and SMU, the unit combined to allow 5 sacks. Center Steve Avila left the game last week with an injury and it is unknown if he will be available Saturday. The tackle tandem of Obinna Eze and Andrew Coker is solid, but Texas should be able to create some interior pressure against the TCU guards.
Gary Patterson had to be fuming after his side of the ball allowed 350 rushing yards against the Mustangs. The TCU defensive line offered very little resistance and allowed SMU to rush for 6.7 yards per carry. The Horned Frogs were without several defensive starters this past week and Patterson wasn't too interested in revealing too much when asked if they would play against the Longhorns. Two of those players are DT Corey Bethley and DE Khari Coleman. The return of one or both would significantly bolster the ability for TCU to defend the run.
In the backend, TCU has one of the best corners in the country in Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson. #2 corner Noah Daniels has yet to play this year due to injury but could return this weekend. That would be big news for TCU because their corners opposite of Hodges-Tomlinson have struggled mightily.
As a whole, the TCU defense has some holes and the Longhorns should be able to move the ball if they limit turnovers and negative plays. Gary Patterson has fielded much stronger defensive units during his tenure in Fort Worth and SMU exposed several holes the Horned Frogs have, especially along the defensive line and at linebacker.
I fully expect Texas to see a completely different team than the one the Horned Frogs put on the field against SMU last Saturday. It's no secret that Gary Patterson always has his team ready to play Texas. Since joining the Big 12, TCU is 2-8 the week before they play the Longhorns but have a 7-2 record head to head against Texas.
The biggest key for Texas will be slowing down the running game of TCU, specifically the QB run game. Last year, Max Duggan broke off several explosive runs and the Longhorns simply can not let that happen again if they hope to win. Duggan carried the ball 10 times against SMU and it wouldn't be surprising to see him get around 15 carries on Saturday. If Texas can slow him and Zach Evans down, TCU will be in trouble.
Longhorns and Sooners will kickoff at 11:00 AM on Saturday, October 9th
The Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners meet at The Cotton Bowl in Dallas for their annual rivalry matchup on Saturday, October 9th, with kickoff being an early one. The Red River Showdown will kickoff at 11:00 AM and will be televised on ABC. The contest marks the third straight 11:00 AM game for the Longhorns.
The game will serve as the 117th meeting between the two programs with Texas holding a 62-49-5 all-time record against the Sooners.
Last year Oklahoma defeated Texas 53-45 in an overtime thriller.
For the second consecutive week, Texas relied on the horses and rushed for over 300 yards. Complimenting the ground game was a solid outing for Texas quarterback Casey Thompson in the air, as the junior passed for more than 300 yards. Xavier Worthy looks like THE GUY at wideout, as he hauled in three of Thompson's five touchdown passes. It was a balanced offensive performance, one that Steve Sarkisian would gladly take in every outing. And throw out the quarterback controversy.... Casey Thompson has simply taken the job, ran with it and never looked back. As critical as I’ve been of the offensive line, their performance against the Red Raiders was significantly improved. Thompson didn’t have a single quarterback hurry this week which is spells success for any offensive line. I won't go so far as to say they have turned the corner, but they have put together two solid outings and the progress is noticeable.
There clearly isn’t much bad to take away from a 70-35 win but every week presents opportunities for improvement. The lack of pass rush was the culprit this week. The Longhorns recorded just one sack before the backups came in - and that was on a tricky I-formation by the defense. I'll say it each week, but if Texas really wants to contend for a conference championship this year, the pass rush must improve. On the bright side, Alfred Collins was the one guy to get the sack before the backups came in. There aren’t many defensive players on the roster with the innate talent of Collins, and getting him going would be an upgrade for the defense. I expect his snaps to continue increasing as the season goes on.
The secondary certainly showed some flaws as the Red Raiders had three touchdown passes of 40+ yards. Allowing explosive plays like that will typically will cost you the game. If that doesn’t get significantly better in the future, Texas will find themselves needing 40 or more to win a lot of Big 12 games. They will continue to be tested the next two weeks with TCU and Oklahoma, and if they still struggle, then I would expect to see some of the second team guys get more playing time. The good news is that many of the secondary's issues can be cleared up with better communication and better technique.
Texas opened Big 12 play with a statement, blowing out an overmatched Texas Tech squad while putting up 70 points. It was a welcome sight after the Longhorns were dominated offensively just 2 weeks ago in Fayetteville. Steve Sarkisian never let off the gas and the Texas defense made enough plays to put the game out of reach early. Here are some quick thoughts and takeaways from a solid Texas victory:
Texas Tech had some people fooled entering Saturday, including myself. I mentioned in my game preview that it appeared the Red Raiders had an improved defense this year but they showed very little fight yesterday. Texas ran for over 6 yards per carry and the offensive line had by far their best game of the season. Bijan Robinson, Roschon Johnson and Keilan Robinson combined for 243 yards on 35 carries. Steve Sarkisian and Kyle Flood leaned on the outside running game all afternoon and it resulted in a monster game. A lot of credit should go to the coaching staff for making some necessary adjustments over the last few weeks.
Not only did the offensive line have their best run blocking game of the season, but the pass protection looked much improved from what they showed against Louisiana and Arkansas. Casey Thompson had plenty of time to throw when dropped back to pass and it resulted in more explosive plays in the passing game as he was able to his second and third reads.
Thompson had his first major hiccup of the season when he forced a throw into the endzone on 3rd down in the 3rd quarter. This will certainly be a learning moment as it was not a good decision with the Longhorns already in range for a field goal. Outside of interception, Thompson had a very strong day (18/23 for 303 yards and 5 TD's). Steve Sarkisian mentioned after the game that they are still looking to connect on some deep throws, so expect that to continue to be an emphasis as the season progresses.
On the surface, 35 points and 520 yards allowed is a not a very good day for the Texas defense. Despite the big numbers, there were some good performances and positive takeaways. Josh Thompson had a beautifully timed pick-6 where he baited Tyler Shough into a throw and jumped the route. Luke Brockermeyer also had the first interception of his career and had another active game with 4 tackles.
Another positive takeaway was a solid performance from the Texas defensive line. The Longhorns defense held Tech to under 4 yards per carry and had also several disruptive plays in the passing game. Alfred Collins had a good day after a slow start to the season, picking up his first sack and adding a tackle for loss. Moro Ojomo continues to be the most consistent DL on the team and T'Vondre Sweat flashed several times as well.
On the negative side, Texas gave up 392 passing yards and it was not a good day for several of the DB's not named Josh Thompson. The Longhorns gave up passing touchdowns of 40, 69 and 75 yards. D'Shawn Jamison, Brenden Schooler and BJ Foster did not have very good days. The game script certainly was not favorable to DB's with Texas holding a big lead the majority of the afternoon, but the Longhorns showed some things on film that upcoming opponents are going to test.
Bonus Big Picture Takeaway
The Big 12 is wide open right now. Oklahoma and Iowa State, who were widely thought to be the two favorites in the conference, both have not looked good to start the season. Iowa State lost their conference opener to Baylor yesterday and Oklahoma has struggled against Tulane, Nebraska and West Virginia. Texas still has a lot they need to clean up if they hope to compete for a conference championship, but the opportunity is there for the Longhorns to make some noise over the next few months.
This weekend, the El Campo Ricebirds made the long trek to Boerne to play the Champion Chargers. Leading El Campo, 2023 five-star running back Rueben Owens has been off to a hot start to the season, including 283 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns against Port Lavaca Calhoun. However, Champion is the state's sixth-ranked team in the 5A Division II classification and presented an early challenge for the Ricebirds.
Entering Friday's contest, Rueben Owens was averaging 191 rushing yards per game. Against Champion, he more than continued this trend. In fact, in the first half alone, Owens rushed for over 200 yards and 4 touchdowns, earning El Campo a sizable 34-0 lead. Alongside his work on offense, Owens also spent a large portion of Friday's game at safety. It was at safety in which Rueben was able to add a first quarter interception to his stat line as well.
Owens, who de-committed from the Longhorns in June, remains a top priority for Texas in recruiting. Unfortunately for the Longhorns, Owens is also a top priority for many other powerhouse programs, including Georgia, where Owens happened to visit last weekend. Despite interest from other schools, Texas appears to still be well in the mix for Owens, who could (once again) potentially become the first pledge in Texas's 2023 recruiting class.
Thanks to Owens, the Ricebirds were in the driver's seat from the very jump. Adding insult to injury for Boerne Champion was 2022 athlete DK Ward, who also had an impressive outing as he showcased his breakaway speed with both a rushing and receiving touchdown.
According to his 247Sports profile, Ward is still waiting to receive a collegiate offer. Yet, I see potential in his ability and believe that he could see a rise in his recruiting stock as the playoffs approach.
It must be noted that Boerne Champion was without seven of their starters due to injury, but El Campo absolutely handled business. Ultimately, the Chargers were able to get on the scoreboard, but it was a lopsided 55-10 loss to the state's sixth-ranked team in the 4A Division I classification.
I have covered some great running backs during my time watching Texas high school football, however Owens' ability to change directions might be the best that I have seen in person. His jukes are not just effective, they are quick. Additionally, Owens is not afraid to bounce off of would-be tacklers - adding to his value as a running back. Furthermore, Owens appears to have the ability to contribute in the passing game, best evidenced by the hand skills he displayed at safety.
193 miles (Total)
AUSTIN, TX -- The Texas Longhorns (3-1, 1-0) scored 42 points in the first half and rode a six touchdown performance from quarterback Casey Thompson to win their conference opener over the Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-1, 0-1) 70-35. Texas scored a touchdown on each of their five offensive possessions in the first half and managed a defensive touchdown, courtesy of cornerback Josh Thompson's pick-six on Tech quarterback Tyler Shough.
The scoring continued into the second half of play and so did the balanced offensive attack for the Longhorns. Steve Sarkisian's team amassed 639 yards of total offense, and the rushing game led by sophomore Bijan Robinson had another successful campaign. Robinson finished with 18 carries for 137 yards and one receiving touchdown. Roschon Johnson added two touchdowns and 64 yards on 13 carries and Keilan Robinson entered the game late but rushed for a touchdown and averaged 10.5 yards on 4 carries.
Casey Thompson finished 18-23 for 303 yards and five touchdowns with one interception. He added one touchdown on the ground and rushed 7 times for 29 yards.
True freshman wide receiver Xavier Worthy led Texas in receiving yards with 100 and caught three touchdown passes.
Texas Tech backup quarterback Henri Colombi threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.
The win by Texas serves as the fourth straight over Texas Tech and is Steve Sarkisian's first Big 12 victory as head coach at Texas.
Bijan Robinson started the offensive barrage with the first touchdown of the game, a 38-yard touchdown pass from Thompson. After forcing the Red Raiders to three and out on their first possession, Roschon Johnson's 3-yard touchdown run extended the Texas lead to 14-0. Tech answered on the Red Raiders' next drive, on Tyler Shough's 6-yard touchdown run.
Casey Thompson engineered a 12-play, 75-yard drive on the ensuing possession which he capped with a 1-yard touchdown run. Texas defensive back Josh Thompson intercepted Shough and returned it into the end zone to extend the Longhorns' lead to 28-7.
Thompson continued his hot-hand, floating a 23-yard pass to Xavier Worthy who came down with it in the corner of the end zone for the score.
Henry Colombi replaced Shough under center and scored his first touchdown of the game, finding Myles Price for a 40-yard touchdown strike.
Roschon Johnson's 7-yard touchdown run with :09 left on the clock gave the Longhorns a 42-14 halftime lead.
Both teams opened the second half with interceptions. Luke Brockermeyer intercepted Colmbi's pass on a tipped ball and returned it to the Texas Tech 25-yard line. Four plays later, Casey Thompson's pass intended for Jordan Whittington was intercepted by Dadrion Taylor-Demerson in the end zone.
The first points of the third quarter came at the 9:01 mark. Alfred Collins sacked Texas Tech Quarterback Henry Colombi at the 1-yard line, forcing the Red Raiders to punt. D'Shawn Jamison returned Austin McNamara's punt 43 yards to the Texas Tech 7-yard line, setting up a 5-yard touchdown toss from Thompson to Jordan Whittington. Texas led 49-14 at that point.
Colombi's 69-yard touchdown pass to Loic Fouonji on the Red Raiders' next possession cut the lead to 49-21 in favor of the Longhorns.
Xavier Worthy continued his productivity, scoring his second touchdown on a 3-yard pass from Casey Thompson.
Colombi used the first play of the ensuing drive to throw a 75-yard strike to Kaylon Geiger who outran the Texas secondary for the score. The Longhorns led 56-28 with 5:02 remaining in the third quarter.
Casey Thompson threw his fifth touchdown pass on the day, another to Xavier Worthy, at the 4:09 mark in the quarter to increase the Texas advantage to 63-28. The touchdown was Worthy's third of the day.
Hudson Card replaced Casey Thompson and running back Keilan Robinson rushed 4 times for 42 yards, including a touchdown on Texas' opening drive in the fourth quarter.
Tech got back on the scoreboard courtesy of redshirt freshman quarterback Donovan Smith's 1-yard touchdown run at the 6:40 mark. The score cut the Texas lead to 70-35, which is where it stayed until the game clock expired.
Texas will face TCU next Saturday in Fort Worth at 11:00 AM. The game will be televised on ABC.
The Texas Longhorns (2-1, 0-0) look to win their fourth straight against Matt Wells and the Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-0, 0-0) on Saturday, as Steve Sarkisian makes his Big 12 debut as head coach in Austin. The Red Raiders bring a revamped defense and new quarterback into the fold this season in Oregon transfer Tyler Shough, while Texas QB1 Casey Thompson starts under center in his first conference game.
Texas' rushing attack has had success through three games this season, but Texas Tech yields just 50 yards on the ground to opponents per game.
Big 12 play opens for both teams and it is critical for the Longhorns to fire on all cylinders if they want to send Texas Tech back to Lubbock with a loss.
What: Texas Longhorns (2-1, 0-0 Big 12) vs.# Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Venue: Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium
Location: Austin, TX
When: Saturday, Sept. 25th, 2021
Time: 11:00 a.m. (CST)
On the Call: (Dave Pasch, Dusty Dvoracek, Tom Luginbill)
All-Time Series: Texas leads, 53-17
Last Meeting: Texas defeated Texas Tech 63-56 OT (9/26/2020)
Depth Chart: Texas vs. Texas Tech
Game Nuggets: Red Raiders Eye 4-0 Start
Scouting Report: Texas Tech Red Raiders
Staff Predictions: Texas vs. Texas Tech
Four Keys to Saturday's Texas vs. Texas Tech Game
Discuss the Game Here
The Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-0, 0-0) are one of those teams that inevitably do their best to make things difficult for the Texas Longhorns (2-1, 0-0). Five of the last six games between these two programs have been decided by a touchdown or less, and Saturday's contest could be yet another that comes down to the wire.
From the Red Raider standpoint, the storyline revolves around an air raid offense and a vastly improved, experienced defense. On the Texas side of things, a strong running game behind an inexperienced quarterback and porous offensive line are the known commodities.
Will the Texas offense click and be multi-dimensional, or will the Tech defense led by transfer portal and JUCO players stifle Bijan and the running game? Can Keondre Coburn and company win the battle up-front and get to quarterback Tyler Shough?
The HornSports Staff shares their predictions on the outcome of Saturday's game.
Admittedly I don’t have a great feel for this game for many reasons, some of which include Tech almost falling to SFA in Week 2, Texas’ recent change at QB and this match-up seemingly always providing the unexpected despite Texas winning three in a row and 10 of the last 12. Texas’ run game by committee will need to be clicking against a solid Tech rushing defense with Casey Thompson continuing his efficiency, and the Texas defense has to get pressure on QB Tyler Shough while keeping a close eye on Erik Ezukanma, who already has over 300 yards receiving this season. I don’t have enough confidence to say the good guys will cover a nine point spread, but I do believe they’ll emerge with the W after a tough game.
Score Prediction: Texas 34, Texas Tech 27
Aaron Carrara (2-1)
Texas Tech presents a solid matchup for the Longhorns, but tomorrow's game should be about the Longhorns improving in all three facets of the game and powering to a win. The X-factors that will decide that are Casey Thompson's ability to be consistent, the much-maligned Texas offensive line and the defensive front-seven. While the dominating win against Rice was good for team morale, Texas Tech will force Steve Sarkisian's team to play sound, smart football. A tough stretch of games starts tomorrow with the Red Raiders and the Longhorns, who are the better team, win this one in another game decided by a touchdown or less.
Score Prediction: Texas 37, Texas Tech 31
Jameson McCausland (2-1)
This should be an interesting matchup. Texas Tech appears to be improved from a season ago but it remains to be seen if they can hold up against better competition.
For Texas, the focus will be limiting big plays and not allowing Erik Ezukanma to beat them in the passing game. I believe the Longhorns will continue the trend of forcing field goals in the redzone and generate enough offense to open Big 12 play at 1-0.
Score Prediction: Texas 35, Texas Tech 27
Devon Messinger (2-1)
Texas Tech travels to Austin on Saturday to face the Longhorns, a team they almost beat in Lubbock last year. Led by junior quarterback Tyler Shough, an Oregon transfer, Tech has the weapons to give Longhorns defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski his first Big 12 challenge.
Interestingly enough, the Red Raiders have only allowed opponents to rush for 1.7 yards per carry. As a result, after last week's fruitful outcome over Rice, Bijan Robinson and crew will be tasked with bloating Tech's defensive statistics. If Texas's offensive line can indicate that they are back on track, Casey Thompson and the running game will have the opportunity to open conference play with a bang.
Score Prediction: Texas 41, Texas Tech 34
Tristan Larsen (2-1)
After a crushing loss to Arkansas, Texas rebounded with an easy win against Rice last weekend. Now they open Big 12 play against Texas Tech. Last year's Red Raiders and Longhorns game was an overtime thriller that saw 119 total points scored. It's no secret the Red Raiders love to throw the ball, and with Oregon transfer Tyler Shough, that trend continues. Texas and Sarkisian get their first real look at a team that loves to sling the rock. On the flip side, Tech hasn’t faced a running back like Bijan Robinson this season. If Texas wants to win they will have to win the battle of the trenches, which I think they will. The Longhorns win, but the Red Raiders cover the spread.
Score Prediction: Texas 34,Texas Tech 27
Mitch Lovell (2-1)
This is a game where we find out the Arkansas game was a fluke, or a telling sign of more to come. Tech has had better numbers defensively than we are accustomed to, especially against the run. But the level of competition hasn’t been what Texas possesses. This game is by no means a gimmee for the Longhorns, but they pull away in the second half with explosive plays from Xavier Worthy and Bijan Robinson.
Score Prediction: Texas 35,Texas Tech 24