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Failure to Launch: No. 18 Texas sputters in 17-10 loss to No. 4 TCU

Devon Messinger
Devon Messinger

On Saturday, the Longhorns hosted the fourth-ranked TCU Horned Frogs in what might have been the biggest game at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in over a decade. With a chance to determine their own Big 12 Championship destiny, both teams were set to wrestle in this weekend's top game with the lights of College GameDay shining bright. However, despite the bright spotlight, both teams looked rather unattractive - particularly the Longhorns who failed to score a touchdown on offense, ultimately losing 17-10 to the Horned Frogs.

Offensively, the Longhorns were ineffective to say the very least. In fact, the team only mustered 199 total yards. Moreover, redshirt freshman quarterback Quinn Ewers struggled to connect with open receivers all night - especially in the first half. However, Texas's wideouts also did not do a great job of helping the young gunslinger as there were multiple drops throughout the game. Additionally, junior running back Bijan Robinson was held to a dismal 29 rushing yards on 12 carries. Of course, it should be noted that it is not particularly easy to have a successful day running the football when the opponent is able to stack nine guys in the box as well. Either way, the Longhorns had every opportunity to capitalize on Saturday and failed to do so.

Following Saturday's contest, Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian spoke upon his disappointment in his team's offense as he said: "Offensively, zero rhythm in this game... we kind of took turns just not executing."

At halftime in Saturday's contest, TCU led the Longhorns 3-0, which truly proved to be a testament of Texas's defensive effort. Time and time again, the Longhorns defense was sent out onto the field and held strong against a TCU team that had excellent field position repeatedly. Eventually, it was the defense that brought the team back into the game when junior defensive back Jahdae Barron recovered a scoop and score touchdown for 48-yards to cut TCU's lead to just 17-10 with 4:25 left in the game.

However, despite a solid performance from the defense, the team's lack of production on the offensive side of the ball ultimately plagued their chances of winning against their conference foe. Adding insult to injury, it did not appear that the Horned Frogs were even at the top of their game as senior quarterback Max Duggan had his fair share of misfires as well. Although the Horned Frogs did what the Longhorns could not - break through the ceiling and find their way to the end zone. Against Texas, the Horned Frogs scored only two touchdowns, however both took the air out of the stadium as junior running back Kendre Miller gashed the Longhorns defense on a 75-yard rush and junior wide receiver Quentin Johnston snagged a wide open 31-yard touchdown pass from Duggan thanks to broken coverage from the Longhorns.

Next weekend, the Longhorns will travel to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Kansas Jayhawks as they look to salvage what is left in the rest of this season. Kickoff in Kansas is set for 2:20 P.M (CT) in a game which will air on FS1.

Game Stats:

  • QB Quinn Ewers: 17/39, 171 passing yards & 1 INT
  • RB Bijan Robinson: 12 carries, 29 rushing yards
  • WR Jordan Whittington: 6 receptions, 78 receiving yards
  • DB Jahdae Barron: 11 tackles, 1 INT & 1 TD
  • DL Barryn Sorrell: 11 tackles & 1.5 sacks

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