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No. 23 Longhorns claw their way to 38-27 victory over Baylor

Devon Messinger
Devon Messinger

Photo: Scott Wachter - USA TODAY Sports

On Black Friday, the Longhorns entered Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium with hopes that their Big 12 Championship dreams wouldn’t be thrown to the curbside. With a win against Baylor, the Longhorns would still be in play for a title game appearance, hinging on the Kansas Jayhawks pulling off an upset of the Kansas State Wildcats. After a slow start to Senior Day, the Longhorns, led by Bijan Robinson, put their foot on the gas pedal and kept their dreams alive with a 38-27 win over Baylor.

Starting off Friday's contest, things got ugly for the Longhorns. In fact, Friday's scoring action kicked off when Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers was flagged for an intentional grounding penalty within his own end zone, resulting in a safety which gave Baylor a 2-0 first quarter lead. Moreover, later in the game, during the start of the fourth quarter, Bears safety Al Walcott forced a Ewers fumble which was recovered by defensive lineman Gabe Hall for a touchdown, giving the Bears a 27-24 lead.

However, despite of the struggles in the passing game, Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson put the team on his back late in the game, rushing for a whopping 150 yards in the second half of action. In addition to Robinson's 179 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on the night, fellow running back Roschon Johnson also added 77 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground as well.

One thing is for certain, fans in attendance will be remembering Friday's Senior Day game for some time, as it was likely Robinson's last home game in the burnt orange thanks to his soaring NFL Draft stock. Furthermore, fans will certainly also miss Roschon Johnson, whose leadership and pure passion for the game will be greatly missed by the Longhorns next season.

On the defensive side of the ball, Texas linebacker Jaylan Ford continues to be a turnover machine. This time, against Baylor, Ford intercepted quarterback Blake Shapen over the middle in the fourth quarter, allowing the Texas offense to take advantage of the opportunity with a touchdown drive that officially iced the game at 38-27.

Following the game, Steve Sarkisian praised Jaylan Ford's performance and campaigned for the junior linebacker to be named the Big 12 Conference's Defensive Player of the Year.

In addition to Ford's contributions, the Longhorns defense had a solid day as a whole, particularly against the run, allowing the Bears to only rush for 101 yards. And while the unit suffered a breakdown on Blake Shapen's 47-yard first quarter touchdown pass to wide receiver Jaylen Ellis, the Texas defense did a decent job of not getting beat deep.

With Texas's fate still up in the air, Longhorns fans will have to wait until after the conclusion of the Kansas versus Kansas State game to find out whether they should be reserving hotel rooms in Arlington or elsewhere.

Game Stats:

  • QB Quinn Ewers: 12/16, 194 passing yards, 1 fumble
  • RB Bijan Robinson: 29 carries, 179 rushing yards, 2 TDs
  • RB Roschon Johnson: 13 carries, 77 rushing yards, 2 TDs
  • WR Xavier Worthy: 7 receptions, 62 receiving yards
  • LB DeMarvion Overshown: 14 tackles, 1 sack
  • LB Jaylan Ford: 13 tackles, 1 INT

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