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.
- 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