Defensive play is stellar, yet again, in loss to Cowboys.
The Texas defense has held its own in big games against ranked opponents this season, and today they were tasked with trying to do the same against the nation’s #1 team in total offense.
After back-to-back opening drives in which the Texas defense held Mason Rudolph and the Oklahoma State offense in check, the Cowboys struck first, putting the game’s first points on the board by marching 96 yards on 10 plays. Oklahoma State would take an early 7-0 lead courtesy of J.D. King’s 7-yard touchdown run.
The Cowboys knocked on the Texas door again late in the first quarter after running back Justice Hill’s 9-yard gain was extended an additional 15 yards, thanks to a late-hit penalty called on Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson. The knocking ceased as the second quarter began, when Poona Ford forced a fumble on Hill which was recovered by DeShon Elliott.
The Texas offense made the most of the fumble recovery, marching 86 yards on 3 plays, which included a 90-yard reception from Sam Ehlinger to John Burt. The scoring drive was capped by Ehlinger’s 2-yard keeper to tie the score at 7-7 with 13:59 left in the second quarter.
Neither team would add points to the board for the remainder of the second half, and the Longhorns and Cowboys would hit their respective locker rooms tied at 7-7.
The Texas rushing game continued to struggle, tallying just 10 yards on 15 carries in the first half. Todd Orlando’s defensive unit did a nice job of limiting Rudolph and big plays, holding the Cowboys to 213 yards of total offense in the half.
The Longhorns received the ball to start the second half and took their first lead of the game on Josh Rowland’s 22-yard field goal. With 10:42 remaining in the third quarter, Texas held a 10-7 lead over Oklahoma State.
Rudolph and company would threaten to take the lead again, this time early in the fourth quarter, but the Texas defense would come up with a huge defensive stand to force an Oklahoma State field goal attempt. Cowboy placekicker Matt Ammendola made good on a 19-yard attempt to tie the game at 10-10 with 12:31 remaining.
The teams would trade possessions for the remainder of regulation with neither doing enough to put the game winning points on the board.
Oklahoma State would possess the ball first on offense in overtime, settling for Matt Ammendola’s second field goal of the day, this time from 34 yards out. Ammendola’s field goal would prove to be the game winner, as Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger would be intercepted in the end zone by Oklahoma State’s Ramon Richards.
Here’s how the Texas vs. Oklahoma State game ended: pic.twitter.com/o6GOSh8nhj
— Aaron Carrara (@AC_HornSports) October 21, 2017
The Texas defense deserves a tremendous amount of credit for keeping the Longhorns in football games and today’s game was no exception. Oklahoma State averaged 48.83 points per game prior to today’s matchup and today they were held to just 10 points. Mason Rudolph’s offensive attack averages 610 yards per game, while today they managed just 428.
Texas running back Chris Warren was visibly frustrated about the lack of production from the offense, but praised his defensive teammates when asked about them,
“They played well enough to beat any team in the country, and we need to be there to help them.”
The Texas running game struggled again today, totaling 42 yards on 33 carries. With Connor Williams out indefinitely, and Patrick Vahe seeing limited playing time today due to a stomach bug, the offensive line had a difficult time providing run protection. Bluntly put, the Longhorns are seven games into the season and it appears Tom Herman and his staff do not have a solution for getting things going in the backfield.
“So the run game is not good right now. And we need to get the right people in there and rep the right plays and continue to get our guys better…. we’ve got a lot of work to do in the run game, and we’ve got to figure out what we can do before we figure out what we should do.” – Texas Head Coach Tom Herman
Chris Warren’s summation of the Texas offense hit the nail on the head.
“I think we’re too one-dimensional and we’re too predictable.”
When asked why they’re too predictable, Porter had this to say.
“Because we don’t have a running game.”
The Longhorns (3-4, 2-2) will head to Waco next weekend to face the Baylor Bears (0-6, 0-3).
- With the win today, Oklahoma State becomes the only team in the country to defeat the Longhorns five straight times in Austin.
- Oklahoma State became bowl eligible by beating Texas.
- The Longhorns participated in their 3rd OT game of the season and have fared 1-2 in those contests.
- Today’s game snapped a 35-game streak in which Oklahoma State has scored 20 points or more.
- Three Longhorn defensive players had career highs in tackles today (Gary Johnson 8, Kris Boyd 13, Malik Jefferson 14).
- John Burt’s 90-yd reception in the second quarter was the longest non-touchdown reception in school history.
- Sam Ehlinger made his fifth start of the season for the Longhorns and completed 22 passes for 241 yards. Ehlinger has now totaled 1,419 passing yards on the season.
- Chris Warren lead the team in rushing with 33 yards on 12 carries.
Top Plays: Texas vs. Baylor
The Texas Longhorns held on to beat the Baylor Bears 23-17 last Saturday in Austin to win their sixth straight game, improving to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in Big 12 play. Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger left the game with a shoulder injury on the opening drive and was replaced by junior Shane Buechele. Buechele, who saw his first action on the field since the Longhorns’ bowl game against Missouri last December, finished 20-34 with 184 yards and one touchdown. True freshman running back Keaontay Ingram surpassed the century mark on the ground, the first in his career, amassing 110 yards on 19 carries.
Texas scored all of its points in the first half and held a 23-10 lead over Baylor at the half. The Bears scored a touchdown in the third quarter to cut the lead to 23-17 and held possession of the ball on the final drive of the game. Todd Orlando’s defense held steady as Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer was pressured and threw a last-effort pass out of the Texas end zone as the game clock expired.
Place your vote for Texas’ top play in the win over Baylor.
Shane Buechele’s 44-yard TD pass to Collin Johnson (4:21 – 2nd quarter)
LJ Humphrey’s quarterback keeper for a TD (1:12 – 2nd quarter)
Caden Sterns intercepts Charlie Brewer (:44 – 2nd Quarter)
Texas defense pressures Brewer on final play of the game (:01 – 4th quarter)
Vote for your Top Play below.
Texas Football 2019 full schedule released
The Longhorns host LSU at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 7
The Big 12 Conference released the 2019 football schedules for all ten conference schools on Thursday. The Longhorns’ schedule includes three non-conference games, two of which are against teams from Louisiana. Notably, Texas will host the LSU Tigers on September 7th after a home season-opener against Louisiana Tech, and will complete non-conference play against former Southwest Conference opponent Rice at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Texas will host Texas Tech on Friday, November 29th, the day after Thanksgiving, to wrap up the season.
Full schedule can be found below.
2019 Texas Football Schedule
Aug. 31—Louisiana Tech
Sept. 14—at Rice (NRG Stadium)
Sept. 21—Oklahoma State
Oct. 5—at West Virginia
Oct. 12—vs Oklahoma (Cotton Bowl)
Oct. 26—at TCU
Nov. 9—Kansas State
Nov. 16—at Iowa State
Nov. 23—at Baylor
Nov. 29—Texas Tech
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Baylor
Texas narrowly escaped with a victory against Baylor on Saturday, and there are several areas that the Longhorns must clean up to stay atop the Big 12
Another week, another close ballgame that came down to the final drive for Texas. The Longhorns found themselves behind the eight ball when Sam Ehlinger exited the game with an injury in the 1st quarter, and Baylor ended up giving Texas all they could handle. Regardless, Texas is now 6-1 and sits alone atop of the Big 12 conference standings. The Longhorns will gladly welcome the bye week as they prepare for the final stretch of the season. Let’s take a look at the good and the bad from a 23-17 win over the Bears:
Texas finally has a 100-yard rusher
For the first time in the Tom Herman era, Texas had a 100-yard rusher. Freshman Keaontay Ingram finished the afternoon with 110 yards on 19 carries. It’s hard to believe it had been 20 games since the Longhorns had someone surpass the 100-yard rushing mark, but it is only appropriate Ingram was the one to break the streak. Ingram continues to see an uptick in touches and has proven to be the best running back on the roster.
Collin Johnson continues to dominate
Texas now has a good problem on their hands. Collin Johnson is playing himself into position to be a potential high NFL draft pick, and I don’t think you will find many people who are upset about it. Johnson has cemented himself as a number 1 receiver after turning in another great performance on Saturday, hauling in 11 receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown. The biggest improvement he has made from his first two seasons is his physicality. Johnson has proven to be reliable going over the middle of the field while also also improving his ability beat corners off the line of scrimmage.
It’s hard to find a lot of negative when you look at Ryan Bujcevski’s stat line: 47.8 yards per punt and 3 punts inside the 20. Unfortunately, the stats do not tell the full story. Texas continues to have major issues getting punts off in a timely manner, and I am beginning to think it is more on Bujcevski than the protection unit. The Aussie takes far too long to get the ball off his foot once he receives the snap. Baylor nearly had a block yesterday, and it is a minor miracle the Longhorns have not had a punt blocked this year.
Opening drive scores
The Texas defense has had a tough time stopping opponents on their opening drives this season. In the 7 opening drives opponents have had against the Longhorns this year, 5 have ended in either a touchdown or field goal. Todd Orlando has stressed the importance of starting fast on defense, but a trend has emerged.
Cameron Dicker comes back to earth
Cameron Dicker carried over his momentum from his game winner against Oklahoma, going 3 for 3 on field goals in the first half, including a 47-yarder to end the half. The second half was a different story. Dicker missed a 34-yard attempt late in the 4th quarter that would have given Texas a 9-point lead. He followed it up with a miss from 51 yards. It has been a roller coaster ride for Tom Herman as he tries to manage the punting and kicking unit, but it’s hard to expect anything less since he is having to trot out a true freshman punter and kicker.
Zero second half points
The Longhorns had 5 drives in the second half — 2 ending in punts, 2 in missed field goals and one with an interception. Similar to the Kansas State game, the Texas offense moved the ball at times in the second half but were hurt by the inability to finish drives. Tom Herman and the offensive staff have shown improvements in making halftime adjustments, but the staff failed to put Shane Buechele and the offense in a position to finish off drives against a Baylor defense that ranked at or near the bottom of the Big 12 in nearly every major statistical category.
Sam Ehlinger’s injury
Texas fans now have a greater appreciation for Sam Ehlinger after watching the offense try to operate for almost 4 full quarters without him. Shane Buechele is considered a quality passer, but he fails to bring the running dimension to the offense that Ehlinger brings. The Longhorn offense is built around Ehlinger, and if he were to miss any extended period of time, it would not be good. If he is healthy enough for Oklahoma State, he needs to play. The Texas offense is not good enough to plug in the backup and rest the starter, even against a team like Oklahoma State.
Ehlinger’s MRI results show shoulder sprain
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger left the Baylor game in the opening series after suffering a shoulder injury. Ehlinger left for the locker room to be evaluated and was replaced by backup Shane Buechele. He returned to the field but remained on the sideline with a headset on for the duration of the game. The Longhorns, behind Buechele, held on to defeat the Bears 23-17 and improved to 6-1 overall on the season.
In his postgame media availability, head coach Tom Herman expressed uncertainty about the injury to his sophomore quarterback, who led the Longhorns to five straight wins before the injury.
“I think any time you hurt a throwing shoulder, my level of concern is greater than zero, but I don’t know enough. I’ve got to be educated more on it.”
Ehlinger’s MRI results revealed a first degree sprained shoulder, which is good news for the Longhorns, who travel to Stillwater in two weeks to face Oklahoma State.
— Aaron Carrara (@AC_HornSports) October 14, 2018
Ehlinger has thrown for 1,534 yards and 11 touchdowns this season with just two interceptions. He has also rushed for 230 yards and 6 touchdowns.
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