The Longhorns would travel to Waco without starting Center Zach Shackelford and QB Sam Ehlinger, both of which were in concussion protocol following last week’s loss at home to Oklahoma State.
Texas would try to bounce back from losing 2 straight, but as always, the Texas-Baylor match-up would prove to be a tough one for both teams.
Baylor, still looking for its first win of the season, would struggle on offense to start the game, which was best exemplified by the third play of the game, when Bears QB Zach Smith’s pass was tipped and intercepted by DeShon Elliot (his 6th INT of the season). He then proceeded to take it 43 yards to the house, giving the Longhorns their first lead of the game at 7-0.
Both teams would trade punts twice each, before a fumble deep in Bears territory gave Texas a chance to go up 2 scores. But the Baylor defense would hold Texas to a field goal, which was then blocked for no return.
The Bears would not capitalize, punting the ball. And the Longhorns would turn the ball over on downs later in the second half, best summarizing Texas’s position in the first half; missed opportunities. That, and the multitude of attempted trick plays that weren’t executed well, showed the Texas offense was not capitalizing the best they could.
It wasn’t until the opening minutes of the 2nd quarter that another team would score, which came thanks to the Texas offense this time. QB Shane Buechele, playing in relief of injured QB Ehlinger, came out to play, slicing up the Bears defense. He would toss a 15-yard pass to Lil’Jordan Humphrey for the touchdown, giving the Longhorns a 14-0 lead with 9:42 left in the first half.
Baylor sensed the urgency that they now faced. And no one more so than Bears coach Matt Rhule, who began to switch quarterbacks between Zach Smith and Cade Brewer. And Brewer would not fail, as they would go on a 3-play, 55-yard drive thanks to a beautiful one-handed catch by Blake Lynch that was taken all the way to the Texas 3. The Bears would then score on the next play, shortening Texas’s lead to 14-7 after a successful Bears PAT.
Tom Herman and the ‘horns would attempt another 4th-down conversion on the ensuing drive, which would again be unsuccessful, giving the Bears great field position and potentially a chance to tie the game at 14.
But that was not how the Bears drive would end, thanks to the Texas defense forcing a three-and-out. The following play would end even worse for the Bears, as a muffed snap on the punt allowed Texas to take over on the Baylor 28.
The Longhorns would not allow the turnover to go unnoticed this time, as the very next play was a zone read taken by Shane Buechele all the way to the house, giving Texas a 21-7 lead. They would take that lead into halftime, and potentially expand that lead as well, as the Longhorns would receive the ball to start the second half.
Both teams would trade punts to start the second half, and Texas would punt again following that. But the Bears would then fumble the ball, which was recovered by John Bonney returned 13 yards to the Baylor 16.
Texas would drive all the way inside the Baylor 10, but was forced to kick a field goal to make the score 24-7, Longhorns.
Baylor would not answer, instead punting the ball after a three-and-out. Texas answered with a 6 play, 50-yard drive, but would end with Shane Buechele throwing an interception, giving the Bears a chance to capitalize off the turnover. But they would again not answer the call, instead turning the ball over on downs.
Shane Buechele could redeem himself for the INT, and he and the Longhorns did not disappoint. The 3-play drive ended with a 19-yard touchdown run by Toneil Carter. The Longhorns lead was increased to 24, as the score was now 31-7, Texas.
Baylor knew its chances for a miracle comeback were getting dimmer and dimmer as they started with the ball to begin the 4th quarter, so Zach Smith and the Bears went on a 13-play, 55-yard drive that ended with a pass intended for Charlie Brewer on 4th down being incomplete.
But Tom Herman and the Longhorns were not able to further put the game out of reach following the turnover on downs, instead punting the ball.
Baylor and the Bears didn’t do much on the following drive, as two penalties stalled the drive and forced the Bears to punt with 6:32 left in the football game.
Shane Buechele and the Longhorns got the ball on their own 49, and they would not let down from their great starting field position, and led by Daniel young, who rushed 51 yards in 3 plays, scored a touchdown. No other player in the Longhorns offense touched the ball on this drive besides Young, who scored a 31-yard touchdown to make it 38-7, Texas. Following the successful PAT, there was only 1:57 left in the game.
The Bears would turn the ball over on downs for the 4th and last time on the day, allowing Texas to take a knee and drain the clock out as the Longhorns won, 38-7.
Shane Buechele had himself a fine day playing in relief of Sam Ehlinger. His stat line on the day was 27/36 with 256 yards, and a touchdown and interception each. His 75% completion rate is the best in his young career. He played a fine day against the Baylor defense, but it would have been for naught had it not been for the Texas rushing attack. Toneil Carter led the way with 15 carries for 70 yards and 1 touchdown, then Daniel young who had 7 touches for 60 yards and a touchdown, and we must mention Shane Buechele as well who had 9 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown on the ground as well.
All in all, it was an alright game for the Longhorns. There were plenty of missed opportunities and points left on the field, Texas managed to score in most places where it counted. The defense pitched another great game, holding the potent Bears offense to just 249 yards. That, combined with the 3 turnovers, the Longhorns offense coming out to play, and it gave Texas the win it sorely needed.
The Longhorns sit at 4-4, 2 games away from bowl eligibility, with TCU, West Virginia, Kansas, and Texas Tech remaining, Texas can certainly squeeze out 2 wins against those four teams to find themselves in their first bowl game since 2014.
But nothing is assured if the Big XII has taught us anything, and any game is a toss-up. If the Longhorns can keep up the winning formula that they showed today, and work on the big plays and times they should’ve capitalized, that bowl game may just be on the horizon.
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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