Even before Red River Rivalry, Texas has already had a roller coaster of a season

Christian Corona

New Mexico State – W, 56-7

Twenty-eight minutes into the season, Texas was trailing, 7-0, against a New Mexico State team that had not beaten an FBS team since 2011 and gave up the fifth-most points per game in the country in 2012. But John Harris’ 54-yard touchdown catch was the first of seven Longhorns touchdowns of at least 24 yards. David Ash scored five touchdowns and accounted for 432 (a career-high) of Texas’ school-record 715 yards — 359 on the ground and 356 through the air. 


BYU – L, 40-21

Things came crashing down in a hurry. After an impressive second half in their season-opening victory, the Longhorns were pounded in Provo. BYU quarterback Taysom Hill, knee brace and all, ran circles around the Texas defense in what was Manny Diaz’ last game as the team’s defensive coordinator. Hill ran for 259 yards and touchdowns of 68, 20 and 26 yards. David Ash was knocked out in the fourth quarter with a concussion and the Longhorns surrendered a school-record 550 rushing yards. 


Ole Miss – L, 44-23

No significant school records broken here. Just an Ole Miss team that hadn’t forgotten about the 66-31 drubbing Texas put on it in Oxford last year returning the favor. In Greg Robinson’s second debut as the Longhorns defensive coordinator, the Rebels ran for 272 yards. But it was a special teams blunder that sealed Texas’ second straight defeat. Jeff Scott, who also ran for 164 yards and a score, returned a third-quarter punt 73 yards for a touchdown and the Longhorns were 1-2 for the first time since 1998 — Mack Brown’s first year on the job. 


Kansas State – W, 31-21

Case McCoy was efficient in a losing effort the previous week but David Ash returned against the Wildcats, connecting with Kendall Sanders for a 63-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Ash helped the Longhorns take a 17-0 lead over Kansas State but once again exited a game with a head injury. Case McCoy took over in the second half, when Texas forced turnovers on the Wildcats’ final two drives, giving the Longhorns their first win over the Wildcats in a decade. 


Iowa State – W, 31-30

What a game. The Cyclones erased a 10-0 deficit but not before John Harris made a sensational 44-yard touchdown grab on the final play of the first half to give Texas a 13-10 halftime lead. Iowa State responded with its longest pass in school history — a 97-yard scoring strike from Sam Richardson to Quenton Bundrage. Trailing by six in the final minute of the game, McCoy led another game-winning touchdown drive but not without controversy. Iowa State linebacker Jeremiah George appeared to strip Johnathan Gray at the one-yard line but, even after a video review, Texas retained possession, allowing the Longhorns to remain perfect in Big 12 play and triggering, by far, the best postgame speech by a head coach this season.