The Texas football team will play Baylor this week, a squad it has dominated historically yet struggled to beat in the past decade.
The Longhorns are 78–27–4 against Baylor, but only 5–5 against the Bears in the teams’ past 10 matchups. It’s been a theme over the past decade: Texas simply can’t put away its Big 12 rivals. The team is 3–7 against TCU, 3–7 against Oklahoma and 3–7 against Oklahoma State in each of the teams’ past 10 meetings.
But the Longhorns have won four out of the last five matchups against a middling Bears program. Baylor wasn’t a problem for head coach Tom Herman until last year, when Matt Rhule’s Baylor team handed a 24-10 loss to a 6–4 Texas team that was reeling from upset losses to Iowa State and TCU.
Now, Rhule has gone to greener pastures in the NFL, and last year’s Baylor team that went on to go 11–3 and end No. 13 is an unranked 1–1 team that has struggled to play its scheduled games because of COVID-19-related cancellations and postponements.
Herman has a chance to improve to 3–2 against Baylor this weekend. If there was ever a game for the coach to prove that he can win regularly against Big 12 competition, this is it.
GAME TO REMEMBER:
This week’s game to remember is Texas’ 35-34 upset win over then-No. 8 Baylor in 2016. With head coach Charlie Strong’s job security on the line after a 24-21 loss to K-State dropped the Longhorns to 3–4, Texas faced an undefeated Bears squad with senior Seth Russell at quarterback.
In the first six minutes of the game, Texas and Baylor traded touchdown after touchdown with both teams scoring twice and the Longhorns relying on junior running back D’Onta Foreman to carry the load.
But then both teams entered an almost 20-minute scoring drought before Texas capitalized after the opening shootout with a safety and another Foreman touchdown to go up 23-14 and secure a 9-point lead.
The lead wouldn’t last long, however. Baylor stormed back in the third quarter and put up 13 unanswered points to take an 8-point lead with 8:54 left to go in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Shane Buechele gave Foreman some help and led the Texas offense down the field in just under two minutes with a 61-yard pass to junior wide receiver Lorenzo Joe. Buechele, just a freshman then, finished the drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Andrew Beck, but the Longhorns’ 2-point conversion fell short.
At 34-32, the defense would hold strong. With the ball back and 3:10 left on the clock, Buechele again came in clutch with a 38-yard pass to junior wide receiver Armanti Foreman, bringing the Longhorns into Baylor territory.
Texas settled for a 39-yard field goal and put the game in the leg of senior kicker Trent Domingue.
Domingue had transferred to Texas from LSU that season but missed several extra-point attempts and a critical field goal against Kansas State the Saturday before.
“He was walking the sidelines saying, ‘Give me one chance, give me one chance,’” Strong said. “You just knew he was going to hit that.”
And Domingue did, hitting a 39-yard field goal to give Texas the huge 35-34 upset win over Baylor and bring the team back up to .500 at 4–4.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING:
Nov. 23, 2019: University of Texas at Austin at Baylor University, McLane Stadium, 10-24
Oct. 13, 2018: University of Texas at Austin vs. Baylor University, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, 23-17
Oct. 28, 2017: University of Texas at Austin at Baylor University, McLane Stadium, 38-7
Oct. 29, 2016: University of Texas at Austin vs. Baylor University, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, 35-34
Dec. 5, 2015: University of Texas at Austin at Baylor University, McLane Stadium, 23-17