3 for 3: The good, the bad and the future in Texas football

Margaret Wirick, Sports Reporter

In Saturday’s game against Baylor, Texas lost its third game in a row in a similar fashion: sputtering out in the second half after taking an early lead. This repeat loss puts the Longhorns at a worrisome 4–4 record and officially marks a pattern that Texas can’t seem to shake.

The Good

Xavier Worthy proved once again why he deserves the starting spot. The wide receiver recorded 115 receiving yards, his second highest receiving yardage of the season, on only four catches. Worthy made a big play at the end of the first quarter catching a 63-yard touchdown, putting Texas ahead.

On a similar note, the Texas offense out-passed Baylor by 84 yards. The Bears were determined to stop Texas’ rushing game, specifically sophomore running back Bijan Robinson. In doing so, Baylor left the passing lanes vulnerable, allowing the Longhorns to adapt and capitalize on the open space.

After throwing only one interception all season, Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanon was picked off twice by Texas. Senior defensive back B. J. Foster snagged a pick on the second play of the game, and junior linebacker Luke Brockermeyer intercepted the ball near the end of the second quarter. Both helped turn the momentum in Texas’ favor in the first half.

The Bad

Missed opportunities loomed large again on Saturday. Junior quarterback Casey Thompson launched multiple attempts off-balance that failed to hit the mark. Texas receivers struggled to finish catches on several plays that could have altered the game’s outcome. Junior wide receiver Joshua Moore notably fumbled in the second quarter and later dropped what would have been a touchdown pass at the end of the half.

Texas also struggled mightily on third down. The Longhorns went just 3-for-14, good for a measly 21.4 % conversion rate. Earlier in the season, Texas was ranked second in the nation in converting third downs, but has now dropped to No. 37 with an overall 44.4 % conversion rate. The Longhorns have failed to finish drives when they really counted.

The wheels on offense continued to spin off. Fans witnessed the first signs of trouble against Oklahoma and hoped the bye-week would recuperate Texas’ offense. Instead, it got worse. Robinson had his worst game of the season with only 43 rushing yards. The offensive line collapsed under pressure yet again and allowed two sacks and four quarterback hurries. Thompson threw one interception and seven of his pass attempts were broken up by the Baylor defense.

The Future

There’s little to say that hasn’t already been said about what Texas needs to do to win going forward. Hold the line. Change the scheme. Finish the game. This loss not only reiterated those points, but also brought attention to the lack of discipline in the pass game from both the receivers and the quarterback.

A bowl game for Texas is still possible with four losses, but that’s contingent on winning at least two of the final four games. Texas has lost to Iowa State in the past two meetings, and the Longhorns travel to the Cyclones’ home turf on Saturday. The odds do not favor the Longhorns in Ames, Iowa.

Although the frustration is obvious and the stakes are high, now is not the moment for fans to give up hope. It’s difficult to continue to root for a losing team, but the Longhorns have shown us that they are capable of making some good plays. The Longhorns need every ounce of confidence in their corner, and that includes the Texas fanbase.