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The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas football ready to ‘embrace the hate’ ahead of final Big 12 season

Assad Malik

With Texas football’s Big 12 farewell tour starting on Saturday, head coach Steve Sarkisian is preparing his team to face any team. 

Coming in ranked at No. 11 in the preseason AP poll of the season, Texas will face a number of ranked opponents starting in week two, when the Longhorns hit the road to take on No. 4 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. 

At Bryant-Denny Stadium, Texas will experience a true SEC environment against one of the best teams in college football. 

“We’re the University of Texas,” Sarkisian said. “We’re not the fan favorite outside of the state of Texas … But there’s a lot of pride in wearing this (Texas) across our chest and we need to recognize that.”

Going into this season, Sarkisian has made it known that his team is going to be focusing on itself and not paying attention to outside noise.

“We’ve got to embrace the hate,” Sarkisian said. “Every time we take the field our opponent is going to get our best shot. We may get theirs, we may not. We can’t control that, but we need to be sure that they get our best shot.” 

Although the Alabama game will be a challenging matchup, the Longhorns will also face some tough Big 12 opponents. 

Texas Tech is an in-state rival that has proven to be tough for the Longhorns in the past. Recently at a Texas Tech pep rally, Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark told the Red Raiders that they “better take care of business” against Texas. 

“Coach (McGuire), I’m not going to put any pressure on you, but I’m gonna be in Austin for Thanksgiving, OK?” Yormark said. “And you’d better take care of business like you did right here in Lubbock last year.” 

Last year, Texas Tech fans stormed the field at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock after beating Texas 37-34 in overtime. 

“I got a letter from the commissioner about sportsmanship the day before that speech,” Sarkisian said on Monday about Yormark’s comments. “I’m trying to figure out what we are promoting to our student athletes and then to go say those types of things. I’m not guessing he’s going to have his Thanksgiving dinner with us before that game.”

Texas will face Texas Tech on Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving, in Texas’ final Big 12 regular season game. 

Another anticipated matchup comes the first Saturday in October, at the Cotton Bowl Stadium against Oklahoma. Last year, the Longhorns routed the Sooners 49-0, the biggest win for either side in the rivalry’s long history.

Following its 6-7 performance last year, Oklahoma coach Brent Venables is relying on quarterback Dillon Gabriel to be the star of the program’s bounce-back season. Oklahoma landed three five-stars, quarterback Jackson Arnold, safety Peyton Bowen and edge Adepoju Adebawore, along with 23 other recruits. The Sooners also added 16 transfers, including former Texas wide receiver Brenen Thompson. 

Texas will face two other ranked opponents in Big 12 play, No. 16 Kansas State and No. 17 TCU. TCU is fresh off of a national championship appearance where it fell 65-7 to Georgia but was the first Big 12 team to make the College Football Playoff since 2019. Kansas State is looking to defend last year’s Big 12 championship, its third in program history.

“This (season) is about us,” Sarkisian said. “We’re focused on what we get to do and why we get to do it. We’re proud to be part of the University of Texas. We’re proud to represent the burnt orange and white.” 

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About the Contributor
Assad Malik, Photo Editor
Assad Malik is a sophomore RTF major at UT and serves as the Photo Editor for The Daily Texan.