Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

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

Longhorn culture fuels Texas Football’s early season success

Connor Steen
Texas Football team waiting in South end zone tunnel before running out for week 3 game against Wyoming on September 16th, 2023.

After the Texas Longhorns made a victory lap with their 31-10 win over the Wyoming Cowboys, the Horns were bumped up to No. 3 in the AP poll, securing their highest ranking since playing for the national title in 2009. 

So what changed?

“Our culture has gotten better,” junior wide receiver Xavier Worthy said. “We stay together as a team. Like I’ve been saying, the culture here is stronger than ever. I feel like we came in here as one … and showed that we are really together and we have something going on.”

Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian is in his third year as the head of the Longhorns, a job that is under more scrutiny than most others around the college football world. Given that before the season, the Longhorns were predicted to win the Big 12 and record double-digit regular season wins, adjustments needed to be made after suffering a 13-12 record in the two years prior. Sarkisian’s previous years at Texas have been defined by collapses in the second half and the inability to finish games, so he turned his focus to relationship-building with his players in order to establish transparency and trust on the field.

“Sark told us … ‘Get behind me,’” senior defensive back Jahdae Barron said. “So we got behind him, and we trust Sark all the way.”

Now, three games into the season, the Longhorns are undefeated, which includes a monstrous win over the Alabama Crimson Tide, a powerhouse football school. Sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers credits Texas’ 3-0 start to the year as a result of the roster’s newly found maturity and ability to learn from past mistakes.

“I think that just goes to show how mature we are as a team,” Ewers said. “After how much adversity we went through last year, and to learn from that and be able to bounce back, I couldn’t be more proud of these guys.”

However, Sarkisian does not want the AP poll ranking to be a distraction. Nine games of the regular season have yet to be played and Texas has yet to play a Big 12 school this year. 

“The Big 12 doesn’t care that we’re 3-0,” Sarkisian said. “The Big 12 doesn’t care that we’re ranked No. 3 in the AP poll. We are 0-0 in Big 12 play.”

Sarkisian is impressed with the level of play his athletes are achieving this year. Between the connections on and off the field, an improvement in their culture and a level of effort that Sarkisian desires, the Longhorns are set up better than ever to approach the rest of the season.

“I think all those things add up to we’re playing a style of football that’s fast, that’s aggressive, that’s physical, and it’s smart,” Sarkisian said. “If we can keep going down that path, we’re going to be okay.”

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About the Contributor
Tori Garcia, General Sports Reporter
Tori is a sophomore journalism major from Austin, Texas. Currently, she is covering softball and previously reported on volleyball for the Texan. She loves all Houston sports and claims to have the best country music playlists.