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

Hutch’s Huddle Week 4

Lorianne Willett

Another week of Texas football, another week of Steve Sarkisian leading his team to victory. I think it’s safe to say that fans, including myself, are stunned by the fact that each game has been so unique in its execution. Going into every game is a gamble with how unpredictable college football is, but the Longhorns so far have found a way to come out on top, seemingly due to their ability to efficiently adapt to and answer their opponents.

While Texas’ win over Wyoming wasn’t the prettiest, the Longhorns did manage to get on track, even if it was a little last minute. Sarkisian’s talk about being a versatile football team came back around on Saturday, seeing as multiple factors went into crafting his slow stretch to the finish line. 

“Offensively, we were throwing the ball so well through two weeks, and then tonight it was the run game that stepped up,” Sarkisian said. “They popped the one run, but outside of that, we minimized the explosive plays defensively and we started stopping the run better.”

The Longhorns made effective use of their defense, had impressive execution from their special teams unit and had notable moments from players who have not yet seen the spotlight. 

To answer Wyoming’s opening 75-yard touchdown drive, defensive back Jahdae Barron made seven tackles within the first half, assisting the Longhorns as they held Wyoming’s offense to just 3.3 yards per play and forced five consecutive punts. Senior defensive back Jerrin Thompson also made a key contribution from Texas’ defensive line, returning a 27-yard pass attempt for his first career interception.    

Murphy, a 308-pound defensive lineman, secured Texas’ first and only touchdown of the first half on a 1-yard catch, ending a 17-play scoring drive and extending Texas to a 10-7 lead over the Cowboys.

On the other hand, Brooks got comfortable taking over for injured teammate and running back CJ Baxter, racking in a career-high of 164 yards on 21 carries (7.8 yards per carry) and potentially earning himself the starting position.

These instances were impressive moves by Sarkisian and clearly showed that he has been making strides toward figuring out how to adjust when prime areas may be lacking, even if it means getting a player out of their comfort zone. Being able to adapt to one’s environment has shown to be the key to survival and the rules most definitely still apply in college football. 

“I think that’s what championship teams do, they find a way to win when they’re not at their best,” Sarkisian said. “And tonight, it’s safe to say that we weren’t at our best, but we found a way to win, we found a way to adapt.”

Sarkisian mentioned that Wyoming had begun to switch its plays in order to conform to Texas’ routes and that the same pattern happened against Alabama the previous week. Being not only a team that can match the toughness of its opponent, but can also intimidate, will be crucial as the team heads into its first round of Big 12 conference play on the road against Baylor.

“That’s a sign of being a really good team, that people are going to such lengths to play a style of defense that they would never play against anybody else,” Sarkisian said.

Going into the matchup with a less-than-satisfactory offense against Wyoming, according to Sarkisian, this will be a great moment for Texas to tweak some areas of uncertainty. With Baylor bringing in the No. 10-ranked defense in the conference and currently standing at No. 12 in scoring, the Longhorns should look forward to boasting some serious plays while they can instead of waiting until the fourth quarter to kick it into high gear.

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About the Contributors
Emma Hutchinson, Senior Sports Reporter
Emma is a journalism sophomore from Prosper, Texas and is probably watching Dallas Mavericks highlights as you read this. She currently works on the women’s basketball beat as a senior reporter, but has previously reported on men’s swim and dive and softball. In addition to watching the Mavericks, she enjoys spending her free time with the people she loves most, usually by grabbing some coffee or boba with them.
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.