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

Domination down I-35: Texas tackles the Bears in convincing win

Lorianne Willett
Linebacker Jalen Ford at Texas’ game against Baylor on September 23, 2023. The Longhorns beat the Bears 38-6.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian emphasized in the week leading up to Saturday’s Baylor matchup, that in the Big 12, Texas is 0–0, and conference play is all that matters from here on out. After 60 minutes of non-stop aggression and domination on the defensive line, Texas has checked off the first of nine Big 12 matchups in their “Embrace the Hate” tour, with a 38-6 victory over the Baylor Bears.

The biggest difference in the Longhorn offense that failed to score more than 10 points in the first three quarters was their success early in the game. Texas scored twice in their first four drives, the first time they had more than one touchdown in the first half all season. By the time the whistles blew for the end of the second quarter, the Longhorns had put up four touchdowns and led the Bears by 22 points.

“We’ve been talking a lot about how much we finished the last couple weeks,” Sarkisian said. “We wanted to start really well.”

Sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers shined once again for the Longhorns. Of his 293 yards, 126 came in the first half, moving the ball down the field with rapid pace and completing 75% of his passes in the first two quarters. Ewers also added a 29-yard touchdown on the ground on a 3rd-and-10 in the second quarter.

“I wasn’t thinking I was gonna score anything,” Ewers said about the scramble. “JT (Sanders) got a good block and ran it off his hip, and it ended up scoring.”

Junior wide receiver Xavier Worthy even pitched into the passing game, completing a 35-yard pass to junior tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders on a trick play that set up a seven-yard rushing touchdown on the very next play. Sanders ended the game with 110 yards on a team leading five catches.

On the defensive side of the ball, the rush defense stood strong all throughout. Baylor averaged 1.9 yards per carry on 60 total rush yards, with most plays ending in four big-bodied defensive linemen swarming the ball carrier at the line of scrimmage. 

“The d-line played a heck of a game,” senior linebacker David Gbenda said. 

Texas kept Baylor to zero touchdowns, and one of the field goals Baylor converted came as a result of a muffed punt by Worthy in the second quarter. Senior wide receiver Jordan Whittington had his own muffed punt recovered by the Bears at the end of the third quarter, but the Longhorn front forced a turnover on downs on a 4th and goal at the 8th to keep the score at 38-6.

“When you have a turnover, you muff a punt and they get the ball in short field, and you can step up and play defense like that,” Sarkisian said. “That’s a huge bonus.”

Senior linebacker Jaylan Ford shined in the victory, notching eight tackles, one for loss and an interception in the endzone on a Baylor fourth down, keeping the Bears out of the endzone. Junior defensive lineman Byron Murphy Ⅱ was all over the backfield, recording three tackles for loss and two sacks. 

“We rotated a lot of guys tonight on defense again,” Sarkisian said. “That’s a credit to the defensive staff (for) getting all those guys ready.”

Sarkisian and the Longhorns head back to Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium next Saturday to face the 4–0 Kansas Jayhawks. The Longhorns are officially one game away from the Red River Rivalry game against Oklahoma at The Cotton Bowl, with major Big 12 championship and college football implications coming in the next two weeks. 

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About the Contributors
Evan Vieth, Senior Sports Reporter
Evan is a junior journalism major and the sports editor for the Texan. He is originally from Washington DC and has covered UT sports for 4 semesters and counting. He has covered the Men's Tennis, Soccer, Baseball and Football teams and had the opportunity to write about the 2023 Longhorns in the Sugar Bowl.
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.