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

Steve Sarkisian not worried by the loss to Oklahoma

Lorianne Willett
Texas football head coach Steve Sarkisian during UT’s game against Kansas on Sept. 30, 2023.

Just two days after losing in a heartbreaking fashion to Oklahoma, head coach Steve Sarkisian and the rest of the Texas football team are ready to get back to work. After the 34-30 upset, Texas fell to No. 9 in the AP Poll, but is still the highest-ranked one-loss team. 

In its first loss of the season, Sarkisian said that the team did not play to its full potential and was hindered by turnovers and penalties. This week, the Longhorns have a bye week allowing for rest and recovery after the trip to Dallas. 

In the first quarter alone, sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers threw two interceptions and the team had three penalties giving up 25 yards. Oklahoma was able to score a touchdown off Ewers’ first interception. 

“Obviously, the turnovers were a factor, but not necessarily because of the points that came off of it,” Sarkisian said. “(Turnovers) are momentum plays. They create momentum for you when you can generate them and so three-to-nothing turnovers were an issue.”

But Sarkisian is not worried by his team’s inability to play to its fullest potential. 

“If that’s our worst we’re gonna be okay,” Sarkisian said. “We’ll fix the things that need to get fixed as a coaching staff and as a team this week during the bye week. We’ll play good football in the second half of the season and I’m looking forward to that.”

Despite his two first-quarter interceptions, Ewers threw for a near-perfect 31-37 for 346 yards. Ewers’ stellar accuracy set the Longhorns up for success, but they were still unable to capitalize on scoring in the red zone. 

In the fourth quarter, Ewers connected with senior receiver Jordan Whittington. Whittington was brought down just short of the end zone for a first down. Sarkisian proceeded to call the same rushing play three times on that drive, and Texas failed to score from Oklahoma’s one-yard line.

After the game, he took responsibility for not calling the best plays to set his team up for success. 

“That sucked,” Sarkisian said. “If I could do it all over again, I would have changed the third-down call. I might have run what I ran on fourth down on third down. I don’t know if that’s creative enough or not.” 

The offensive struggles in the red zone left many points off the board and the missed opportunities were ultimately fatal for Texas’ chances to come back to beat Oklahoma. Texas was only able to score on one red zone attempt with a field goal. Oklahoma scored on all six of its red zone attempts. 

After the loss, Texas football is back to work and focusing on its goal for the season — winning championships. Sarkisian is not going to let the loss get to his team’s head and is already looking to the future. 

“It’s not fun when you lose a ball game that you feel like you could have won,” Sarkisian said. “Hopefully, you can take losses and it can fuel you to work a little harder, help the next person, whatever that looks like. I hope we carry this (loss) with us for a little bit and I hope it fuels us to be even better than we can be moving forward.”

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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Double Coverage Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Double Coverage Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.