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 8

Lorianne Willett
Tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders is tackled during Texas’ game against Oklahoma on Oct. 7, 2023. The Longhorns lost to the Sooners 34-30 during the annual Red River Rivalry Game.

Well, I think it’s safe to say that all Longhorn fans enjoyed a week off from Texas football after its underwhelming performance against Oklahoma. I do have to pay my respects to the Sooners, they put up a solid fight, seeing as they had to spend an entire past year hearing “49-0” from us. But now having a week to recover, the next question to ask is how Texas will improve moving forward.

While it’s easy to look at the loss and say that Texas didn’t play to its full capability as an excuse, I truly believe that the Longhorns were facing a rough patch in Dallas and that there’s plenty of potential to be uncovered as the season goes on. Head coach Steve Sarkisian looked back on the inconsistencies from the Red River game, but also looked ahead with what went right during the matchup.

“I loved our competitiveness, I loved our resiliency, our grit, our toughness, our fight,” Sarkisian said. “Even when we’re not at our best.”

Despite the devastation that came with falling to the hands of the Sooners, Texas boasted some impressive statistics. Sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers threw for a 84% pass completion rate, the best he’s thrown so far this season, for nearly 350 yards and a touchdown. Jonathon Brooks recorded his fourth straight game of 100 or more rushing yards. Bert Auburn even completed both a 45-yard and 47-yard kick to help Texas gain the lead.

Oklahoma came in hot on both sides of the ball, showing physicality and stamina, something that Texas was expecting, but seemingly couldn’t get past. The Longhorns had all the right tools to win this game, yet penalties and play-calling plagued Texas from the start, as Sarkisian later took the blame for his poor calls and missed opportunities on scoring drives.

Looking ahead at Texas’ remaining schedule, the Longhorns don’t have any more currently-ranked opponents, with its next best contender being Kansas State, who are also 2–1 in conference play. If things go according to plan, this could allow Sarkisian and his team to cruise right on through to the Big 12 Championship. Even though there’s no telling what could happen between now and then, Texas is still very much in the running for the title, and will more than likely face off against Oklahoma again come December.

Regardless of who will make it to the big stage, Texas must seek out how to make itself a more commanding presence on the field if it expects to see itself on it.

“We’ve got some issues to address collectively and individually,” Sarkisian said. “I think we need to create more turnovers from the defensive perspective … definitely want to improve our red zone offense.”

Texas and Oklahoma both went 5-for-14 in third down conversions, with Texas scoring on three out of four of its fourth down conversion opportunities. However, Oklahoma managed to capitalize on all six of its red zone scoring drives, while Texas only secured a field goal out of its three chances. The Sooners also collected five sacks for 28 yards, as Texas gained one sack.

Both of these factors influenced Texas not being able to gain a comfortable lead, and it just goes to show that the Longhorns need to stop getting in their own way if they want to see consistent success within the program. As they look to play against Houston this upcoming weekend, Sarkisian is faced with an opportunity to reveal a squad that has reflected on what needs to be done in order to make sure that the collective end goal stays within reach.

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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.