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

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Head-to-head history: Texas vs. Washington

Courtesy of Maddy Grassy/The Daily UW

For the Longhorns and the Huskies, their time spent together has been short-lived, with their Sugar Bowl appearance being the sixth time the two have faced each other since 1974. Texas historically has the upper hand, claiming a 3–2 overall record against Washington. 

Texas was able to beat Washington in the teams’ first matchup hosted in Austin back in 1974, and the Longhorns went on to beat the Huskies once more in 1975, this time in Seattle. 

However, bowl games seem to be the usual meeting arrangement for the two, and Texas has struggled against Washington on a neutral playing field, going 1–2 across three bowl games. Both teams met each other for their first bowl matchup in El Paso back in 1979 for the Sun Bowl, where Washington snatched the victory in a 14-7 effort and finished No. 11 in the AP Poll. 

It wasn’t until 2001 that the Longhorns were able to take care of business in their second bowl game against the Huskies, racking up a much closer game of 47-43. 

At the time, the Longhorns were on a very similar road to obtaining a Big 12 championship under head coach Mack Brown. Texas clinched a spot in the Big 12 title game after a blowout game against rival Texas A&M, entering the conference title game with a record of 10–1 and sitting at No. 3 in the polls. A devastating two-point loss to then-No. 9 Colorado capped the team’s chance at a conference championship win and sent Texas to the Holiday Bowl to play then-No. 21 Washington. 

And it would be over 20 years until they met for yet another bowl game. The 2022 Longhorns had just finished at 8–4 in the regular season, a promising statistic for a second-year coach, while the Huskies were able to maintain a 10–2 record under first-year head coach Kalen DeBoer. The two faced off in San Antonio at the Valero Alamo Bowl, with Texas entering with No. 20 and the projected favorite and Washington at No. 12. 

Washington led the charge, putting up 13 points on the board within the first half while holding Texas to only a field goal. Then-freshman quarterback Quinn Ewers stood at the helm of the Texas offense and threw for 369 passing yards, overcoming Washington’s then-junior quarterback Michael Penix Jr. by nearly 100 yards. But Ewers’ throwing arm was misguided without the presence of former Texas running back Bijan Robinson, who announced his intention to skip the bowl game and enter the 2023 NFL Draft.  

The Longhorns ultimately fell to the Huskies 27-20, despite outscoring them in the second half. 

Enter a 2023 Texas team with a Big 12 title and a Washington team with a Pac-12 title, and both teams have the potential to win a national championship. 

Nearly 80% of players from both the 2022 Texas and Washington rosters who recorded a snap during the Alamo Bowl returned this year. Key players on Texas’ side returning from last year’s matchup include wide receiver Xavier Worthy, kicker Bert Auburn and Ewers as starting quarterback. 

For Washington, the difference in players returning from last year might be less subtle on gameday. The Huskies will be without star running back Wayne Taulapapa and wide receiver Taj Davis, two players who were significant in Washington’s win last year. Taulapapa ran for 108 out of 158 total team rushing yards and scored a touchdown to his name. Davis caught four passes for 31 yards and a touchdown. Taulapapa is now with the Seattle Seahawks, going undrafted but signing with the team in early August of this year. Davis entered the transfer portal following his sophomore season and has found himself at California. Penix Jr. returned as the starting quarterback as a sixth-year senior and is still in contention for a Heisman.      

Both teams will attend the Sugar Bowl in better shape than the previous year, as No. 2 Washington remains undefeated in a rewarding second year for DeBoer, and No. 3 Texas bears only one loss in Sarkisian’s best season yet. The Longhorns have looked sharp in their most recent wins against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State and will need to continue bringing that energy into their historic matchup on New Year’s Day. 

More to Discover
About the Contributor
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.