Even a little rain couldn’t dampen Longhorn spirits last night as hundreds of students gathered at 25th Street and Whitis Avenue to kickoff the UT vs. OU Torchlight Parade and Rally, which marks the 107th meeting of the Longhorns and the Sooners.
Before the two teams meet at the Cotton Bowl this weekend, UT organizations—including the Longhorn Hellraisers, Cowboys, Longhorn Band, the pom squad, and more—gathered to pump up the Longhorn players. With torches raised in the air and chants of “Texas fight!” students marched down Guadalupe to 21st.
Traffic was halted along the Drag as students moved in time to the beats of the UT drumline. If a torch went out, a friend stopped to help relight it. A few onlookers even joined the parade as it went by.
From 21st Street, the group headed to the base of the Tower, filling the Main Mall. Under Bevo’s watchful gaze, the crowd was greeted with performances by Texas Dance, the cheerleaders, and the pom squad as the rally—hosted for the first time by the Texas Exes Spirit and Traditions Council—got underway.
The president of the Longhorn Hellraisers, Damon Foster, took to the mic to compare the Red River Rivalry game to Christmas.
“Beating OU is the best gift we could get,” Foster said. The Hellraisers then led the crowd in the whisper chant.
Head coach Mack Brown thanked the crowd members for their energy at last weekend’s game against West Virginia in DKR and praised the Big 12 Conference, calling it “by far the best conference in America.” He also relayed his high hopes for this Texas team.
“This is a young team with a few seniors, and this team’s just going to keep getting better and better,” Brown said. “If they get us, they better get us now. They better look out, because Texas is on its way back, full steam ahead.”
And with spirits high even as rain began to fall, the crowd cheered in agreement.
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Photos by Andrew Alden Miller.
See also this video from Texas Exes video intern Scott Hardesty.