“We Don’t Know How to Win Yet”: Longhorns Fall to Baylor, 28-7


“We don’t know how to win yet,” Texas head coach Charlie Strong said in his opening remarks at the press conference following the Longhorns’ 28-7 loss on Saturday. “We don’t know how to finish.”

It sounds obvious, but it’s true. There were many opportunities, especially in the first half, that were ruined by silly mistakes and miscues. Against a top team like Baylor, you can’t win, you can’t finish, if you don’t capitalize on every opportunity.

Beyond the box score, Saturday’s Baylor vs. Texas game was as bizarre as you can imagine. It featured Matthew McConaughey doing his Wolf of Wall Street chest thump chant from a private box, confused officials repeatedly overturning their own overturned calls, and a video message from Skrillex, who was holding a custom Longhorns jersey at the ACL Music Festival.

The Longhorns also didn’t get blown out, which may not be bizarre, but a score similar to the rout by BYU last month wouldn’t have been shocking, as Baylor’s high-powered offense routinely runs the score up against opponents. Not against this Texas defense, the lone bright spot in another home loss, one that drops the Longhorns to 2-3 and 1-1 in Big 12 play.

What was seemingly going to be a spanking by Baylor—the Bears had scored 45, 70, 63, and 49 points in each of their other four games so far this season—became a showcase for Texas’ stellar defense. On what would be Baylor’s final drive of the first half, the Bears finally broke through and converted multiple first downs to bring it to the Texas 5-yard-line. After a four-yard scramble by Bears quarterback Bryce Petty, the Horns stuffed Baylor three consecutive times, including a fourth-down stop that confused the officials, leading the referee to almost mistakenly award Baylor with a 5th down. After taking over on their own millimeter line, Texas drove 98 yards on a couple nifty throws from Swoopes and some nice runs by Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray. On 1st and goal, Swoopes called his own number, but never received the snap, fumbling it away along with Texas’ chances of capitalizing on the Horns’ defensive prowess and the Bears’ offensive woes. The air was sucked out of DKR after a drive that long and precise netted zero points. Baylor’s lone first-half points came on a blocked 52-yard Nick Rose field goal attempt that Bears safety Terrell Burt took 62 yards for a touchdown.

Coming out of the half down 7-0, Texas received the kickoff, but went 3-and-out. So did Baylor. On the next drive, Swoopes hit John Harris for 32 yards, but a ticky-tack taunting penalty pushed them back 15 yards. Harris definitely heard about that one after the game, especially as the drive stalled and it became a real possibility that Texas would suffer its first home shutout in almost 40 years. The last time such an incident occurred was on November 6, 1976, a 30-0 loss to the Houston Cougars. Darrell K Royal was still coaching the Longhorns then. Texas’ lone score came in garbage time, on a two-yard TD run by Gray.

After the game, Swoopes was asked if the offense has noticed that they aren’t playing nearly as well as the defense. “Yeah, I think that’s a fair statement,” Swoopes said. “I think everybody is frustrated.”

The fans at DKR sure were frustrated, but a win this Saturday against OU in Dallas would be a major leap in keeping Longhorn Nation satisfied, and keep the Big 12 title within reach.

Photo by Anna Donlan


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