To a man, Texas defenders after the game said that there were no moral victories with this program. But it’s hard to blame them if they took any solace in their performance.
Baylor, who came in as the top scoring offense in the country, went into the half without any points from its offense.
Bryce Petty averaged 8 completions, 142 YPG, and one TD in 1st quarter of his first 3 games this season. Today: 1 comp, 4 Yds.
Texas held Petty to just 7 completions on 22 attempts and also sacked him for the firs three times this season.
KD Cannon, Baylor’s do-it-all freshman receiver, had one catch for 8 yards.
Levi Norwood, who, granted, was coming back from an injury, only caught one pass for four yards.
Corey Coleman, one of the most electric receivers in the Big 12, didn’t have a catch until he hauled in a 30-yard touchdown on fourth down late in the game.
Tyrone Swoopes rolled out to his right and looked like he’d throw that way but he ended up throwing a short pass to the left sideline to Brown, who had faked like he was going to block.
There were enough blockers in front of Brown for him to make a substantial gain without the aid of Flowers’ hold.
The Longhorns should definitely run more misdirections like that to Brown and Gray. Both are above-average in the passing game.
Love the Way You Lie
No one lied here but it did come as a surprise to seemingly everyone in the press box to see Darius James get his first career start as a Longhorn.
James, who was one of the top center recruits in the country in his class, started in place of Kent Perkins at right tackle while Perkins moved to right guard, a position Shawn Watson calls his “natural position.”
It’s hard to say that anyone on offense did an above-average job with a look at the scoreboard but I actually thought that right side of the line was an improvement from anything the Longhorns have put on the field this season.
Virtually all of Texas’ “big” gains on the ground were behind James and Perkins.
There was Armanti Foreman’s double-reverse for 11 yards in the first quarter, Johnathan Gray’s 26 yard gain in the second, Malcolm Brown’s 13-yarder in the second, an 8-yard rush from Gray later in the quarter and, well, not much else.
But those two together, combined with the experience that Jake Raulerson is getting at center, should be something the Longhorns can build upon and rely on in the future.
Nick Rose hasn’t exactly been the most reliable kicker in the country, converting 3-of-6 field goals and also one extra point heading into Saturday’s contest.
But that didn’t stop Charlie Strong from trotting him out on Texas’ first series to try to connect on a 52-yarder with the Longhorns facing a fourth-and-6 from the Baylor 35.
The kick was low off his foot and easily blocked by Baylor LB Beau Blackshear, which allowed Terrell Burt to pick the ball up and return it 52 yards untouched for the only touchdown of the first half.
“Everyday we put the ball on both hashes and we hit it,” Charlie Strong said. “We just didn’t hit it.”
Guts Over Fear
Baylor must have noticed how early Texas’ players were leaving the line on punt return and took full advantage this time around when punter Spencer Roth easily picked up 19 yards to the #Texas 48.
Three plays later, Bryce Petty hit a wide-open Antwan Goodley for a 30-yard touchdown that would eventually put BU up 14-0.
You realized anything was possible after Texas’ defense came up with two momentous stops to force Baylor to turnover the ball on downs inside the UT 1. But asking this Longhorns offense to go 99 yards to tie the game up just didn’t seem all that likely.
Thirteen plays later, though, and Texas found itself knocking on the doorstep of a tie game at the Baylor 1-yard line with a hair over 30 seconds left in the first half.
Some of the bigger plays that helped Texas get to that point:
Swoopes hit fullback Alex De La Torre for a 23-yard gain from the Texas 2.
Defensive holding penalty against Baylor on a pass to Lorenzo Joe on third-and-10 from the UT 25.
Swoopes thread the needle to M.J. McFarland for a five-yard gain on third-and-3 from the Texas 42 one play after Greg Daniels was called for an offensive holding and three plays after Geoff Swaim limped off the field with an apparent ankle injury.
Swoopes hit Jaxon Shipley for a 13-yard gain to the Baylor 40.
Malcolm Brown 13-yard run to Baylor 22.
On the next play Swoopes found Brown out of the backfield for a 21-yard touchdown, which was called back due to a Sedrick Flowers holding call.
Gray ran over BU DB Orion Stewart for an 8-yard gain and Stewart was then called for unsportsmanlike conduct for shoving Gray after the fact. Ball moved to the BU 12.
Swoopes rushed for 6-yards to the BU 1.
Momentum was clearly on Texas’ side as it looked like the Longhorns would tie the game up just before the half. But Swoopes fumbled the ball at the 1 on the following play, which Baylor LB Beau Blackshear recovered.
“You always look at momentum swings and that was a big one,” Strong said. “7-7 with ball coming out [of half]. It’s tough because you lose points. As good a team as Baylor is you know you have to get points.”
When Baylor emerged from the pile with the football it felt like those in burnt orange took a collective punch to the gut. It was demoralizing.
Strong said it was simply a bad center-QB exchange.
“Snap the ball, catch it and let’s move it forward,” Strong said.
For as nice a job as the Longhorns did defending Baylor through the air, the Bears made up for it by gashing Texas’ defense on the ground up the middle.
Shock Linwood finished with 148 yards and a 1-yard touchdown run on 28 carries.“We knew that we had to just keep grinding it out,” Linwood said. “Each play, just go out there and tempo them up and get them tired and that’s how we got them.” That’s exactly what it seemed like. Linwood only had 46 yards in the first half but he, Johnny Jefferson, and even Bryce petty at times seemed to just wear down the Longhorns behind BU’s big offensive line.
My Name Is
I don’t think it will happen though.
If Texas was thinking about possibly playing him in Dallas you’d think UT would have went with a two-quarterback system or at least tried to get him snaps prior to the Red River Rivalry.
It doesn’t make much sense at all to put Heard in the game next week without him getting any snaps prior. There was, at the very least, a full quarter he could have played at the end of this game to get him ready.
Don’t count on it happening.
On the other side of the coin you’ve got to give Texas fans something to hold on to, don’t you?
The Cotton Bowl is supposed to be a 50-50 split, but something tells me crimson will be the dominant color next week.
There were a TON of empty seats at DKR today for an undefeated, high-flying offense. Granted ACL probably looked a little more enticing to many UT students. But what on earth will this crowd look like for Iowa State in two weeks if Texas loses next week? Less than 90K?
The Way I Am
Longhorns linebacker Steve Edmond had some unpleasant things to say about Baylor during the offseason, so you knew he’d want to play one of his better games to back up his words.
Edmond had a team-high 17 tackles, including two sacks of Bryce Petty, who hadn’t been sacked this season prior to Saturday.
Just Lose It
Swoopes entered the game having thrown only one interception in his first 99 passes as a Texas starter.
He’ll head up Interstate-35 with two more under his belt.
Texas coaches will tell you that the first interception he threw this season wasn’t even his fault. But upon first glance, both were on Saturday.
Swoopes finished 15-of-33 for 142 yards and two interceptions. That’s an average of 4.3 yards per completion.
He appeared timid with his approach and has to do a better job of keeping his eyes downfield whenever plays break down. There were chances for a big play if he would have.
Rarely was a throw hitting Texas’ receivers in stride. It seemed like every time a completion was made UT’s receivers were sliding the ground to catch it.
And I don’t know about you but I’m confused as to why Watson continues to roll him out to his left. It looks to me like he has a hard time getting his shoulders squared and doesn’t throw very well when on the run to that side.
Not a member of HornsDigest?
Get the rest of the college football season at HD for only $4.95!
Follow these three easy steps:
1. Select the "1-Month Pass" option right here.
2. Enter the promo code "TEXAS"
3. Enjoy the best content on Longhorns sports and recruiting that you'll find!
Get 10% off Longhorns tickets, tickets to other sporting events as well as concerts by joining HornsDigest.com. Click here to get discounted tickets!