There are no moral victories at a place like the University of Texas.
After consecutive excruciating losses, though, that’s about all that the Longhorns have to go on and they’re tired of it.
“We are close,” Texas defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway said. “We are right there. It’s disappointing when you are so close to winning like that two times. Not just once, it’s twice like that. We were right there. It hurts.”
Last week it was a missed extra point by Nick Rose that could have sent the Longhorns game against Cal into overtime.
This week punter Michael Dickson dropped a perfectly good snap and kicked it 10 yards to the Texas 18 with 36 seconds left in a tie game. Ben Grogan split the uprights on a 40-yard field goal two plays later to give Oklahoma State a 30-27 victory.
“Everybody is just kind of mad at how we have lost the last two weeks,” senior running back Johnathan Gray said. “They are mad because we don’t want to lose.
“A little bit of frustration. Like I said, you don’t want to lose on back-to-back field goals. You have to overcome that. There’s frustration. We have to get better each and every week and come back to work.”
Added linebacker Peter Jinkens: “It’s tough when you lose two games like that. You just have to go back to the drawing board and keep working hard.”
After the Cal loss, despite the manner in which the game ended, there was a sense of positive urgency in the voices of Texas’ players. The tone was a bit different on Saturday.
These two losses were a punch straight to the gut. And, with games at TCU and in Dallas against Oklahoma the next two weeks, it could get much worse before it gets better.
The Longhorns insists they’ll keep fighting.
“That ain’t going to be the problem,” Ridgeway said. “When we lose we aren’t going to go down. We are going to learn from it just like last week. We learned from it and came out with a better mindset. We came to win. We had some tough breaks. We are going to fight every week, that’s not going to be the problem.”
Added Gray: “You definitely don’t want to lose back-to-back weeks like that. It’s a tough loss. We made some mistakes that we could have fixed and prevented. We have to work on some details and go back to work next week and get this thing figured out.”