There’s always good news in every aspect of life. For Texas, the positive praise should come in the fact they’re not blowing leads in the second half anymore.
That’s because they haven’t led at halftime over the past two weeks against West Virginia and Kansas.
So much has changed on the Forty Acres since Texas walked into halftime feeling content against then-No. 4 Oklahoma. That’s the moment where is all went wrong.
Texas (4-7, 2-6 Big 12) won’t be going bowling in December following its 31-23 loss to West Virginia Saturday in Morgantown. Maybe that’s a good thing. Even with six wins, is going to a bowl only to be obliterated by the opponent what Hook’Em fans want?
December will be a month of reflection for the Horns’ fan base. It’ll also be time to reevaluate for Steve Sarkisian, who will have to determine what needs to be fixed if he wants to remain in Austin for the long haul.
“Clearly it’s frustrating because I think we had the momentum, we were able to take it back and couldn’t get off the field,” Sarkisian said after the West Virginia loss.
Frustrating? That’s one word. Inconsistent? That’s another to describe Texas in 2021. The Mountaineers (5-6, 3-5) played hungry in front of their fans.
Texas just played. It wasn’t inspiring. It wasn’t special. It was just 11 men on a field making plays until the whistle blew.
That’s been the standard of the second half over the Horns’ six-game losing streaks. It’s now transitioned into all 60 minutes since the 57-56 overtime loss to Kansas.
“Every loss is disappointing, extremely disappointing,” running back Keilan Robinson said. “It doesn’t matter what’s next, what’s after that. Every loss is disappointing.”
This is Texas football, now. The expectations from the fan base is to contend right away for a Big 12 — and soon SEC — title, make the College Football Playoff and prove the Horns are “back” for good.
The reality is different. Make a bowl game, try to win and repeat the process next year? Seems about right for the sixth-winningest program in college football history.
Too bad that wasn’t the case this past fall in the flagship program of the Lone Star State.
Sarkisian continues to history. Texas is now on its longest losing streak since 1956. Meanwhile, Tom Herman is likely grinning ear to ear in the Windy City as he prepares to take on the Baltimore Ravens.
Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte released a statement in his weekly newsletter that he believes in Sarkisian for the long term. It’s not even 12 games into his tenure and Sark is getting the backing support of the AD?
What does Del Conte’s long-winded email truly mean?
“I made the wrong call, now I have to live with the outcome and hope for the best. My bad, Texas.”
What’s to like about the program in the future? The Horns could finish with a top 10 recruiting class in 2021. They have young talent that the veterans believe are turning the corner. A No. 1 wide receiver resides in the building with freshman Xavier Worthy, and star running back Bijan Robinson likely returns for one more season before going pro.
How does that change coaching? The Horns always find a way to get five-star talent to choose the burnt orange over other major programs. The best result since Mack Brown’s departure?
A 9-4 season and win over an NFL-bound Georgia roster in the Sugar Bowl. Why did you have to say it, Sam Ehlinger? Wasn’t Horns down enough?
“I came in with the Horns down in 2018,” West Virginia running back Leddie Brown told reporters postgame “I’m leaving throwing the Horns down in 2021.”
It’s not as if Texas didn’t have its chances. Keilan Robinson rushed for more than 100 yards and scored a touchdown. So did Roschon Johnson, who has seen the bulk of carries since the season-ending injury to Bijan Robinson.
Worthy caught a 52-yard touchdown pass from Hudson Card in the third quarter. Then, Card was hurt, forcing Casey Thompson to come back into the game with just over two minutes remaining. He threw an interception on fourth down.
The defense didn’t help either. The Mountaineers converted on third down 60 percent and tallied more 450 yards of offense led by quarterback Jarret Doege and Co.
Even when the offense found life, it was only to be swallowed by poor defensive play.
Worthy said postgame that this offseason would be one where Texas rebounds. He said to watch out for next season.
Sarkisian muttered a similar message, talking about the Horns still have plenty of “Texas fight” left in them.
For what? A game against Kansas State that means nothing now?
Yes, Sarkisian will be back next season barring a $40 million buyout. Comparing the Kansas loss similar to that of his former boss, Nick Saban, against Louisiana-Monroe loss has been brought up.
Saban went to the Sugar Bowl the following season. The year after that, he won his first of six national titles with the Tide.
Is Sarkisian promising a national title to Texas in 2023? No? Then stop with that narrative.
Texas wanted to change from Herman this offseason. They have it, and it’s worse. Sarkisian talks about setting the standard inside the program on many occasions.
The new standard of Texas is that it’s not a good football program. It hasn’t been in 2009, and Sarkisian now must spend the offseason hoping to repair the dents of what was once one of college football’s finest.
Want the latest in breaking news and insider information on the Longhorns? Click Here
Want to join in on the discussion? Click here to become a member of the Longhorns Country message board community today!