Some sobering scores from previous Longhorn opponents didn’t pass unnoticed to Longhorn fans, despite the good feelings engendered by the Texas win over USC.
Arkansas State- 29, Tulsa- 20
Temple- 35, Maryland- 14
The Red Wolves took down Tulsa convincingly in their home stadium, scoring on a pick 6 and securing a late game safety when the Golden Hurricane cut it to 27-20. The Tulsa passing game was held down and completed no pass longer than 30 yards in the contest.
Temple straight up blew out Maryland. They out gained the Terrapins 429-195, holding Maryland to under 100 yards passing, and picked off Kasim Hill and Tyrell Pigrome. On offense, they hit three passes of 40+ yards and had a 100 yard rusher. They also racked up 7 sacks. This was no fluke. Temple crushed Maryland. The most disconcerting aspect to consider is that Temple was 0-2 coming into the game, with losses to Villanova and Buffalo. Let me repeat: Villanova. Buffalo.
If anyone thinks that the Texas Longhorns were ready to play football on September 1st or even remotely had their shit together, then I’m not sure what to tell you.
But that doesn’t mean that Texas can’t get it together for the rest of the season.
Disclaimer: the transitive property in college football doesn’t work very well. Football doesn’t really work that way. It’s match-ups. It’s motivation. It can’t measure preparation. It doesn’t measure improvement or decline. But it does give you a range and absent major changes in a football team, a reasonable gauge as to opponent quality.
So let this be a little splash of cold water on the fanbase after a rousing win over the Trojans. That 37-14 win suggested a style of play that can lead Texas to a successful season, but TCU is here to clarify what USC might suggest. Gary Patterson has had the Longhorn’s number the last four years and, unlike USC, there’s little doubt as to the efficacy and quality of his staff. The college football nation also just watched TCU go toe-to-toe with Ohio State for four quarters and effectively lose the game on two turnovers.
If the Horns have turned a corner, we’ll know by end of day Saturday.