I’d like to “not call it a comeback” but it was. Texas posted another ugly 23-17 win over Baylor this week. While there were many external factors at play, the game was just another in a series of “too close for comfort” wins taking the Horns from an unranked, disregarded team to the number 6 team in the nation.
I commented to my family as we left the stadium “I know it was a 6 point, but it felt like 1.” Of course, when it comes down to one score, is there really a difference?
Frustrations and ugliness aside, Texas is 6-1. Additionally, they’re 4-0 in the Big 12, ranked first in the Big 12 and bowl eligible – the last time the Horns were lined up with these stats at this point in the season was 2009 – Texas’ last National Championship bid year.
Of course, we can make statistics say anything we want, right?
For instance, Texas’ score by quarter through the first seven games:
1st quarter: 44
2nd quarter: 84
3rd quarter: 63
4th quarter: 17
It can’t go without noting that backup quarterback Shane Buechele played almost the entire game, after Ehlinger left 10 snaps and 39 yards into Texas’ first possession. What turned out to be an AC sprain sidelined the starter for the remainder of the game.
Buechele led the team to (a frightening) victory going 20/34, passing for 184 yards with one TD and one interception. Colin Johnson was clearly Buechele’s favorite target of the day, with Colin catching 11 passes for 132 yards – including a 44 yard bomb for a TD late in the 2nd Quarter – prior to this game, he was averaging 5 catches for 86 yards.
So on one hand Buechele seems to be much more efficient passing/handing off than running, (he rushed for 11 yards on 5 carries), and in this instance it was enough. On the other hand, Ehlinger has rushed for 230 yards through the first seven (well, six really) games, including 6 rushing TD’s, and I’m not sure how I feel about our QB being our 2nd leading rusher.
On a third hand, I DO know how I feel about losing, and it’s not great. So I guess I should take my yards however I can get them.
Lil’ Jordan Humphrey had his fewest yards of the season, catching 7 passes for 41 yards, making his season total 42 catches for 576 yards (averaging 6/82). The statistic I love to highlight is that seven games into the season he’s caught 12% more passes for 26% more yards than his 2017 season total
I’d to think Texas fans (or myself) would never allow a player to go from the G.O.A.T. to the goat in a matter of games, but I can see us being that awful. I was personally disappointed that Dicker the Kicker was put into a situation to miss a 51 yard field goal (having missed a 34 yarder the previous possession & gotten 40 & 35 yarders). Over the year he’s 10/15 of FG’s and 100% on extra points (which should be the statistic on ever college football kicker in the history of time and the future of the world). I think a mid-field FG is too much to ask, even of your Red River Hero.
Overall, it was great to put in a backup QB and still win the game, but it was absolutely NOT great that we didn’t score at all in the second half. Our defense and clock management held Baylor to only one scoring drive in each the first three quarters and a no-score 4th quarter.
I’m trying my best to be more optimistic than scared about our upcoming stretch of Big 12 play, but in a season where Texas Tech ran the ball over 150 yards in a single game, I feel like anything can happen.
Luckily my game day shirt is 6-0 this season. And while I’m truly upset with myself for not wearing it while watching the Maryland game, that won’t happen again. I’ll burn it when Hager gets to cut his hair.