Texas’ 31-16 win over No. 17 TCU on Saturday at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium lends credence to the notion that the Longhorns are back and belong in among the Top 25.
But Texas coach Tom Herman does not want his team to get ahead of itself despite the fact that the Longhorns exorcised a bevy of demons with its victory over the always-tough Horned Frogs.
Suddenly, a Texas team that floundered in the swamps of Maryland in a season-opening loss to the Terrapins and struggled to put away a bad Tulsa team in its second game has defeated ranked teams in back-to-back weeks for the first time since 2008.
“All this does is validate the fact that we have taken another step – that’s all,” Herman said after the win. “We have got many, many, many more steps to take. We went 1-0 against a really good opponent, and we’re going to have to wake up tomorrow and take another step and do it on the road against another really good opponent next week.”
The Longhorns (3-1, 1-0 in Big 12) beat TCU for the first time since by playing mistake-free football and scoring the game’s final 21 points after being down 16-10 in the waning seconds of the third quarter.
It’s the first time since 2014 that the Longhorns have won three games in a row and the first time Texas has defeated ranked teams in back-to-back weeks for the first time since 2008 – the Longhorns beat No. 22 Southern Cal 37-14 on Sept. 15.
Chalk up the win Saturday to the swagger and overall brilliance of the Texas defense, which has ruled the second half the past two weeks.
Then there’s the continuing improvement of quarterback San Ehlinger, who in three weeks has turned from mistake-prone in the clutch to steely-eyed closer. Ehlinger passed for 255 yards and two touchdowns, both of them late in the game, and ran for another score.
“Again, this is just one step, one step, this is not the end all, be all, Herman said. “This is a good win against another ranked opponent, an opponent that’s going to win a lot of games the rest of their season.
“I’m really proud of our guys for their composure, their grit, their continued fight throughout the course of the game and the ups and downs and excited to see the progress that we make this week.”
–Steve Habel (@SteveHabel), Field Level Media