We beat Baylor! We beat Baylor! An October contest against A&M Lite was the defining game of the season. That's how things have gone for a Texas team that threw caution to the loss against a fraudulent West Virginia team 48-45 and then soiled the Sealy the next week against Oklahoma. A loss at home against Baylor would have been devastating.
And the Horns almost gave it away at the end, but Joe Bergeron recovered his own fumble at the Texas 40-yard line with 1:47 to go in the game and the Longhorns leading 56-50. That was a typical final score in the Big 12's new outdoor arena league.
The way the score was going back and forth in the first half, it was like watching a tennis match, but the Horns broke service at 28-28 when Josh Turner picked off Baylor QB Nick Florence, who looks like the Seventies porn actor his name suggests.
Flo-Thro tossed for 352 yards on 30 of 41 passing, with Terrance Williams burning Quandre Diggs so bad on one 80-yard pass that No. 6's new nickname is Li'l Tex. Manny's D also gave up 255 yards on the ground. Why is marijuana against the law, but 7-on-7 football is legal in Texas? At least when you're stoned you can tackle ... such issues as global warming's effect on plant residue.
The key of the game for Texas was seeing Baylor field-goal kicker Aaron Jones trot out onto the field as often as possible. In this game, a field goal was leaving four points on the field.
The game started spectacularly for newlywed Natalie Portman's favorite team (this week). In town filming an untitled Terrence Malick project, the sexily attired Portman watched Daje Johnson take a handoff on the first play from scrimmage and race around the end for an 84-yard touchdown. Malick missed it because there was a butterfly in the stands.
Quarterback David Ash, the blond Keanu whose swollen wrist in the OU game looked like Jerry Quarry in the Ali fight, played well and got in a good rhythm with Mike Davis, who caught six passes for 146 yards and dropped two for no yards. Freshman RB Johnathan Gray, who wears No. 32, but does not drive a white Bronco, scored his first college TD on a 25-yard run to put Texas up 35-28.
The offensive line was opening holes and pushing around the Baylorettes to the benefit of El Bergeron, who ran for five touchdowns.
Newer names on defense made some plays. Besides Turner, LB Steve Edmond was solid and caused a fumble, pounced on by Mykkele Thompson, whose parents did not meet at the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. That turnover led to another Dave and Mike's excellent adventure for a 15-yard TD to make it 56-43 in the fourth quarter.
What has happened to defense in college football? Even Ms. Portman was heard yelling, "What are those shoulder pads for, decoration?" West Virginia gave up 55 points at home to Kansas State and then gave Geno Smith's Heisman trophy to Collin "cK" Klein for six boxes of designer underwear. Florida clowned South Carolina for 44. Texas Tech beat TCU 56-53. The scoreboard ticker makes it look like March.
Are no-huddle offenses wearing down defenses? Or is it that today's football players are finding more pain in the tattoo parlor than on the practice field?
Texas won the game because they had the ball when it was over. And for that we gave up Saturday night.
1) "Deep snappers love what they've got between their legs." That's a T-shirt UT's Kyle Ashby should never wear. With Texas ahead 7-0 Ashby snapped the ball over punter Manute Bol's head for a 35-yard loss to the Texas 8. Florence scored on the next play.
2) Getting a little sick of football dreads. Falling out of one Baylor player's helmet were cheap hair extensions that looked like Raggedy Ann's braids spray-painted black.
3) Love that Mack Brown lashed out at the Longhorn Network for demands on his time. "I never asked for it," he said, adding that some of the pregame coverage may be tipping off opponents. The network's top-rated This Week's Trick Play show may be in jeopardy.
Saturday morning, the 5-2 Horns go up to Kansas, which is 1-6, but played Oklahoma tougher than Texas did, losing 52-7 in Norman. It could be a game, especially if the Horns are looking ahead to a tough November run. "Phog" Allen Fieldhouse should be rocking. It's an 11am kickoff, so look for the game wrap-up on austinchronicle.com/blogs/sports Saturday afternoon. Follow @michaelcorcoran on Twitter for live tweets.
Sept. 1 Texas 37, Wyoming 17
Sept. 8 Texas 45, New Mexico 0
Sept. 15 Texas 66, Ole Miss 31
Sept. 29 Texas 41, Oklahoma State 36
Oct. 6 West Virginia 48, Texas 45
Oct. 13 Oklahoma 63, Texas 21
Oct. 20 Texas 56, Baylor 50
Oct. 27 at Kansas 11am
Nov. 3 at Texas Tech TBA
Nov. 10 vs. Iowa State TBA
Nov. 22 vs. TCU 6:30pm
Dec. 1 at Kansas State TBA
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