Just a week ago, Texas took Alabama to the brink. The Longhorns had a two-point lead over the Crimson Tide with just a minute and a half late to play. Unfortunately, they blew the lead and lost the game.
However, there were plenty of positives to take away from that loss. It showed that Texas can get up and play with the big boys, but the question is, can they do it every week?
Before conference play begins, Texas had one final test as they welcomed UTSA to Austin. The Roadrunners came in with a chip on their shoulder and this was a tight game until the Longhorns pulled away late. Here are my three thoughts on Texas’ win over UTSA on Saturday night.
1. Texas Slept Through the First Half
There were concerns about this being a trap game for Texas. Playing a smaller school down the road right in the middle of the Alabama and Texas Tech game next weekend seemed a little dangerous. Keep in mind, Texas was only a 12.5 favorite in this one and I didn’t think they had a chance to cover after the first half. At one point UTSA had a 17-7 lead thanks to an onside kick and a trick play. The Longhorns did manage to tie the game after a Bijan Robinson touchdown run and a field goal by Bert Auburn. Despite going into halftime tied, it still felt like Texas was down. They had some trouble stopping the quick passing attack of UTSA and struggled to get off the field on third down. Without a doubt, there was a little bit of a post Alabama hangover early in the game.
2. The Run Game Took Off
In the first half of the game, Texas didn’t have a lot going on offense. Hudson Card was just ok, but the rushing attack wasn’t there. That changed in the second half though. When Texas came back on the field in the third quarter, Bijan Robinson took over the game. In the second half, Bijan had two long touchdown runs of 78 and 41 yards as he helped his team pull away late. Robinson finished the game with 183 yards and three scores and even Roschon Johnson got things going late as well. If not for the run game in the second half, I am not sure how Texas would have won the game.
3. Texas Dominated the Second Half
I don’t know what was said at halftime by the Texas coaching staff but it worked. After being in a tie game, the Longhorns won the second half as they outscored the Roadrunners 24-3. I mentioned the run game picking up steam thanks to Bijan Robinson but give credit to the Texas defense too. They didn’t get hardly any pressure on UTSA quarterback Frank Harris in the first half, but they were able to generate a little pass rush in the second half. The defense even got a huge pick six when Jahdae Barron took a pass the other way for a 44-yard score. To me, that pick changed the game and helped set the tone going into the fourth quarter.