As the month of November comes to an end, it’s time to reheat those Thanksgiving leftovers and soak in one last weekend of football. Believe it or not, the Big 12 championship game had two spots up for grabs heading into the final week.
On Friday night, the first-place Texas Longhorns hosted the Texas Tech Red Raiders. This was an important game for the Longhorns as they looked to clinch a spot in the conference title game. As for Texas Tech, they had a chance to play spoiler in Austin and get to seven wins.
Between the hype coming with Brett Yormark in town and this possibly being the last game between these two rivals for the foreseeable future, it was a wild night down in Austin. Here are my three thoughts on Texas’ 57-7 win over Texas Tech on Friday night.
It Wasn’t Texas Tech’s Night
Outside of one touchdown drive, there wasn’t anything positive for Texas Tech in this game. The offense struggled to protect quarterback Behren Morton and it showed. Morton was running for his life back there and the run game was ineffective due to the lopsided score. The Red Raiders needed to establish the running game and control the clock and they failed to do that. Whether it was third or fourth down, the offense couldn’t stay on the field to extend drives.
Meanwhile, the defense wasn’t any better. They gave up over 500 yards of offense and over 300 of them came on the ground. Texas basically did whatever they wanted in this game and Teas Tech could do nothing to stop it.
There were just too many mistakes by the Red Raiders to even be competitive in this one. Between the mental errors, pick six, blocked punt, and poor special teams play, Texas Tech didn’t stand a chance against Texas. You can’t play that poorly and expect to beat a top-ten team on the road.
Longhorn Domination From Start to Finish
I couldn’t think of any other way to describe this game for Texas besides dominant. The offense was firing on all cylinders without their star running back Jonathan Brooks as they rushed for over 300 yards in this game led by Jaydon Blue. The rushing attack was so good that Quinn Ewers didn’t have to do much at all.
As impressive as the offense was, the defense was even better. They allowed Texas Tech to convert just three of their 14 third down attempts and held them to just seven points. The crazy thing about this game is that Texas didn’t even play their best. The Longhorns had nine penalties and had to settle for five Bert Auburn field goals. I felt like Texas could have put 70 on the board against Texas Tech. Still, winning by 50 points was impressive and we even got to see Arch Manning make his debut as well.
Hello, Jerry World
As much as we talk about the Texas Longhorns over the years, they haven’t been able to keep up with the hype. In fact, Texas hasn’t won a Big 12 title since Colt McCoy was wearing the burnt orange back in 2009. While the Longhorns did make a Big 12 title game appearance back in 2018, they have yet to get back to Jerry World.
That all changed on Friday night as they put an exclamation mark on their incredible 2023 regular season with a big win over Texas Tech. What Steve Sarkisian has been able to do in Austin in year three is nothing short of incredible and he deserves some praise for putting this program back on track.
What exactly is difference from previous Texas teams over the last 13 years compared to this one? The 2023 team is by far the best Texas team I have seen since 2009. They are excellent on both sides of the ball and play complimentary football. And that is why this team is going to AT&T Stadium next Saturday to play for a Big 12 championship.