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Three Thoughts on Texas’ 37-31 Loss to Washington in the College Football Playoff

The regular season is in the books and now it is time for bowl season. Nine Big 12 teams have played over the past two weeks and Texas is next up on the bowl list.

The Longhorns finished the regular season with a 12-1 record and a Big 12 championship. With a conference title under their belt, the Longhorns made it to the College Football Playoff where they faced off against Washington in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

It was a fun evening in New Orleans as Teas was looking to play for their first national championship in over 12 years.

Here are three thoughts on Texas’ 37-31 loss to Washington on Monday night.

 

A Wild Finish

I have seen some crazy finishes in these playoff games before, but I don’t know if I have ever seen an ending quite like this one. The Huskies had the ball with just a little over a minute left up by six. Texas had two timeouts left and Washington ran a couple of plays before facing a third and five with 1:02 left on the clock.

Instead of taking a knee (because Texas had no timeouts left), Washington ran the ball and running back Dillon Johnson ended up getting hurt which stopped the clock. So instead of Texas getting the ball with little to no time, the Longhorns had 45 seconds to make something happen.

Texas found themselves deep in Washington territory quickly when Quinn Ewers hit Jordan Whittington for a 41-yard pass. The Longhorns had a few chances to try and score from the Washington ten-yard line but weren’t able to find the end zone. It was certainly an ending I won’t forget anytime soon.

 

Texas Made Too Many Mistakes

Coming into this game, the Longhorns averaged about six penalties per game. On Monday night against Washington, Texas had a total of ten penalties. You simply can’t do that against a team as good as Washington. The Huskies were only flagged three times and that is a big difference when you compare the two teams.

As bad as the penalties were, the Longhorns also had two turnovers in the second half. Both turnovers were fumbles and both of them happened as Texas was driving down the field. If not for those fumbles, who knows what would have happened. Maybe Texas would have scored on those drives.

Lastly, the Texas defense didn’t have their best day either. The secondary got torched multiple times for big plays as Washinton quarterback Michael Penix Jr. finished the game with 430 passing yards and completed over 75% of his passes. There were too many times when Texas was caught out of position, and they paid for it.

 

Goodbye Texas

After spending 26 seasons in the Big 12 Conference, the next time you see Texas on a football field, they will not be wearing a Big 12 logo on their jerseys. Instead, it will be replaced with an SEC logo as the Longhorns are set to move next season. For as much hate (much of it is self-inflicted) as Texas gets, I can honestly say that it is going to be weird next year not seeing them in the Big 12.

While they did have some success in the 2000s, the last 14 years haven’t been so pleasant for the burnt orange faithful. From 2010 to 2022, the Longhorns didn’t win a conference title and never sniffed the College Football Playoff. Of course, that all changed this season as Texas finished as the Big 12 champion and just played in their first playoff game.

I must give credit where credit is due. Texas finally backed up the hype. They had a great season and were the best team in the Big 12. With that said, this will be my final article talking about Texas football since I started covering the conference back in 2016. So here we are. So long Texas. It was fun while it lasted but now it is time for a new era in the Big 12. I hope you and Oklahoma find what you are looking for in the SEC.

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