Heading into the bye week, the Texas Longhorns were in control of the conference race and if they managed to win the rest of their games, would play for their first conference title since Mack Brown was on the sidelines.
Two weeks later, Texas is coming off of back-to-back losses on late-game scores.
The Longhorns still have a chance to play for that conference championship, but now need the right dominoes to fall for it to happen. The first of those dominoes is a road win against the Texas Tech Red Raiders Saturday.
Texas owns the lifetime series against the Red Raiders 50-17, but has lost two of the last three to Tech. Add to that the notoriously-tough Jones AT&T stadium crowd at night, this could be a tough spot for Texas.
If the Longhorns can manage to come out of Lubbock with a win, their season goal of competing for the Big 12 championship lives on.
Texas head coach Tom Herman addresses the media heading into the pivotal conference matchup at noon Central on Longhorn Network and TexasSports.com.
Texas coach Tom Herman said, "We came up a play short. A lot of guys were upset, as they should be. But we've got to move on."— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) November 5, 2018
DE Marqez Bimage will be out. CB Davante Davis is questionable with his neck sprain. DE Breckyn Hager is questionable with a dislocated radius. S Brandon Jones would not be able to play today, but Tom Herman is hoping that he'll improve during the week.— Wescott Eberts (@SBN_Wescott) November 5, 2018
Texas will likely change its defensive structure based on which Texas Tech QB plays. Jett Duffey will force the Horns into more nickel looks, while Alan Bowman would likely face the Lightning package.— Wescott Eberts (@SBN_Wescott) November 5, 2018
Tom Herman thinks the defense has been playing tentative the last several weeks and hasn't been cutting it loose. Might be uncertainty, so the coaches may trim down the call sheet.— Wescott Eberts (@SBN_Wescott) November 5, 2018
Tom Herman said there isn't a blind spot in their defense when calling plays on defense. Said it's football. Herman added they are very multiple in their coverage.— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) November 5, 2018
"Better stop the run or you're going to bleed a slow death," Herman said about Texas Tech.— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) November 5, 2018
Herman says Horns tried drop-8 coverage vs. WVU. Thus, so little pressure on Grier: "When you play coverage, when you drop eight, it’s going to be very difficult to get pressure on anybody."— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) November 5, 2018
Herman on QB Sam Ehlinger: "Sam is still playing hurt. That shoulder is still not fully healed."— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) November 5, 2018
Herman says he's proud and frustrated at the same time of how Texas has come so close to wins over OSU, WVU, but fell short. Losses by a combined 4 points.— Cody Daniel (@CodyDanielSBN) November 5, 2018
Herman on managing the four game redshirt rule: "It's by necessity. The championship game and the bowl game both count in those four games, too. You've got to be a bit cautious in making those decisions now in game 10." #HookEm— Joe Cook (@josephcook89) November 5, 2018
Herman on facing former UT DB John Bonney now at Tech: "John’s a graduate of the University of Texas and gave us four years of his blood, sweat and tears and we’re very thankful for that."— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) November 5, 2018