Entering the weekend, the Texas Longhorns hadn’t won a game in Fort Worth since 2013.
That’s no longer the case.
Texas dealt with its fair share of woes, but in a game that was probably more about getting over the mental hurdle that’s been the TCU Horned Frogs, Texas did just that. Here’s a few initial thoughts from Texas’ 32-27 win over TCU to improve to 4-1 and 2-0 in Big 12 play.
Sometimes, a win is a win. TCU has absolutely dominated Texas since joining the Big 12, so even though the Horns have blown out their opponents in all three wins, it was expected that Texas was going to be in for a battle in Fort Worth because Gary Patterson and the Horned Frogs live for this game. It was by no means a pretty outcome, but Steve Sarkisian took smart points when Texas needed them, took a calculated risk when it was available and when it was time to go and win the game, Texas did exactly that. 4-1 is 4-1, and Texas now Texas some momentum and a three-game winning streak into the Cotton Bowl to meet the No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners.
Texas will go as far as Bijan Robinson takes them. Ahead of the season, Sark noted that Robinson would get as many touches as Texas needed him to have. On Saturday, that meant a career-high 35 carries for a career-best 216 yards and two touchdowns, as well as another two receptions for 22 yards, and Texas needed every bit of those 238 total yards to come away with the win. It’s quite clear Sark will absolutely lean upon Robinson to win Texas a game, so whatever success Texas enjoys this season, it will be, in large part, due to their star running back.
Cameron Dicker was consistent when it counted. Dicker the Kicker hadn’t been the most consistent in his limited opportunities to begin the year, making just one of his three attempts. On Saturday, though, Dicker was a perfect 4-of-4, converting from 26 yards, 28 yards, and twice from 38 yards. In a five-point game, much like Robinson, Texas doesn’t win without Dicker.
Anthony Cook is blossoming into a star. Cook has been exceptional out of the Star position for the Longhorns this year, and he put forth yet another solid showing on Saturday. Included in his eight total tackles was two tackles for loss, and key a sack on Max Duggan in which he not only forced the fumble, but recovered it. The Texas secondary as a whole has struggled a bit this season, but Cook is absolutely standing out as a bright spot among the bunch during his breakout season.
Texas will need to do a better job of capitalizing on opportunities. The TCU game is always weird so this could prove to be an anomaly, but Texas should have won this game much more comfortably if the offense were able to capitalize on their opportunities, and more specifically, turnovers. Texas’ turned TCU’s three turnovers into just nine points, which isn’t an ideal recipe for success as is, much less when those opportunities allow you to start at TCU’s 23, TCU’s 9, and your own 49-yard line. Elsewhere, on Texas’ first possession, a D’Shawn Jamison return allowed the offense to begin on their own 44-yard line, but they only got a field goal out of the short field. That’s four ideal opportunities that should have been, at the least, 24 points, but instead Texas got just 12 points from them. Expect this to e a point of emphasis heading into the Red River Showdown.