For the first time in program history, the Texas Longhorns lost at home to the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday, sending first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian’s team to the first five-game losing streak since 1956.
The latest in a string of somber post-game press conferences for Sarkisian featured a question about whether players have tuned out their head coach.
“I don’t know,” said Sarkisian. “You’d have to ask them that question. I feel good about our messaging. I think we’ve got great leaders on the team, but you’d have to ask them that question.”
To Sarkisian’s credit, Texas went down by 21 points on two different occasions before battling back to tie the game in regulation and then take a seven-point lead in overtime.
To Sarkisian’s discredit, the Longhorns gave up 21 points in the final 2:25 of the first half and couldn’t come up with the game-ending interception in overtime or stop the Jayhawks on their two-point conversion attempt.
“We played a really bad first half of football or we wouldn’t have been in that situation at the end of the game,” said Sarkisian. “So we can’t look at one play at the end of the game and say that’s why we lost. We lost because the first 30 minutes of football was bad ball.”
So it was, and now Sarkisian faces major questions about why the Longhorns have cratered this season and where the program goes from here.