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Initial thoughts from No. 23 Texas’ 38-27 win over Baylor

Texas mowed its own lawn, solidifying a three-game regular season improvement with a chance to sneak into the Big 12 title game.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 25 Baylor at Texas Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In a game Texas absolutely had to win to keep their Big 12 title hopes alive, the Longhorns dominated down the stretch and left no doubt in the final minutes.

Here are a few initial thoughts from Texas’ 38-27 win over Baylor.

That’s how you put a stamp on a season that signified progress for Steve Sarkisian’s program. This game wasn’t perfect, and the season certainly wasn’t — it was quite frustrating at times, to be sure. But in a massive game for the Longhorns, they were largely the aggressor and that was especially true in the fourth with Texas bullying Baylor on both sides of the ball en route to a 14-0 stretch to close the game. And now, Texas finishes the regular season right about where we could have expected entering the season — at 8-4 in firmly in the Big 12 title picture. And now, with a little luck from the Jayhawks, Texas might find themselves in Arlington next weekend. Three wins in the final four games to be in that position is a pretty solid foundation for Texas to build upon with yet another top 10 class coming in.

Bijan Robinson. Doak Walker him. In what may prove to be his final game at DKR — or as a Longhorn — we saw vintage Bijan as he diced through the Baylor defense en route to 179 yards and two more touchdowns, surpassing Jamaal Charles for fourth all-time on the Texas’ rushing yards leaderboard. His latest display was just another example of why Robinson is objectively the best running back in college football, so it’s only right for him to become the latest in a lineage of Longhorns to hoist the Doak Walker award.

Jaylan Ford, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. The junior’s breakout campaign continued in style on Friday, with Ford tallying another 13 tackles, two big tackles for loss, and a game-changing interception. It’s hard to argue that he’s been the best player on a much-improved Longhorns defense this season, and he finished the regular season with a damn good case to earn honors as the Big 12’s best defensive player with 109 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, two sacks, four interceptions and three forced fumbles.