Posted August 10th, 2017
The Texas football program dates back to 1893. Each day, we look at a little piece of Longhorn history. We’re starting by looking at each Longhorn football season.
Year two of the John Mackovic era, also the 100th anniversary of the program, started out pretty rough.
A 36-14 loss on the road to Colorado was followed by an impressive showing against No. 6 Syracuse that ended with a tie, 21-21, in Austin. The third game ended with Texas falling on the road to No. 24 Louisville 41-10. Texas trailed 24-0 at halftime in that game.
However, once Southwest Conference season began Texas found its groove.
After beating Rice, Texas lost to Oklahoma as the Sooners snapped a 4-game losing streak to Texas, beating the Longhorns 38-17 in Dallas.
Texas would win four of its next five games after Oklahoma, losing to Texas Tech at home, but cruising by Houston, TCU and Baylor. The Longhorns entered the Nov. 25 matchup with No. 8 Texas A&M with a record of 5-1 in conference. The Aggies were 6-0. If Texas won, they would tie the Aggies for the SWC title and the Longhorns would be invited to the Cotton Bowl.
But Texas A&M didn’t let that happen. Texas led 3-0 after the first quarter, and increased the lead to 6-0 before the Aggies scored 15 points to end the half. One of scores came on a 100-yard kickoff return. Texas retook the lead with another Scott Szeredy field goal, but that would be it on the scoring.
A&M added a field goal in the fourth quarter with 53 seconds to go to secure the win.
Strangely enough the loss took the Longhorns out of the Cotton Bowl and out of the bowl season all together. At 5-5-1 with a second-place tie finish in the SWC, Texas missed a bowl game for third year in a row.
Phil Brown led the Longhorns in rushing with 814 yards and seven touchdowns.
Shea Morenz arrived at Texas as the No. 1 quarterback recruit in the nation in 1992 and redshirted that season. He also tore ligaments in 1992 due to an incident off the field — he was carrying a friend downstairs and fell down, reportedly. But healthy (which would be the key word for him at Texas) in 1993, he took the reins as a redshirt freshman starter. He threw a then-freshman record 2,341 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also was intercepted 18 times.
Clearly Texas was in a new era of offense under Mackovic as the unit attempted 335 passes. For context, Texas starter James Street attempted just 81 passes total in 1969.
With more passing Texas started to see more wide receivers emerge, and it started with Mike Adams.
The sophomore, who had been a freshman All-American in 1992, hailed from Arlington High School and would graduate from Texas as the all-time leading receiver in receptions and receiving yards. He was named the team MVP in 1993 and was an All-Southwest Conference selection. His 1993 season is still the 10th best receiving season in Longhorn history.
The 1993 season also saw some future stars begin their Longhorn career. Tony Brackens arrived on campus as a true freshman and recorded 10 sacks and 79 tackles. That’s the second highest sack number for a freshman in Texas history, the most coming in 1975 by Tim Campbell.
Also arriving on campus was Bryant Westbrook, one of the best out-of-state recruits to ever pick Texas. The California native hailed from El Camino High School in Oceanside, Calif. The defensive back recorded 39 tackles and two interceptions and would go on to develop a reputation as one of the hardest hitters in Texas history.
With this class, which also included a quarterback named James Brown, mixed with Mackovic’s first recruiting class that included Morenz, Adams, Taje Allen, Dan Neil, Priest Holmes and Blake Brockermeyer, the program was building a strong talent base that was about to shine in 1994.