Football

50 shades of disarray: A review of every Texas game since the departure of Mack Brown

Squads of Tom Herman and Charlie Strong have forged a 23-27 record since 2014.

Posted August 29th, 2018

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Texas football is 23-27 in its first 50 games after Mack Brown’s departure. How the Longhorns got from there to here:

1. AUG. 30, 2014

Texas 38, North Texas 7

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A solid start to the Charlie Strong years, but the season was soured: QB David Ash (concussions) and C Dom Espinosa (knee) would be lost for the year, ushering in the Tyrone Swoopes era.

UT, post Mack: 1-0 (1-0 home)

2. SEPT. 6, 2014

BYU 41, Texas 7

Swoopes’ first career start: 20 of 31 for 176 yards, a TD and a pick. But he was overshadowed by BYU’s Taysom Hill (280 total yards, 3 TDs).

UT, post Mack: 1-1 (1-1 home)

3. SEPT. 13, 2014

No. 12 UCLA 20, Texas 17

The Horns stubbed their toe in Arlington in prime time — Desmond Harrison infamously botched the coin flip, and Jerry Neuheisel, not an injured Brett Hundley, burned Texas for the winning TD pass.

UT, post Mack: 1-2 (0-1 neutral)

4. SEPT. 27, 2014

Texas 23, Kansas 0

A week off and an easy start to Big 12 play had Texas back at .500 and feeling better. The Horns had 4 picks in their first shutout win since blanking New Mexico 45-0 in 2012.

UT, post Mack: 2-2 (1-0 road)

Texas Longhorns’ (18) Tyrone Swoopes looks to pass against Baylor Bears in the NCAA college football game at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, TX. Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN- STATESMAN)

5. OCT. 4, 2014

No. 7 Baylor 28, Texas 7

A rough day at DKR for Swoopes (2 picks and a costly lost fumble at BU’s 1-yard line). There was a blocked FG return for a TD, too.

UT, post Mack: 2-3 (1-2 home)

6. OCT. 11, 2014

No. 11 Oklahoma 31, Texas 26

A 334-yard day from Swoopes and a furious fourth-quarter comeback fell short in Strong’s first Red River Rivalry game. UT trailed 31-13 with 12:50 left.

UT, post Mack: 2-4 (0-2 neutral)

7. OCT. 18, 2014

Texas 48, Iowa State 45

In an old-fashioned shootout (93 points, 1,000-plus total yards), Swoopes was the hero with 2 long bombs in the final 28 seconds to set up the winning FG.

UT, post Mack: 3-4 (2-2 home)

8. OCT 25, 2014

No. 11 Kansas State 23, Texas 0

A week after putting up 512 yards of offense, UT sputtered to only 196 in Manhattan. It was the first shutout loss since the 12-0 Red River Rivalry loss in 2004 — 132 games.

UT, post Mack: 3-5 (1-1 road)

9. NOV. 1, 2014

Texas 34, Texas Tech 13

Malcolm Brown (116 yards, 2 TDs) had the first 100-yard game of UT’s season, and the defense blanked Tech in the second half. Also a big day for John Harris (5 catches for 165 yards).

UT, post Mack: 4-5 (2-1 road)

(10) Texas’ Johnathan Gray scores against West Virginia during the second half at Texas-Memorial Stadium on Saturday, November 8, 2014. Texas beath West Virgina 33-16. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

10. NOV. 8, 2014

Texas 33, No. 24 West Virginia 16

Johnathan Gray and Brown had 191 yards and 3 TDs, and the home win over the ranked Mountaineers was so badly needed, Strong went body surfing in the locker room.

UT, post Mack: 5-5 (3-2 home)

11. NOV. 15, 2014

Texas 28, Oklahoma State 7

Swoopes’ third 300-yard game was helped by a solid defensive effort that kept OSU off the scoreboard till early in the fourth quarter. Texas became bowl-eligible.

UT, post Mack: 6-5 (3-1 road)

12. NOV. 27, 2014

No. 6 TCU 48, Texas 10

A deflating Senior Night: 6 turnovers (4 fumbles, 2 picks) doomed the Horns, who had no answer for TCU’s Trevone Boykin (283 total yards, 3 TDs).

UT, post Mack: 6-6 (3-3 home)

13. DEC. 29, 2014

Arkansas 31, Texas 7

The Horns limped into the offseason with a second straight loss, a second straight bowl loss and a weak offensive effort in the Texas Bowl — UT managed only 59 total yards.

UT, post Mack: 6-7 (0-1 bowls, 0-3 neutral)

14. SEPT. 5, 2015

No. 11 Notre Dame 38, Texas 3

In the first game played between the two college bluebloods in nearly 20 years, Texas could manage only a third-quarter field goal. We saw QB Jerrod Heard for the first time.

UT, post Mack: 6-8 (3-2 road)

Texas quarterback Jerrod Heard avoids Rice defenders during last Saturday’s win at Royal-Memorial Stadium. (JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

15. SEPT. 12, 2015

Texas 42, Rice 28

UT won its home opener in Heard’s first career start (120 yards, 2 TDs), and Daje Johnson had a big night, including an 85-yard punt-return TD. Malik Jefferson had a fumble-return TD.

UT, post Mack: 7-8 (4-3 home)

16. SEPT. 19, 2015

Cal 45, Texas 44

Move over, VY. Heard’s 527-yard game (364 passing, 163 rushing) broke Vince Young’s single-game record and had us all wondering if he was UT’s next big thing. Oh, UT lost, though.

UT, post Mack: 7-9 (4-4 home)

17. SEPT. 26, 2015

No. 24 Oklahoma State 30, Texas 27

A big defensive effort (2 TDs) was spoiled when Michael Dickson’s 10-yard shank in the final minute set OSU up for the winning field goal.

UT, post Mack: 7-10 (4-5 home)

18. OCT. 3, 2015

No. 4 TCU 50, Texas 7

A miserable afternoon in Fort Worth, with the lone score coming late to avoid a shutout. The 1-4 start to the season was UT’s worst since 1956.

UT, post Mack: 7-11 (3-3 road)

19. OCT. 10, 2015

Texas 24, No. 10 Oklahoma 17

Their backs to the wall, the Horns beat OU for the second time in three years. But an ailing Bevo XIV, who stayed back in Austin, wasn’t at the Cotton Bowl to see it.

UT, post Mack: 8-11 (1-3 neutral)

Texas’s Caleb Bluiett runs into the denfense of Kansas State’s Morgan Burns during the second half of their game at Royal Memorial Stadium on Saturday, October 24, 2015. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

20. OCT. 24, 2015

Texas 23, Kansas State 9

There was a moment of silence for Bevo XIV, who died in the off week. Texas had 5 sacks and Swoopes had 3 18-Wheeler TDs on a rainy day at DKR.

UT, post Mack: 9-11 (5-5 home)

21. OCT. 31, 2015

Iowa State 24, Texas 0

A Halloween nightmare in Ames! As Austin flooded back home, Iowa State handed UT its first shutout loss in, well, only 13 games. (See No. 8.)

UT, post Mack: 9-12 (3-4 road)

22. NOV. 7, 2015

Texas 59, Kansas 20

Texas’ first 50-point game since the 2013 opener came at the expense of the winless Jayhawks. John Burt hauled in an 84-yard TD pass from Heard, and Swoopes had 2 18-Wheeler TD runs.

UT, post Mack: 10-12 (6-5 home)

23. NOV. 14, 2015

West Virginia 38, Texas 20

A 5-turnover day in Morgantown left Texas at 4 wins with 2 must-wins left to make a bowl. The Mountaineers scored 24 points off those turnovers.

UT, post Mack: 10-13 (3-5 road)

24. NOV. 26, 2015

Texas Tech 48, Texas 45

The 2 big storylines: Chris Warren III’s mammoth 276-yard, 4-TD night, but the loss snuffed Texas’ bowl hopes. Warren set a UT freshman record.

UT, post Mack: 10-14 (6-6 home)

Texas wide receiver John Burt celebrates after beating Baylor at McLane Stadium in Waco on Saturday December 5, 2015. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

25. DEC. 5, 2015

Texas 23, No. 12 Baylor 17

The first road win over a ranked team since 2012. Injuries forced Baylor to play a receiver at quarterback, then go strictly Wildcat in the second half.

UT, post Mack: 11-14 (4-5 road)

26. SEPT. 4, 2016

Texas 50, No. 10 Notre Dame 47 (2 OT)

Charlie Strong’s best moment. The Sunday night thriller catapulted the Horns to a No. 11 ranking. The Irish would end up going 4-8 that year.

UT, post Mack: 12-14 (7-6 home)

27. SEPT. 10, 2016

No. 11 Texas 41, UTEP 7

Shane Buechele improved to 2-0 as a starter, and it was Strong’s 50th career victory, Malcolm Roach had his first sack and Collin Johnson his first catch.

UT, post Mack: 13-14 (8-6 home)

28. SEPT. 17, 2016

Cal 50, No. 11 Texas 43

The Horns put up 568 yards of offense but also allowed 507. A big night for Cal’s Davis Webb. A downer way to enter the off week in preparation for Big 12 play.

UT, post Mack: 13-15 (4-6 road)

29. OCT. 1, 2016

Oklahoma State 49, No. 22 Texas 31

Texas lost in Stillwater for the first time since 1997. OSU’s Mason Rudolph threw 3 TDs, and the Cowboys blocked THREE extra-point kicks. Texas tumbled from the Top 25 rankings.

UT, post Mack: 13-16 (4-7 road)

Oklahoma’s quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates a 45-40 win over Texas with the Golden Hat trophy at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

30. OCT. 8, 2016

No. 20 Oklahoma 45, Texas 40

Four TDs in the second half nearly won it for Texas, but it was a bigger day for OU’s Baker Mayfield and Samaje Perine. The Sooners put up 672 yards of offense.

UT, post Mack: 13-17 (1-4 neutral)

31. OCT. 15, 2016

Texas 27, Iowa State 6

The first Big 12 win of the season was led by Buechele (296 yards, 2 TDs) and D’Onta Foreman (139 yards, 1 TD); it was Foreman’s seventh straight 100-yard game.

UT, post Mack: 14-17 (9-6 home)

32. OCT. 22, 2016

Kansas State 24, Texas 21

Another loss in Manhattan — Texas fell to 1-7 there all-time. A Buechele TD to Dorian Leonard cut it to a FG late, but K-State recovered the onside kick.

UT, post Mack: 14-18 (4-8 road)

33. OCT. 29, 2016

Texas 35, No. 8 Baylor 34

Foreman rushed for a career-high 250 yards and 2 TDs, but it was Trent Domingue’s last-minute FG and a clutch defensive stand that gave UT its second win over a Top-10 team.

UT, post Mack: 15-18 (10-6 home)

34. NOV. 5, 2016

Texas 45, Texas Tech 37

Another huge day for Foreman (341 yards, 3 TDs) was saved by a late interception from Kris Boyd. Texas had 658 yards, the sixth-most in school history.

UT, post Mack: 16-18 (5-8 road)

Texas safety Dylan Haines celebrates an interception against West Virginia in the third quarter at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

35. NOV. 12, 2016

No. 11 West Virginia 24, Texas 20

Buechele’s 318 yards were a career high, and Foreman tied Earl Campbell with his 11th straight 100-yard game. Texas reached WVU’s 27-yard line in the closing seconds.

UT, post Mack: 16-19 (10-7 home)

36. NOV. 19, 2016

Kansas 24, Texas 21 (OT)

The lowest point of Texas’ Strong era: A loss at Kansas with bowl-eligibility for the taking. Foreman set his 100-yard games record, but that was just about the only positive that day in Lawrence.

UT, post Mack: 16-20 (5-9 road)

37. NOV. 25, 2016

TCU 31, Texas 9

With so much on the line — a bowl trip and Strong’s job — Texas laid an egg. Foreman, the future Doak Walker Award winner, had a 13th straight 100-yard game. Strong was fired by the end of the weekend.

UT, post Mack: 16-21 (10-8 home)

38. SEPT. 2, 2017

Maryland 51, No. 23 Texas 41

The Tom Herman era began with a home loss. Texas scored 3 nonoffensive TDs but couldn’t overcome a 20-point first-half deficit. Holton Hill had 2 TDs (a pick-six and a blocked FG return).

UT, post Mack: 16-22 (10-9 home)

39. SEPT. 9, 2017

Texas 56, San Jose State 0

Sam Ehlinger’s first career start. Warren rushed for 166 yards and 2 TDs, and Hill recorded another interception return for a score. It was UT’s first shutout win since 2014 (Kansas).

UT, post Mack: 17-22 (11-9 home)

Texas wide receiver Collin Johnson (9) looks down at the ground after losing to USC 27-24 in double overtime in the NCAA college football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, September 16, 2017 in Los Angeles. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

40. SEPT. 16, 2017

No. 4 USC 27, Texas 24 (2 OT)

So close! Texas hung tough with the Trojans in their 2006 BCS title-game rematch, but an Ehlinger fumble at the goal line doomed the Horns in overtime.

UT, post Mack: 17-23 (5-10 road)

41. SEPT. 28, 2017

Texas 17, Iowa State 7

A big road trip for the defense; Texas held Iowa State to just 10 rushing yards, and DeShon Elliott had 2 picks for the second straight game.

UT, post Mack: 18-23 (6-10 road)

42. OCT. 7, 2017

Texas 40, Kansas State 34 (2 OT)

Ehlinger (380 yards) set a UT freshman passing record in his third career start. The Horns missed a 45-yard FG to win it outright at the end of regulation.

UT, post Mack: 19-23 (12-9 home)

43. OCT. 14, 2017

No. 12 Oklahoma 29, Texas 24

Down by 20, Texas actually took a 24-23 lead in the fourth quarter before a Mayfield TD with 6:53 left. But Texas couldn’t score on its final two possessions.

UT, post Mack: 19-24 (1-5 neutral)

44. OCT. 21, 2017

No. 10 Oklahoma State 13, Texas 10 (OT)

Another overtime setback. This time, Ehlinger threw an interception in the end zone in the extra period and the Cowboys capitalized with the winning FG.

UT, post Mack: 19-25 (12-10 home)

UT quarterback Shane Buechele runs for a touchdown in the second quarter against Baylor at McLane Stadium in Waco on Saturday October 28, 2017. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

45. OCT. 28, 2017

Texas 38, Baylor 7

Defense ruled in Waco — 0-8 Baylor was held way below its averages in points (27 vs. 7) and yards (415 vs. 249). Elliott’s sixth pick of the year (a pick-six) led the nation at that point.

UT, post Mack: 20-25 (7-10 road)

46. NOV. 4, 2017

No. 10 TCU 24, Texas 7

Buechele topped the 4,000-yard mark for his career. And Dickson averaged 50.8 yards on 9 punts, including a monster 76-yarder (fifth-longest in school history).

UT, post Mack: 20-26 (7-11 road)

47. NOV. 11, 2017

Texas 42, Kansas 27

A career night for DB Antwuan Davis (2 picks, 1 pick-six, 1 fumble recovery). Texas turned 3 KU turnovers into 3 TDs or TD drives, and it left UT one win away from a bowl trip.

UT, post Mack: 21-26 (13-10 home)

48. NOV. 18, 2017

Texas 28, No. 24 West Virginia 14

The Horns became bowl-eligible for the first time since 2014, helped by the loss of QB Will Grier on WVU’s third drive. On a wet day in Morgantown, UT held WVU to 56 rushing yards.

UT, post Mack: 22-26 (8-11 road)

49. NOV. 24, 2017

Texas Tech 27, Texas 23

A downer to end the regular season. Texas’ last drive was foiled by an Ehlinger interception at Tech’s 18-yard line with 55 seconds left. Still, it was on to a bowl game for the first time in three years.

UT, post Mack: 22-27 (13-11 home)

50. DEC. 27, 2017

Texas 33, Missouri 16

The first bowl win since 2012. The first winning season since 2013. Dickson — Texas’ Ray Guy Award winner — won MVP honors, and Breckyn Hager wore the late Tommy Nobis’ No. 60 as a tribute.

UT, post Mack: 23-27 (2-5 neutral)

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