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Moving past loss to OU, Texas players lean on things learned from past disappointments

Derek Kerstetter insists that he looks at all losses through the same lens.

On Monday, Texas' versatile senior offensive lineman tried to convince reporters that a loss to Oklahoma is the same as a loss to Maryland. And to him, those defeats aren't that different from the high school losses he suffered to Laredo United and Westlake during his senior year at San Antonio Reagan

"Every loss is going to sting. It always sucks losing," Kerstetter said. "You play to win, you don't play to tie or anything like that."

Defensive back Anthony Cook echoed Kerstetter's thoughts. While explaining why he couldn't rank the worst losses that he's had on a football field, defensive lineman Keondre Coburn simply explained that "I just hate losing." 

Still, Coburn conceded that he was speaking a few days after "a bad loss." Last Saturday, Texas was uppercut by Oklahoma in a 55-48 decision at the Cotton Bowl.

More:How the Texas Longhorns graded out in their 55-48 loss to Oklahoma

Texas players exit the Cotton Bowl field after last Saturday's 55-48 loss to Oklahoma. The Sooners have now beaten the Longhorns four straight times going back to the 2018 Big 12 championship game. The Longhorns hope they get a rematch in this year's conference title game.

In the 117th meeting between the two schools, the Longhorns jumped out to a 21-point lead in the first quarter. Texas led 41-23 with 2:45 left in the third. Oklahoma, however, stormed back in the fourth frame. Texas tied it 48-48 with 83 seconds to go, but a 33-yard touchdown run by Kennedy Brooks in the waning seconds was the difference.

Texas has now lost four straight times to Oklahoma. The Sooners are 10-3 against their Red River rivals since 2010.

"This had to be my worst loss," UT safety B.J. Foster said.

Texas wide receivers Joshua Moore, left, and Jordan Whittington celebrate a touchdown during last Saturday's 55-48 loss to Oklahoma. Texas jumped out to a 28-7 lead before the Sooners rallied in the fourth quarter.

Previously, Foster believed his worst loss also involved the Sooners. Back in 2018, Texas fell to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game. Oklahoma put away that 39-27 victory with an 18-yard touchdown pass that Kyler Murray threw to tight end Grant Calcaterra with Foster defending.

That day in December three years ago, Foster reminded himself that he had a career ahead of him to focus on. That Calcaterra touchdown catch then became motivation.

"I've got a short-term memory, so plays like that, they don't really bother me for long," Foster said. "If I wanted to sit on it for some days, I'll sit on it for some days and let it get to me to make me go harder."

More: Texas quarterback Casey Thompson explains his study habits

During his postgame press conference on Saturday, quarterback Casey Thompson was asked if he had just suffered the most disappointing loss of his career. He noted that he had lost a double-overtime battle against rival Westmoore and a playoff shootout with Jenks while quarterbacking Oklahoma's Southmoore High in 2016.

A couple of days later, UT running back Bijan Robinson was asked if there were any losses that still sting for him. He recalled two defeats in Arizona state championship games.

"To the same team," Robinson remembered. 

So how does one get over a big loss? Thompson said he tries "to stay positive and stay focused." Robinson replied that keeping an eye on the bigger picture helps.

"You hate to lose, you don't want to lose at all," Robinson said. "You just need to understand that there's a bigger plan ahead of you and you can't stop your momentum just because something like that sets you back."

More:Texas can’t stay upset too long with Big 12 race still going, Oklahoma State coming

Three years ago, Foster had a whole month to bounce back from that letdown in the Big 12 title game. (Foster started in the Sugar Bowl.) Robinson had two offseasons to recover from not winning a state championship.

This time around, Texas has a week to get over its disappointment in Dallas. The Longhorns (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) will host Oklahoma State (5-0, 2-0) this Saturday. The Cowboys are No. 12 in both the coaches and Associated Press polls.

"What you've got to do is just move forward," Cook said. "(Texas strength coach Torre Becton) told us, the best way to get this feeling off of you is to put it on somebody else."

Saturday's game

12-Oklahoma State at Texas, 11 a.m., Fox, 104.9