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Another fourth quarter collapse dooms Texas again, as Longhorns toppled by rival Baylor

In a crossroads game for Texas, the Longhorns look like they're taking the paths toward San Antonio or Houston — as in the Alamo Bowl or the Texas Bowl.

The 31-24 loss to No. 18 Baylor in Waco was Texas' third straight loss, something we haven't seen since Charlie Strong's final season in 2016, and it knocked out hopes of making it to Arlington for the Big 12 championship game; right now, it looks like it'll be either Oklahoma State, Baylor or Iowa State that'll be paired opposite Oklahoma.

What went wrong in Waco? For those looking to blame, consider:

• The running game didn't look right.

• It was another second-half collapse. Only this time, it didn't come off a big first half, either.

• In the first head coaching matchup between Steve Sarkisian and Dave Aranda, Aranda came out on top.

Texas wide receiver Joshua Moore scores a touchdown on a 10-yard catch in the first quarter, but the Longhorns suffered their third straight loss in a 31-24 setback at No. 18 Baylor on Saturday at McLane Stadium in Waco.

Takeaways from today's loss: 

Bohls: Texas' Steve Sarkisian exploring ways to improve Longhorn players' mental approach

Texas recruiting notebook:What kind of offensive linemen will UT eye under Sarkisian?

Eyes on Texas: Will this season end up more like 2018 or 2014?

Another game, another fourth quarter test

And, again, the Longhorns failed the test.

This was a 21-17 game entering the fourth quarter, with Texas nursing a lead and Baylor working on a second consecutive long drive. And it took only five plays to turn it into a 24-21 deficit with a whole quarter to play.

But Texas' next drive stalled and then ended with a real thud. Casey Thompson was sacked, Tope Imade was flagged for a false start and Thompson threw a third-down duck on third down. And credit Sarkisian for rolling the dice on fourth-and-11, but Cameron Dicker was stuffed far short on a fake punt run.

The Bears responded with a touchdown (a 32-yard run by Abram Smith) to go up 31-21. Texas tacked on a field goal, but needed a touchdown, with four minutes left. The defense held to give the offense the ball back with 2:07 to go, at UT's 32.

Texas' final gasp:

First-and-10: An incomplete pass to Bijan Robinson over the middle.

Second-and-10: An incomplete shot to Marcus Washington down to Baylor's 25 (Washington made the grab but lost his handle).

Third-and-10: A wobbly incompletion thrown under duress toward Xavier Worthy.

Fourth-and-10: An incompletion to Worthy, who had three defenders around him.

Texas has now been outscored 75-24 in the second half over these last three games.

Remember the Alamo?

As in the Alamo Bowl? It looks like that's where Texas' season will end for a third straight year, unless maybe the Longhorns, who are now 4-4 and 2-3 in the Big 12, finish their season at (shudder) the Texas Bowl.

This was a costly loss because it put an official end to several important things. Texas isn't going to make it to the conference title game. Bijan Robinson won't make it to the Heisman Trophy ceremony. And at this point, you can say Texas will be favored over Kansas, but certainly not at Iowa State and who knows against West Virginia and Kansas State.

A slow day for Bijan Robinson

Robinson, who was the nation's third-leading rusher, needed only 76 yards to reach 1,000 for the season entering the game. The Big 12's leading rusher is still 33 yards away. 

He finished the day with 43 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, and really was held in check during the first half (seven carries for 15 yards). Up next for Texas: Iowa State

Make that No. 23 Iowa State. And this one's in Ames, too.

Texas is 2-3 in its last five trips to Ames.

Texcetera

Thompson's 63-yard touchdown pass to Worthy at the end of the first quarter was the second-longest scoring pass of the season for Texas, after their 75-yard connection that opened the Oklahoma game. UT's three longest scoring passes of the season have been hauled in by Worthy (75, 63 and 62). ... DeMarvion Overshown, who missed most of the Oklahoma State game after a first-quarter concussion, made his 35th career start on Saturday and finished with five tackles, which tied for the team lead. 

How the scoring went:

1st quarter: Texas 14, Baylor 10

Texas: Joshua Moore caught a 10-yard pass from Casey Thompson on third-and-4 near the goal line, the difference between a 7-0 lead and a 3-0 lead. It all was made possible by B.J. Foster's interception on Baylor's opening drive.

Baylor: The Bears answered with trickery to cap an 11-play, 75-yard drive when Tyquan Thornton caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from R.J. Sneed, who had gotten the ball on an end-around handoff. It looked like it was intended to be a Philly Special, only the pass went to a receiver (quarterback Gerry Bohanon was covered).

Baylor: Isaiah Hankins made it 10-7 Bears with a 38-yard field goal in the final minute of the opening quarter.

Texas: Less than 30 seconds later, the Horns stunned the crowd on Thompson's 63-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Worthy, the freshman's seventh scoring catch of the season.

3rd quarter: Texas 21, Baylor 17

Texas: After a scoreless second quarter, Texas pulled off a 14-play drive to go up 21-10 on the opening drive of the second half. It was a lot of Bijan Robinson on the drive, including a 1-yard run to cap it off for a 21-10 lead, but Roschon Johnson converted two first downs, including a fourth-and-1 run.

Baylor: Bohanon's 6-yard keeper cut the lead to 21-17. Like the Longhorns in the previous drive, the Bears converted a fourth down to keep the drive alive.

4th quarter: Final — Baylor 31, Texas 24

Baylor: Ben Simmons punched it in from the 1 only five plays into the quarter, putting Baylor back up 24-21.

Baylor: After a failed fake punt from Texas, Baylor's Abram Smith scored on a 32-yard run to make it a 31-21 game with 7:59 left.

Texas: Cameron Dicker's 27-yard field goal cut the bleeding and made it a one-possession game at 31-24, but with 4:40 left to play, settling for a field goal after making it inside the Baylor 10 was another lost opportunity.