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Receivers unable to take flight against Baylor as Texas slumps to a third consecutive loss

WACO — Numbers never lie, but they don't always tell a complete story.

Take the Texas receivers, for example. On paper, those Longhorns seemingly did enough to garner some positive press during a trip to Baylor on Saturday. Xavier Worthy became the first Texas player to record three 100-yard receiving performances during their freshman season. Marcus Washington set a career-high with his seven catches. Joshua Moore hauled in his third touchdown pass of the season.

In the end, though, Saturday was not considered a good day for the Texas receivers. Missed opportunities marred that position group in a 31-24 loss to Baylor.

"Our receivers made some plays," Texas quarterback Casey Thompson said. "Obviously, we'd like to make a few more plays down the stretch, but I had a handful of throws I wish I could have taken back as well." 

More:Texas suffers third straight second-half meltdown, this time to Baylor

Texas receiver Joshua Moore reacts to missing out on a touchdown catch during the Longhorns' 31-24 to Baylor Saturday. On back-to-back plays in the first half's final seconds, Moore dropped a touchdown pass and Baylor intercepted a throw that caromed off his hands.

Leading 14-10 after the first quarter, Texas was undone by turnovers during a scoreless second session. One of those turnovers was a fumble that Moore lost at the Baylor 22. On back-to-back plays in the first half's final seconds, Moore also dropped a touchdown pass and Thompson was intercepted just outside the red zone on a throw that caromed off Moore's hands.

Two quarters later, UT was attempting to rally on its final possession. On a second down from the Texas 32, Thompson looked deep for Washington but the junior was unable to hold onto a contested catch that would have set Texas up inside of the Baylor 25. 

After two more incomplete passes, the Longhorns' fate was sealed. 

Of the four players that Texas made available for postgame interviews, none were receivers. Running back Bijan Robinson remained positive and said his teammates "know they need to catch the ball." Thompson was also supportive.

"I never want to be negative," Thompson said. "Obviously, they didn't try to drop the pass on purpose. Nobody ever tries to make a mistake on purpose. ... Those guys do a great job of just staying positive and encouraging me as well (when I make a mistake)."

But the quarterback added that "the fact of the matter is, we can't always say 'Hey, good job, on to the next one.' At some point, we have to focus on that play and not worry about the next one, not worry about the last one. We just need to live in the moment and execute the play at hand."

Golden:If Texas football can't cut it in the Big 12 now, how will it ever contend in the SEC?

While addressing what's next for his receivers, Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said that group will go back to working on their fundamentals. Assistant coach Andre Coleman will be tasked with teaching those tutorials.

Coleman was one of two assistants that Sarkisian retained from Tom Herman's coaching staff this offseason. Sarkisian told reporters earlier this year that he tried to get Coleman to join the Alabama Crimson Tide and Atlanta Falcons coaching staffs he had previously worked on, but "I wasn't the final say so that didn't quite work out."

"The development from the receiver position, the (recruiting) connections he's had in-state... I think are all positives for us on that front," Sarkisian said in January.

On Saturday, Texas was without Jordan Whittington for the second straight game. Sidelined by a broken collarbone, Whittington's 24 catches still rank second on the Texas roster.

Worthy led the Longhorns on Saturday with his 115 receiving yards, 63 of which were picked up on a first-quarter touchdown catch. Washington's 70 receiving yards were also a career high.

"Ultimately, you've got to have faith in the guys that we have. We have some talented players," Sarkisian said. "I'm sure those guys would love to have those plays back. They'd love to make those plays. It didn't happen. 

"The sign of really good football teams is they overcome those obstacles when they present themselves. We just weren't able to overcome them today."

Bohls:Texas is dealt another numbing loss, and Baylor has turned the season south

Saturday's loss did not eliminate Texas from the race for its conference's championship. However, the likelihood of the Longhorns reaching the Big 12's finale is almost negligible at this point.

In the Big 12 standings, Texas (4-4, 2-3 Big 12) now sits two games behind Baylor and Oklahoma State teams that are tied for second place. Texas has lost to both Baylor and Oklahoma State during its three-game losing streak. All three teams have four games left on their schedules.