Has Texas fallen to rock-bottom? Tumbling Texas loses at home to Kansas in overtime
That the free-falling Texas Longhorns fell even further — maybe to rock-bottom — by losing to Kansas shouldn't have come as too big a surprise. It was that kind of day around the Big 12, coming after Oklahoma's CFP hopes were dashed in Waco and Texas Tech downed Iowa State on a 62-yard field goal.
But come on. Texas, which was a 31-point favorite, lost 56-55 to the 1-8 Jayhawks, who now are the 2-8 Jayhawks and wishing this one had been played in Lawrence so they could take down a goal post. Which would have been appropriate, because this season has that 2016 stink on it and it's not even Thanksgiving yet.
'An all-time low':Texas fans express disappointment, frustration after OT loss vs. Kansas
This was the Longhorns' fifth straight loss, and it came in frustrating, heartbreaking fashion — in overtime, on a 2-point conversion pass. Losing five in a row hasn't happened since 1956 — Ed Price's final season as head coach, when Texas parted ways with him and hired Darrell Royal.
If you missed it, things basically went down like this:
• Casey Thompson started, but Hudson Card also played. But just as Card replaced an ineffective Thompson last week in Ames, Thompson took over for a struggling Card against the Jayhawks.
• Texas just got beat by a freshman backup quarterback playing in his fourth game — the NCAA barrier for preserving your redshirt status — and a freshman running back from, of all places, Lawrence, Kan.
• The Longhorns had one last shot, getting the ball back with 44 seconds at the Kansas 34 and trailing 49-42 with no time outs. And promptly sent it to overtime on Cade Brewer's touchdown catch with 22 seconds left.
• In the extra period, Texas went up 56-49 on its first possession. Kansas answered with a touchdown of its own to make it 56-55 — and then rolled the dice and went for the 2-point conversion to win the game. Which the Jayhawks did, 57-56.
• Bijan Robinson left with an injury in the third quarter. Keilan Robinson missed the game because of COVID-19 protocols. Roschon Johnson, dealing with a turf toe, didn't get his first carry till the fourth quarter. Oh, and Xavier Worthy looked banged up all night, too.
Takeaways from tonight's win:
Texas recruiting notebook: Longhorns commits react positively to the Bo Davis video
Hudson Card had his chance, but the job is Casey Thompson's
Thompson got the start, but it looked like Steve Sarkisian's plan was to weave both quarterbacks throughout the game. Thompson played two drives, directing the Horns to their opening touchdown on the second drive, and then was replaced on the third drive by Card.
But Card's night imploded on his second and third drives, losing a fumble after getting sacked and then throwing a pick-six, and Thompson finished the rest of the game. Thompson was 30 of 43 for 358 yards, six touchdowns and one interception.
How the two quarterbacks' respective drive charts went:
Thompson: fumble, TD, half, TD, punt, TD, TD, punt, TD, interception, TD, TD
Card: TD, fumble, pick-six
It's like 2016 all over again
The comparisons are easy. In November 2016, Charlie Strong needed one win in his final three games to make a bowl game — and lost each one, the most shocking one a 24-21 stunner in Lawrence. He was out of a job one week later.
This year, Texas needed two wins in its final three games to make a bowl game in Steve Sarkisian's first season. With Kansas, West Virginia and Kansas State to go, you figured this one was going to be one of those Ws. Nope.
At this point, Texas is going to finish this season 4-8, 5-7 or 6-6. A .500 regular season is the best the Longhorns (4-6, 2-5 Big 12) can hope for.
What's wrong with the Longhorns?
Let us count the ways.
Steve Sarkisian and Kyle Flood need an influx of talent on both the offensive and defensive lines by way of recruiting and the transfer portal. It's just obvious when your front line is getting controlled by the Kansas Jayhawks. The defensive line is in desperate need of depth.
Those issues with the offensive line domino into all sorts of offensive issues, from struggling to open holes for Bijan Robinson to making it harder to convert third downs. It showed tonight.
There's no pass rush. More playmaking linebackers are needed. The secondary needs to be restocked.
And who's going to start at quarterback next season? Thompson and Card will still be around (unless one or both transfers), but either way, maybe the starter isn't even on campus yet.
Up next for Texas: West Virginia
The Mountaineers fell to 4-6 overall and 2-5 in the Big 12 with their 34-17 loss to Kansas State in Manhattan earlier today. But at this point, this game looks like a tossup.
Injuries: Bijan Robinson left in the third quarter. Offensive lineman Junior Angilau was hurt late in the fourth. Defensive back Anthony Cook was shaken up in overtime. ... Xavier Worthy hobbled off the field in the final minute of the first half, coming up gingerly after a no-call pass interference pass down the right sideline. He was back out there in the second half, but came up limping again after not being able to chase down a Thompson pass. Earlier, his second-quarter touchdown pass moved him past Roy Williams on UT's all-time list for most receiving TDs by a freshman. It was Worthy's ninth; Williams had eight TDs in 2000. ... Worthy was targeted 23 times. ... Third-string running back and special teams ace Keilan Robinson was held out for COVID-19 protocol issues. Jonathon Brooks, a freshman, ended up with six touches — well, seven if you count his ill-advised touch on a Kansas kickoff as it was going out of bounds at the 2.
How the scoring went:
1st quarter: Kansas 14, Texas 0
Kansas: The Jayhawks struck blood early, chewing seven minutes off the clock with a 13-play drive that ended with Devin Neal's 3-yard touchdown run.
Kansas: Taking advantage of a Bijan Robinson fumble (another recent fumble), Kansas went up 14-0 on Jalon Daniels' 11-yard scoring pass to Mason Fairchild.
2nd quarter: Halftime — Kansas 35, Teas 14
Texas: Casey Thompson did what Casey Thompson used to do with regularity — direct the Longhorns to a scoring drive. His 25-yard pass to Marcus Washington was his first touchdown pass since the first quarter of the Baylor loss.
Texas: Hudson Card, in for the third drive, found Xavier Worthy for a 33-yard touch pass for the freshman's ninth touchdown of the season. More importantly it tied the game 14-14. A Jayhawks safety slipped as the last line of defense.
Kansas: Converting third downs left and right, the Jayhawks answered Texas' back-to-back scores with an 11-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Daniels' 9-yard touchdown run.
Kansas: The Jayhawks went up 14 again, as Daniels dumped it to Neal in the flat for a 19-yard catch and run down the left sideline for the 28-14 lead. It was set up by Card's lost fumble after a sack.
Kansas: Things went from bad to worse in nine seconds when Jacobee Bryant picked off a Card-telegraphed pass toward Washington for a 31-yard interception return for a touchdown, putting the Jayhawks up 35-14 with a minute left in the half. The 21 unanswered points left the stadium in stunned silence.
3rd quarter: Kansas 42, Texas 35
Texas: The Longhorns started the half strong, cutting the lead to 35-21 on a balanced drive. Thompson scored from 1 yard out.
Kansas: Another answer by the Jayhawks. Neal's 10-yard touchdown run made it 42-21.
Texas: A pretty 25-yard pass from Thompson to Bijan Robinson, who got behind two Kansas defenders coming out of the backfield, made it a 42-28 game with 3:50 left in the quarter.
Texas: Getting the ball back after Marcus Washington's blocked punt, Thompson found Worthy for a 7-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone to cut it to 42-35. It came one play after Robinson left with his injury.
4th quarter: End of regulation — Texas 49, Kansas 49
Kansas: Another clock chewer of a drive, this one nine plays long that took 5:11, appropriately ended with Daniels' well-executed 2-yard touchdown pass on third-and-goal to Kwamie Lassiter II, making it a two-possession game again with 8:47 left.
Texas: Worthy scored for the third time, an 8-yard zip from Thompson, to make it a 49-42 game. Washington's 25-yard catch was a key play on the drive; it got the Horns to the 8.
Texas: The Longhorns, with one final shot after a weak Kansas punt and a 25-yard D'Shawn Jamison return to Kansas' 34, sent the game to overtime on Thompson's 25-yard pass to Cade Brewer with 22 seconds left.
Overtime: Final — Kansas 57, Texas 56
Texas: Washington's 8-yard touchdown catch made it 56-49 for the Longhorns. But he got flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for spinning the ball on the ground in celebration, a 10-yard penalty that set Kansas up at the 15 for its possession.
Kansas: Neal's third touchdown of the night made it 56-55, and the Jayhawks then rolled the dice by going for the game-winning 2-point conversion. And it worked. Daniels got flushed out of the pocket but evaded Ovie Oghoufo's rush and floated the game winner to fullback Jared Casey in the end zone.
some texbests updates, maybe?