The Texas football program dates back to 1893. Each day, we look at a little piece of Longhorn history. We’re starting by looking at each Longhorn football season.
By the start of the 1942 season, Dana X. Bible had the Texas program not only heading in the right direction, but heading there at 100 mile per hour.
The 1941 season saw Texas reach the No. 1 ranking in the poll for the first time. But despite the 8-1-1 record and spending five weeks ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in the nation, Texas finished second in the Southwest Conference, didn’t go to a bowl game and worst, had a team they beat 23-0 , who also happened to be the heated rival Texas A&M, do both of those things.
Texas flipped the scripted in 1942.
The 1942 season will be known as the first year Texas ever accepted a bowl invitation. After going 8-2 in the regular season and winning the Southwestern Conference title with a 5-1 record, Texas went to the Cotton Bowl for the first time– the first bowl game that ever had burnt orange in it — and played Georgia Tech.
Texas was ranked No. 11 entering the game and Tech was No. 5 . Texas beat the Yellow Jackets 14-7 as Max Minor and caught a touchdown from Roy McKay and Jackie Field returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown to give Texas a 14-0 lead at halftime. The defense did the rest, allowing just one Tech fourth quarter touchdown as Texas hung on for the win.
But there was some drama late. Tech drove the ball to the Texas 5-yard-line in the waning moments of the game, but the Longhorns stopped them on fourth down and took over at the 4-yard-line.
Texas has played in 23 total Cotton Bowls, winning 12 times.
This is also the first New Year’s Day game Texas played, coming on Jan. 1, 1943
More success was coming for Bible despite the fact that the world was at war again.
Editor’s note: The original version of this story was amended to correct the conference Texas played in in 1941.
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