The Longhorns flag waves as the team runs onto the field during the first half of the Texas A&M vs Texas Longhorns rivalry game at Kyle Field on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24, 2011 in College Station, Texas. (Patrick T. Fallon/The Dallas Morning News)

BEVO BEAT

Daily Longhorn football history: The 1979 season

Posted July 27th, 2017

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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. 

Fred Akers was on a roll entering 1979. After two seasons he was 20-4 overall, most wins ever to start a head coaching tenure at Texas, and 1979 was much of the same.

Still loaded with a stout defense buoyed by All-American Steve McMichael, Texas opened the season with four-straight wins before losing 17-14 to Arkansas. The week before Texas had beaten No. 3-ranked Oklahoma. All in all, Texas beat No. 4 Missouri, No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 5 Houston and No. 17 Baylor.

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After beating Oklahoma, Texas rose to No. 2 in the nation before losing to Arkansas the next week. Texas stayed in the championship picture after that loss and entered the final week of the season ranked No. 6 in the country with Texas A&M standing in the way of a three-way tie for the Southwest Conference championship.

Texas took a 7-3 lead with 8:11 left in the first half on a Carl Robinson touchdown. But the Aggies added another field goal with 1:31 left, then scored with 48 seconds to go in the second quarter, Curtis Dickey scored a touchdown  to take a 13-7 lead. Neither team scored in the second half and the Aggies. coached by Tom Wilson, pulled off its  first win over Texas since 1976.

The loss dropped Texas from Cotton Bowl consideration as Houston had beaten Arkansas, Texas beaten Houston but Arkansas had beaten Texas. But the loss put Houston and Arkansas at the top and Houston went on to play in the Cotton Bowl against Nebraska, beating Tom Osborn-coached Cornhuskers 17-14.

Texas went to Sun Bowl to play No. 13 Washington and lost 14-7. It was the second of seven bowl losses Akers would suffer at Texas.

The two game losing streak to end 2017 was the first bump in the road for Akers and 1980 would be even bumpier.

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