The Texas Longhorns did the improbable.
After a horrendous performance against TCU last week and a week full of off-field drama, fans had little reason to believe that this year’s showdown with Oklahoma held anything but more misery However, Charlie Strong and his Texas Longhorns finally showed the pride and attitude we’ve been waiting to see.
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This game does not, as Jerrod Heard said during the week, “make it all go away”. There’s still much work to be done. What it does do, however, is provide a psychologically beaten down team and a shellshocked fan base a reason to believe again.
It wasn’t a perfect performance by any means. The Horns still attempted on multiple occasions to shoot themselves in the foot. The difference this week is that there was always someone there to make a play and turn the tide. The defense played their best game of the year, as did the offensive line and Texas simply ground down Oklahoma.
(A big shout out to OU Offensive Coordinator Lincoln Riley for never going all-in on the intermediate passing game that Texas really had no answer for.)
This Texas team actually showed attitude. They finished blocks, drove men downfield, delivered big hits on receivers and generally looked ready to rumble at any given moment. It was a welcome sight and one that I hope Texas repeats.
What this win also does is raise the bar. There will be no more excuses for this team. If they can face off against the number 10 team in the country and beat them, then there is no reason they can’t compete in every game from here on out. There can be no more 50-7 beatings.
Texas now has an off week to get ready for an uninspiring Kansas State team, followed by Iowa State and Kansas. Texas needs to build on this win and run that table. That would put them at 5-4 going into their finishing kick of West Virginia, Texas Tech and Baylor. Suddenly, a bowl game that seemed like a pipe dream a week ago is still very much in reach.
But Texas has to keep the momentum going. It looked like last year’s win against West Virginia, a very similar type of performance, would be the spark that turned the Longhorns around, and it did briefly. Then TCU happened and all that momentum evaporated. The win against Rice looked like a spark, until the Horns gave the next two games away.
That’s all for another time, though. For now, Charlie Strong’s boys just provided the glimpse of the future we’ve all been waiting for. This is, without question, the best win of Strong’s tenure. Let’s all enjoy it for a while.