Texas Football: Longhorns lose crushing OT home game vs. OSU

AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 21: Sam Ehlinger
AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 21: Sam Ehlinger /

The Texas Longhorns are eventually going to win these close games against Top 10 teams. How long will it take, though?

Texas Football suffered another crushing loss, 13-10 in overtime, Saturday afternoon against Oklahoma State in Austin.

The crushing part was Texas had a chance to win in overtime. And, at the very least, should have gone to a second overtime.

After the defense held Oklahoma State to a field goal on the first possession of overtime, the Longhorns made it inside the 10 yardline. Then, Texas ran Jerrod Heard (not a RB) for one yard.

On 3rd and 4 from the 6 yardline — with a field goal in their back pocket — Texas called a rollout pass for freshman QB Sam Ehlinger. Instead of throwing the ball away when the play predictably broke down, Ehlinger threw a duck into the endzone, which was intercepted by Cowboys defender Ramon Richards.

End of game. Texas loses 13-10.

It was the only turnover of the game for the Longhorns. The game just never should have gone to overtime because the defense played so well. But, the offense remains stuck in crazy mode.

Where is the Texas Football Offense?

With any sense of an offense this season, the Longhorns should be 6-1. But, dreadful offensive performances against Top 10 teams USC, Oklahoma, and now Oklahoma State have dropped the Horns to 3-4 on the season and 2-2 in the Big 12 conference.

Let’s just put it out there: the best offensive player for the Longhorns is punter Michael Dickson.

Dickson was a magical, consistent, unbelievable lethal weapon for the Longhorns:

  • 11 punts
  • 560 yards traveled
  • Averaged 51 yards per punt
  • 5 punts inside the 20
  • Only 1 touchback
  • 66 yard long

Here’s the biggest problem, though. Dickson had to punt the ball 11 times. That’s like an early 1990s NFL game where bad offenses just traded punts back and forth.

What is the Texas Longhorns Offense?

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Texas was just pitiful on offense in this game. And, seven games into the season, there is no offensive identity.

RB Chris Warren got 12 carries in the game for only 33 yards, while fellow RB Toneil Carter only received one carry.

Meanwhile, Sam Ehlinger was credited with 16 carries for -10 yards. The negative yardage was mainly due to sacks from the Cowboys defense and one awful play call in the first half where Texas was driving, a rollout was called (ahem), and Ehlinger was sacked, fumbled, and he recovered the fumble for a 31 yard loss.

Then, there were points in the second half where Chris Warren actually gained yardage with a 15-yard rush. But, immediately after that, Texas went incomplete pass, incomplete pass, and incomplete pass before punting again.

Granted, one of those passes was a clear pass interference against OSU that was not called.

The officiating was another major theme from this game, as OSU was not called for a penalty the entire game until the final seconds of the game before overtime.

Additionally, Texas defender Holton Hill was called for a bogus PI in the second half that eventually led to OSU scoring 3 points to tie the game at 10. That ended up being the difference between Texas winning 10-7 and the game going to overtime. As Longhorns fan know going back to two years ago, it just wouldn’t be a Texas vs. OSU game in Austin without unbalanced Big 12 officiating against Texas.

Texas Has to Make Changes On Offense

Setting aside the officiating, the biggest issue that Longhorns fans have with this game is the offensive playcalling.

It’s reached the point of insanity where the Longhorns offensive staff led by Tim Beck are calling the same things and expecting different results.

Their gameplans are not working and so much is being put on a true freshman QB Sam Ehlinger.

That cost the Longhorns the game, especially when you consider how the game ended with Ehlinger making a freshman mistake throwing the ball late into the endzone on a rollout that had no chance for success. Sometimes you just have to kick a field goal and play for the second overtime. But, Tim Beck has put the entire success and failure of the offense on Ehlinger:

  • There is no running game.
  • There is no commitment to the running game.
  • The vertical passing game to stretch out defenses is non-existent.
  • Ehlinger is either taking off on designed runs, scrambling on passing plays, or throwing on three-fourths of plays.

That’s not a recipe for success.

“We have to fix what’s wrong on the offense,” Tom Herman said during his post-game press conference.

Yet, the Longhorns have the recipe. On the very first drive of the second half, Texas started with a successful Chris Warren running play. This allowed the Longhorns to convert a third down play when Ehlinger pulled the ball as the defense crashed on Warren and ran for a first down.

Texas went on to drive the ball down the field before bogging down inside the 5 yardline and had to settle for a field goal to make it 10-7 early in the second half.

That was the only complete drive the entire game. Texas got their TD in the first half when John Burt took a basic horizontal sideline pass and completed a majestic tip-toe run down the sidelines for 90 yards. That set up Ehlinger for a 2-yard TD plunge to finish the drive.

Without Burt’s magic, the Longhorns were looking at another punt from deep in their own territory. Who knows how the game would have played out without that play, but it represented 32 percent of Texas’ entire total offense (283 yards) on Saturday.

Overall, we’ve seen too much unbalanced offense from the Longhorns this season. They only put together that one complete drive the entire game and had to punt over and over. Something or someone must changed for this offense to click.

The offense also took away from the best defensive performance of the season. By anyone in college football.

Texas Defense was Amazing

The Texas Defense was up against the No. 1 offense in college football for the second consecutive week.

Last week, the defense was stout in the second half against Oklahoma, which brought down the Sooners’ yearly average. That vaulted OSU to the No. 1 offense going into this week.

And, the Longhorns held OSU to 200 yards fewer than their average.

“Monumental effort from our defense,” Tom Herman firmly stated to begin his post-game press conference. No doubt about it.

DC Todd Orlando’s gameplan was outstanding, allowing the Longhorns to keep QB Mason Rudolph out of the endzone and virtually shut down leading WR James Washington.

Malik Jefferson had 14 tackles, Kris Boyd had 13 tackles from the cornerback position, JUCO transfer Gary Johnson was a stud at middle linebacker, Poona Ford caused a huge fumble to star the second quarter that set up John Burt’s catch, and “wild man” Breckyn Hager was everywhere with 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, and a near fumble recovery.

Overall, the Defense held OSU to 10 points — just 10 points — in regulation. Then, the Defense held the Cowboys to just a field goal in overtime.

That should have been enough to win in regulation and overtime.

Next: Texas Football Q&A with Peter Gardere

It’s time for the Texas Longhorns offense to start pulling their weight for this team because the defense is ready to win championships.