Texas Football: Longhorns run past Baylor for needed win

WACO, TX - OCTOBER 28: Shane Buechele
WACO, TX - OCTOBER 28: Shane Buechele /

The Texas Longhorns bounced back from two narrow losses to crush Baylor on the road Saturday afternoon.

The final score was 38-7 in favor of the Longhorns. This was a good win. But, there was plenty of room to nitpick because the Texas offense once again struggled to convert short yardage on 3rd and 4th downs. Plus, there was little production from the running game in the first half.

Fortunately, the Texas defense was stellar once again. And, Baylor is, well, not good this season. A better team would have made Texas pay for a lot of first half mistakes. Baylor did not, then Texas landed haymakers in the second half to push out to a 31-point final advantage.

After the game, head coach Tom Herman acknowledged that the Longhorns have to find a consistent offensive attack to meet their goals this season.

Right now, those goals include the following:

  • Beat a reeling TCU team next week that lost for the first time this season to Iowa State on Saturday.
  • Make a bowl game. Texas is now even at 4-4 with four games left in the regular season.
  • Try to make the Big 12 Championship. The Horns would need to win out and get some help after losing to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Their best bet is getting into a tie with Iowa State, who the Longhorns beat in their Big 12 opener.

Yes, we’re talking about Iowa State at the top of the Big 12 standings. What a world.

As for Saturday, the tone was set early by the defense.

Texas Defense Dominates Another Opponent

On the third play of the game, the Texas Longhorns got a Pick 6 TD from — who else? — DeShon Elliott.

Elliott is Mr. Right Place, Right Time, as he caught a tipped pass and ran it back for a TD to open the scoring.

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Elliott was not done on the day. Elliott tied Malik Jefferson with a team-high 8 tackles. He also helped the defensive backs shut down Baylor’s passing attack, limiting Baylor to only 218 passing yards from their two QBs.

Meanwhile, Holton Hill was terrific making open field tackles and defending passes on 3rd down. And, the combination of Breckyn Hager and that ferocious linebacker unit made big tackles to slow Baylor’s rushing attack.

The only points the defense allowed were the result of a special teams penalty and explosive play on first down. Otherwise, Texas played lights out defense.

Now, they have to carry this over to another road test against TCU next week. Will the defense be up for the challenge against a soon-to-be-former Top 5 team? They might need some help from the offense.

Texas Offense Struggled, but Finished Strong

The Longhorns offense struggled to add to DeShon Elliott’s early Pick 6, even with great field position throughout the first half.

Shane Buechele, who was the starting QB again after Sam Ehlinger was hurt in last week’s Oklahoma State loss, was very solid throughout the game. However, the Longhorns could not muster a rushing attack.

Finally, Texas went to a freshman duo of Toneil Carter and Daniel Young to carry the lead.

Carter finished with 15 carries, 70 yards, and 1 TD. Meanwhile, Young carried 7 times for 60 yards and a TD.

Buechele also scored on a 28-yard TD run thanks to a perfect decision on a read option play, running untouched to the corner of the endzone to give Texas a 21-7 lead before halftime.

After halftime, the Longhorns had to settle for an 18-yard field goal after not converting short yardage plays on 3rd and 4th down. But, Carter and Young made up for the redzone issues with two big rushing TDs in the fourth quarter.

We’ve got to see more consistency from the offense. Buechele was dependable, other than an INT in the endzone on an underthrown pass. But, the key will be the running game.

Next: Texas Football Q&A with Peter Gardere

The defense is capable of pushing the Texas Longhorns to run the table in the Big 12. But, the offense has to find a rhythm and consistent attack in the last four games of the season.