4 reasons to be optimistic about Texas football heading into bye week

Alfred Collins, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Alfred Collins, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Quinn Ewers, Bijan Robinson, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Quinn Ewers, Bijan Robinson, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

There aren’t many positive thoughts for head coach Steve Sarkisian and now unranked Texas football heading into the bye week. Texas fell short to longtime head coach Mike Gundy and the No. 11 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys on the road at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater on Oct. 22.

Not only did Sark and the Longhorns fall short against Oklahoma State, but they also just suffered the sixth road loss under the direction of Sark over the course of just two seasons. Texas is now 1-6 on the road and has blown nearly a half-dozen double-digit second-half leads during the same timeframe.

Texas had a three-game winning streak snapped last weekend at the hands of Oklahoma State. That gives the Longhorns a record of 5-3 (3-2 Big 12) heading into the bye week.

But the schedule won’t let up much for the Longhorns next month. Texas has the following schedule during the month of November:

  • Nov. 5: Kansas State (Manhattan, KS)
  • Nov. 12: TCU (Austin, TX)
  • Nov. 19: Kansas (Lawrence, KS)
  • Nov. 25: Baylor (Austin, TX)

Texas football has reasons to be optimistic about the final stages of the season

If Texas can right the ship with a win against Kansas State coming out of the bye week, I would feel pretty confident about this team’s fortunes down the stretch this season. Here’s a look at four reasons why the Longhorns faithful should be optimistic about this team heading into the bye week.

Texas has some of its most difficult November games in Austin

Here me out when I say that Texas’ November schedule might not be as bad as it sounds. Granted, that largely hinges on the quarterback health for Kansas State on Nov. 5 when these two teams meet at the Little Apple.

Kansas State lost both senior quarterback Adrian Martinez and junior Will Howard to various injury issues, which stalled the Wildcats in a road loss to the TCU Horned Frogs.

If Kansas State still isn’t healthy at quarterback when Texas faces them in two weeks, this could be a pretty manageable game for the Longhorns in Manhattan.

And the two other toughest games on the November slate for the Longhorns, Baylor and TCU, will face Texas in Austin.

At this point, I would consider it a success for Texas to come out of the regular season with seven or eight wins, depending on how these final four games go down. If the mark is seven wins, the Longhorns will need a solid bowl win to head into the offseason on more of a high note.

It’s worth noting that Texas looks like a much different team at home this season than on the road. I imagine the Longhorns will give new head coach Sonny Dykes and the Horned Frogs all they can handle when they make the trip to DKR on Nov. 12. And the Baylor game on Black Friday (Nov. 25) should be a winnable one for the Longhorns.

If Texas gets to face both Kansas schools without their starting quarterbacks, that will swing the probability of victory dramatically in the Longhorns’ favor.

In the last two seasons, Texas holds a record of 8-3 at home and 1-6 on the road. Meanwhile, Texas holds a record of 1-6 on the road under Sark. That goes to show how much Texas has to prove against the Kansas schools on the road next month. But the Longhorns should have a shot to beat both TCU and Baylor next month at home.