Texas is no longer a second half team
For most of the first half of the regular season, the Longhorns were a first-half team. Texas won the second half in each of its first five games of the season. That streak stopped in Texas’ loss to Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry game on Oct. 7.
The Longhorns didn’t make the big play when it needed to in the second half against the Sooners two weeks ago. And that remained the case for much of the second half against Houston this weekend.
It was clear that both Texas and Oklahoma suffered Red River hangovers after the bye week.
The Texas defense did toughen up in the second half, including two key turnovers in the third and early in the fourth quarter. Junior defensive lineman Vernon Broughton landed on a fumble forced by senior standout linebacker Jaylan Ford. Smith had the ball knocked out by Ford on a sack, which Broughton landed on for Texas’ first turnover of the game.
Texas’ second turnover in this game was an interception in the Longhorns’ own end zone by Taaffe. Smith didn’t read the coverage, and Taaffe came up with the pick. Matters got worse for the Longhorns after Ewers left the game with an injury in the fourth quarter.
I will say that the Ewers’ injury obviously made it more difficult for the Longhorns to get a firm lead in the second half.
But Houston was able to move the football and limit Texas’ ground game throughout the second half. Texas looked overmatched for much of the final 30 minutes of this game. And for the second straight week, the Longhorns didn’t win the second half (tied 10-10 vs. Houston this week).