The season came to an end for No. 3 Texas football in heartbreaking fashion in the College Football Playoff Semifinals game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, LA, on Jan. 1. Texas fell short of the No. 2 Washington Huskies in the CFP Semifinals at the Sugar Bowl after they couldn't convert in the red zone on the final possession of the game.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns had the ball inside Washington's 15-yard line with under 30 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, down by six points. But a couple of incompletions put the dagger in the Longhorns' hopes of making it to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
Overreactions after Texas football's gut-wrenching Playoff loss to No. 2 Washington
Washington won the Sugar Bowl by a score of 37-31.
Despite the frustration and heartbreak that comes along with the CFP semis loss, this season was still a big success for the Longhorns. Sarkisian led Texas to a 12-win campaign, a Big 12 title, and the program's first appearance in the College Football Playoff in just his third season as the head coach.
Here are three overreactions after the Longhorns' loss to Washington in the CFP Semifinals at the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.
Jaydon Blue deserves a shot to be RB1
The running back that was making the most happen for the Longhorns on the ground in the Sugar Bowl was sophomore Jaydon Blue. While true freshman running back CJ Baxter Jr. made sizable contributions on the ground and in the receiving game, he wasn't making as many defenders miss or picking up as many yards after contact than Blue.
Blue was also impressive for the Longhorns in the return game. That was at least until Sarkisian yanked him from the return unit for some reason in the second half. Blue averaged nearly 27 yards per kick return on three returns against Washington.
Since redshirt sophomore running back Jonathon Brooks suffered the season-ending ACL tear on Nov. 11 against TCU, Blue has arguably been the most consistent and best playmaker among the remaining Texas backs.
In the season's last three games, Blue led the Longhorns in rushing yards and led all the team's running backs in total yards.
Blue's argument to get a shot to win the starting job next season is pretty clear. He's the speediest and most explosive running back that Texas has in the mix. He doesn't necessarily have that burst to slip the hole in the outside zone run game that Baxter possesses. But that hasn't stopped Blue from having some impressive downhill rushes and perform better than expected in the zone ground game late this season.
We'll see both Blue and Baxter get a shot to win the starting job at running back in 2024. At least that's the way that I see it with these two splitting carries and considering that Brooks isn't expected back at Texas for another season.