Texas Football: 4 takeaways from UT's Sugar Bowl loss to UW

Quinn Ewers, Texas football
Quinn Ewers, Texas football / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 4
Steve Sarkisian, Texas football
Steve Sarkisian, Texas football / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Penalties put Texas off-schedule consistently

Among the major storylines in this game for the Longhorns was penalties. After entering this game as one of the least penalized teams in the Big 12 this season, Sarkisian's squad was flagged 10 times for 66 yards in this semifinal game against the Huskies.

Texas entered this game averaging just over 50 penalty yards per game and roughly a half-dozen penalty calls. But Texas had roughly matched that number of flags and penatly yards in the first half alone.

In the first half, Texas was flagged six times for 36 yards. And if you include net yards lost on those penalty calls, the Longhorns lost over 50 yards on those six flags.

Texas didn't do itself any favors early in this one, with some costly false start, offsides, and holding penalties in the first half.

Meanwhile, Washington was pretty spotless regarding flags called against them in the first half. Washington was flagged just one time for three yards as the Huskies were pretty spotless in this regard in the first 30 minutes.

This was a big turnaround for Washington in the first half of this game regarding penalties as the Huskies were one of the most penalized teams in the Power Five entering this game. Washington averaged nearly eight flags per game with 74 penalty yards.

Washington was penalized more in the second half, including a key play where a Husky cover guy interfered with redshirt senior Jordan Whittington on the punt return. That helped set up Texas with better field position on the final drive of the game that could've been a potential game-winner had the Longhorns executed in the Washington red zone with under a minute to go.

It's noteworthy that there was an impactful flag pick up late in this game. The refs picked up a flag that was thrown for a block in the back foul where a Washington player shoved redshirt junior Texas corner Ryan Watts on the sideline in the back.

That flag would've put Washington far behind the sticks on one of their final drives of the fourth quarter. Instead, Washington hit a couple of shot plays and eventually nailed the game-winning field goal.

Regardless of how you feel about the penalty calls, some of these were some seriously impactful plays that had a say in the outcome of this game.