The Longhorns remember all too clearly what unfolded the last time they traveled to Fort Worth.
Two years ago, the team left Amon G. Carter Stadium and headed back to Austin with yet another embarrassing loss at the hands of the Horned Frogs.
In 2014, TCU put on a show at Texas’ expense in a 48-10 victory in Austin. But this was worse: TCU 50, Texas 7.
It’s been two seasons since the beatdown in Fort Worth, but as the Longhorns prepare to return, it’s still in the back of their heads.
“I remember in the first quarter it being 21-0,” junior linebacker Malik Jefferson said. “That’s probably the worst game I’ve ever been involved in, definitely one of the most frustrating. There was nothing you can do but watch the guys catch the ball left and right. It was just a bloodbath.”
TCU ended up dropping 30 points in just the first quarter en route to the 43-point blowout. But that isn’t the only time the Horned Frogs have embarrassed the Longhorns in recent history.
Since joining the Big 12 conference in 2012, TCU has defeated Texas in four of five contests. TCU kickstarted former head coach Charlie Strong’s first losing season with UT by handing the Longhorns a 48-10 loss in 2014 and bookended Strong’s tenure with a 31-9 defeat of the Longhorns in 2016.
Although times have changed with the arrival of Tom Herman, the new Longhorns’ leader is still aware of the recent history of this series. With Texas getting outscored 129-26 in the last three games, he knows his upperclassmen don’t want a repeat of the last few matchups.
“I think there is some added motivation for the guys that have been on this team for a while,” Herman said. “The juniors and seniors, they’ve been embarrassed by this team. They don’t want to be embarrassed again.”
Despite four losses in the year thus far, Texas has yet to be blown out in 2017. Texas lost its biggest games of the season against then-No. 4 USC, then-No. 12 Oklahoma and then-No.11 Oklahoma State by a combined 11 points.
Now, Texas sets its sights on No. 10 TCU. The Longhorns have moved in a new direction under Herman, adopting what he calls a “1–0 mentality.” But with Texas’ biggest test remaining on its schedule one day away, the Longhorns don’t want to get embarrassed yet again in Fort Worth.
“It gives us that extra motivation to always keep it in the back of our head of what they did to us,” junior cornerback Holton Hill said. “It gives us that motivation to work hard, know what they’re capable of and know as (a) team what we’re about to face against.”
Texas catches No. 10 TCU (7–1 overall, 4–1 Big 12) at a tough time. The Horned Frogs look to bounce back by making a statement one week after their first loss of the season in a massive 14-7 upset by Iowa State in Ames.
But one thing saving Texas against a determined TCU squad is something Herman says is at an all-time high: confidence. Herman said it came after back-to-back solid performances in losses to the Sooners and Cowboys, but peaked after their blowout victory over Baylor.
“I think there is a level of confidence,” Herman said. “We can see the other side of the wall right now. We’ve actually got a little sunlight coming in through it right now after what we were able to do in Waco. My confidence is at an all-time high, and I think our players’ are too.”