Longhorns weather the storm with tough defense against TCU

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Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

After Texas’ longest game of the season, the Longhorns left Fort Worth with a 30-7 victory against TCU. The Longhorns stay undefeated in conference play at 4-0, sitting atop the Big 12 alongside Baylor. Here are four key aspects of Saturday night’s — or technically, Sunday morning’s — game at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

Weather Delay

The dream of most college football athletes is to play on Sunday. The Longhorns got to live that dream out, but, not as NFL players just yet. After severe storms entered Fort Worth on Saturday night, the contest between Texas and TCU got delayed three-hours and six-minutes.

The last time the Longhorns dealt with a delay, they got handed an embarrassing 40-21 loss by BYU that ended in the exit of Manny Diaz as defensive coordinator. This time around, Greg Robinson will be keeping his job as the defensive play-caller as Texas came out with intensity, holding TCU scoreless through the last three quarters. Head coach Mack Brown said the difference between the two delays was that Texas knew how to prepare during the inclement weather and to resume play with a better mindset.

Defensive pressure

In the past, Texas has had trouble protecting against the run, especially the quarterback option. In Saturday’s game, though, the Longhorns were able to hold the Horned Frogs to just 45 yards rushing, averaging just 1.9 yards per attempt. 

Texas also recorded three sacks with two quarterback hurries on the night. In their games against BYU and Ole Miss, the Longhorns gave up an average of seven yards per carry. In their last four outings, they have held their opponents to 3.9 yards-per-carry.

Rushing attack

TCU came into Saturday’s game with a rushing defense ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 17 nationally. The Horned Frogs gave up an average of just 115.3 yards per game through the first six weeks.

But Texas was able to gain 187 yards on the ground for an average of 3.6 yards per carry against the hyped up TCU defense. Especially in slippery conditions and against a team that held Oklahoma State to just 95 yards rushing, the Longhorns were able to run a successful ground game that accounted for two touchdowns.

Tyrone Swoopes?

The redshirt of freshman Tyrone Swoopes was burned at approximately 12:24 a.m. Sunday morning. With 4:57 left in the game, Swoopes was put in to replace quarterback Case McCoy in a move that has left Texas fans scratching their heads. 

Brown stated in the past that it wouldn’t be unusual to see Swoopes come into the game since junior quarterback David Ash has been unable to play the last few weeks because of head injuries. But Brown explained that situation would most likely arise if Swoopes was needed to help with the game, not when Texas was up 23 points in mop-up time.

Nevertheless, Swoopes came in for one series with no pass attempts and three rushes for a total loss of two yards. Brown and co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite said the main reason Swoopes made an appearance was for game experience. With no timetable on Ash’s return, the freshman needed to get roughed up and thrown in the fire as his name might be called sooner than Texas had hoped.