Longhorn offense struggles as Baylor topples Texas

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Photo Credit: Sarah Montgomery | Daily Texan Staff

A week after slamming the door on Kansas, Texas came within a couple minutes of being on the other end of a shutout Saturday, losing to Baylor, 28-7, at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Until junior running back Johnathan Gray’s touchdown in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter, the Longhorns were unable to score all afternoon, controlling the time of possession.

“We drive the ball, and we have those opportunities, but there’s a breakdown somewhere,” head coach Charlie Strong said.

Texas’ stout defense contained Baylor’s high-octane attack throughout the first half, but a few costly mistakes kept the Longhorns from scoring any points of their own.

When a Texas drive stalled at the Baylor 35-yard line early in the first quarter, Strong elected to attempt a 52-yard field goal on fourth down.

The decision backfired, as the Bears blocked junior kicker Nick Rose’s field goal attempt and returned it for
a touchdown.

“In practice every day, we put the ball on both hash marks and we go from 35 or 40 yards and we hit it,” Strong said. “We just didn’t hit it [today]; we got it blocked.”

The Longhorns drove deep into enemy territory again in the second quarter but came away with nothing.

After taking the ball 98 yards from their own one-yard line down to Baylor’s goal line, sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes fumbled the snap and the Bears recovered. It’s the second time in as many weeks that Swoopes and redshirt freshman center Jake Raulerson have blown an exchange.

“I’m not going to put that on Jake or blame anybody; I just mishandled it,” Swoopes said. “That’s the second week in a row, so we have got to get that right so it doesn’t happen again.”

Amid all the offensive blunders, the Longhorn defense turned in another solid performance. Baylor came into the contest with the top offense in the country, averaging 641 yards and 56.8 points per game, but didn’t experience the same success against Texas.

Aside from the special teams touchdown, Strong’s defense held the Bears scoreless through two quarters and surrendered only 129 total yards in the first half. At the final whistle, Texas had only given up 28 points and 389 yards — totals well below the Bears’ averages.

“Our defense basically shut them down,” senior receiver John Harris said. “It’s just the offense; the offense has to pick it up.”

Senior linebacker Steve Edmond turned in the best performance of his Longhorn career in the losing effort, tallying 17 tackles and two sacks. Offensively, Swoopes completed 16 of his 34 pass attempts for 144 yards and two interceptions. Gray led the rushing attack with 12 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown.

 

To check out more photos from the game, check them out here  -