AUSTIN (KXAN) — In the thriller that was the 20-19 loss to Alabama, the Texas football team impressed in a lot of areas. The Longhorns defense stood out in particular, holding the Crimson Tide to 20 points. Not since 2017 has Alabama scored fewer points in a regular season game.
“For us to go out there and our defense to play like they did, I honestly expected it,” said Longhorns Senior Running Back Roschon Johnson. “Just for them to go out and do it and show everybody what they are capable of, I’m proud of that.”
Alabama, the top ranked team in the country at the time of the showdown, boasted an explosive offense headlined by the reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young. To hold a player and team like that largely in check is a team effort.
“Everybody is running to the ball, that’s the main thing,” noted Longhorns Junior Defensive Back Jahdae Barron. “If everybody runs to the ball and rally to the ball, they’ll eventually get down, and they’re not going to want to take hits after hit after hit.”
“Our effort was really good,” said Longhorns Head Coach Steve Sarkisian about his defense. “We were populating the ball really well as I like to say defensively. So when we missed, there was another man and another man there to kind of clean up the mess.”
On the offensive side of the ball, starting quarterback Quinn Ewers suffered an injury early in the Alabama game, bringing backup Hudson Card on the field. Card battled through an ankle injury Saturday, and he, along with Ewers, are day-to-day, according to Sarkisian. With some question marks on offense, the strength of the defense is even more important.
“Every bit of confidence, to see that they can stop an offense like that,” added Longhorns Junior Running Back Bijan Robinson. “And you know when it comes down to the pipe with another team that we’re playing against, I know we can all trust them to get the plays done. To get everything done.”
While UTSA may not boast quite the bevy of threats the Crimson Tide does, the Roadrunners have tallied over 440 yards of total offense in each their first two games, both of which went to overtime.
The Longhorns will face UTSA Saturday at 7 p.m. in the first ever meeting between the two programs. It is Texas’ final game before conference play begins the following week at Texas Tech.