AUSTIN (KXAN) — Inconsistent offense doomed the Texas Longhorns in a 17-10 loss Saturday to No. 4 TCU at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.
No. 18 Texas had just 199 yards of total offense, and TCU shut down a potent Longhorns running game, allowing just 28 total yards on the ground. Texas came into the game averaging 192 rushing yards per game. Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson, who came into the game leading the Big 12 Conference in rushing, ran for 29 yards on 12 carries.
“We didn’t play good enough to win, and that’s easy enough to see,” Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “We played well enough defensively to win, but offensively we didn’t have any rhythm and we couldn’t get out of our own way.”
Texas was 1-for-13 on third-down conversions and averaged 3.3 yards per play, and the offense didn’t score a touchdown in a game for the first time all season.
For Texas, it’s unfortunate the offense sputtered so much because the defense played outstanding for the most part. Three players — DeMarvion Overshown, Barryn Sorrell and Jahdae Barron — had 11 tackles each and Barron scored the team’s only touchdown on a 48-yard fumble return with 4:25 left in the game. Eight of Barron’s tackles were solo and he had 3.5 tackles for loss by making a habit out of blowing up any wide receiver screen pass thrown his way.
Texas had 14 tackles for loss, but let TCU running back Kendre Miller rip off a huge 75-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to give the Horned Frogs a 10-0 lead with 5:08 in the third quarter. Miller ended the game with 138 rushing yards on 21 carries.
TCU’s other explosive play that went for a touchdown came on a 31-yard pass from Max Duggan to Quinten Johnston in the fourth quarter. It was a busted coverage in the Texas secondary that led to Johnston being wide open down the middle of the field.
One of Texas’ most experienced defensive backs, senior D’Shawn Jamison, got a concussion in practice during the week and wasn’t available for the game, Sarkisian said in the postgame press conference.
Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers completed 17 of 39 passes for 171 yards with an interception, and while it was another night of inaccurate passing for Ewers, the receivers dropped six passes that should have been completed. Tight end JT Sanders had a couple of those drops but still managed to gain 61 yards on seven catches. Jordan Whittington caught six passes for 78 yards.
“We got behind the chains and had a bunch of third-and-longs, and had a couple of opportunities in the second half to seize momentum with first-and-goals and came away with three points,” Sarkisian said. “That’s arguably the difference late in the ballgame.”
With 10:17 left in the game, the Longhorns had the ball on TCU’s 5-yard line and threw three incompletions and fumbled a snap to turn what was a promising drive, that began with a 52-yard kick return by Keilan Robinson, into a turnover on downs.
Both offenses are used to being prolific, and the TCU offense gained 283 yards, well below its 500-yard average for the season. Texas made 90 tackles and sacked Duggan five times for 38 yards. Since sack yardage goes against rushing totals, Duggan was credited for -41 yards on 10 carries.
Texas (6-4, 4-3 Big 12 Conference) goes to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks next week. TCU (10-0, 7-0) clinched a berth in the Big 12 Championship Game with the victory and travel to Baylor next week.
Final: Horned Frogs 17, Longhorns 10.
4:25 4Q: TOUCHDOWN TEXAS – The defense comes through after TCU fumbles a handoff and Jahdae Barron scoops it up and scores from 48 yards out. PAT good. Texas has life. Horned Frogs 17, Longhorns 10
4:46 4Q: Ewers’ deep ball for Sanders is broken up on 4th-and-17 and Texas turns it over on down. TCU takes over on the Texas 38. That makes Texas 1-4 on fourth down plays tonight.
6:09 4Q: Texas gets it back but TCU runs 3:31 off the clock. The Longhorns take over on their own 25 after the punt.
9:40 4Q: No points for Texas after having the ball 1st-and-goal on the TCU 5. Longhorns went incompletion, fumbled snap, incompletion, incompletion to turn it over on downs. Longhorns are 1-12 on 3rd down, 1-3 on fourth down. Brutal end to that drive.
10:17 4Q: TCU called for defensive pass interference and Texas has it 1st-and-goal on the TCU 5
12:28 4Q: A little jolt from the kick return team and Keilan Robinson runs it back 52 yards to give the Longhorns plus-territory field position at the TCU 48.
12:36 4Q: Defensive breakdown in the Longhorns secondary and Johnston is more open than a Buc-ee’s for a 31-yard TD from Duggan. 9 plays, 80 yards, 3:18. PAT good. Horned Frogs 17, Longhorns 3
14:43 4Q: Texas goes after the punt but Overshown is late and roughs the TCU punter. Frogs keep possession after the penalty, 1st-and-10 from their own 42.
End 3Q: Horned Frogs 10, Longhorns 3. Some offensive action there in the 3Q, all things considered. TCU has the ball 3rd-and-3 to start the 4Q
0:58 3Q: FIELD GOAL TEXAS – Bert Auburn knocks it in from 22 yards. Texas had 1st-and-goal from the 2 but went -2 run, incompletion, incompletion. At least they got points out of the drive, 12 plays, 71 yards, 4:10. Horned Frogs 10, Longhorns 3
3:03 3Q: Texas starting to put together a drive now. Whittington takes a swing pass for an 11-yard gain and the Horns have it on TCU’s 27
5:08 3Q: TOUCHDOWN TCU – Kendre Miller races 75 yards for a score. Frogs’ total offense goes from 93 to 168 in a blink. 4 plays, 93 yards, 1:50. PAT good. Horned Frogs 10, Longhorns 0
6:58 3Q: Trejo hits a beauty of a punt, a high spiral that he sticks on the TCU 7-yard line.
10:59 3Q: Texas had Miller bottled up on a screen pass, but a couple of nifty moves and Miller somehow turned a minimal gain into a first down. TCU is now 4-for-11 on third downs.
12:25 3Q: The drive fizzles out and Trejo boots his sixth punt of the game. TCU takes over on its own 31.
14:11 3Q: It’s a first down for the Longhorns. Ewers hits Worthy for a 10-yard gain. That was the Longhorns’ fourth 1st down of the game.
15:00 3Q: Texas receives the second-half kickoff and they’ll take over on their own 20 to start things
Halftime: Horned Frogs 3, Longhorns 0. Texas with 72 yards of offense, TCU with 68 but seven first downs allowed to get into the field goal range and at least get something on the board. Ewers is 4-for-14 with 39 yards with an interception.
1:20 2Q: FIELD GOAL TCU – Kell knocks it through from 34 yards and we finally have points on the board. 14 plays, 57 yards, 6:45. Horned Frogs 3, Longhorns 0
1:25 2Q: TCU runs on 3rd-and-long to set up a field goal try. Texas calls its second timeout to conserve time and give them a chance to respond before the half. Remember, Texas gets the ball to start the 2nd half.
10:20 2Q: Ewers completes his first pass. A 3-yard gain to Xavier Worthy. He’s 1-8 now
10:36 2Q: To Texas’ credit, the defense has played tremendously. Jahdae Barron with a tackle for loss on a wide receiver screen and TCU has to punt for the fifth time already tonight.
12:08 2Q: Ewers throws into double coverage on playaction and it’s intercepted by Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson. Frogs take over on UT 34
14:25 2Q: Quinn Ewers has yet to complete a pass. He’s 0-6 so far. Texas punts. TCU takes over at the UT 36 following a 15-yard hands to the face penalty on UT
End 1Q: Longhorns 0, Frogs 0. It’s a defensive battle early on, to put it lightly. 39 yards of offense between the two teams. Sheesh.
0:24 1Q: TCU’s Griffin Kell snap-hooks a 34-yard field goal attempt and it’s no good. It spun like a top and sailed wide left. Good golly.
4:50 1Q: Ewers’ throw is a little low but very catchable, and JT Sanders just dropped it wide open over the middle. What an odd start to this game. Longhorns have to punt.
6:18 1Q: TCU pins Texas on its 1-yard line with a punt and between the two teams there are -1 total yards before the Longhorns get this drive going.
9:29 1Q: Two possessions for both teams and 0 yards of offense between them. Texas has 3 yards, TCU has -3.
10:54 1Q: Texas’ defense gets another stop and they’ll take over on their own 20-yard line following a holding penalty on the punt
12:48 1Q: Texas goes for it on 4th-and-2 from the TCU 35 and Bijan Robinson gets stuffed on the wildcat run. Texas turns it over on downs.
14:08 1Q: Texas nearly blocked the TCU punt and has great starting field position in plus-territory on TCU’s 43
14:18 1Q: TCU gets hit with a false start penalty on 3rd-and-5, turning it into 3rd-and-long, and Max Duggan throws an incompletion. TCU punting from its own end zone on its first possession
15:00 1Q: Texas wins the coin toss and defers its choice to the 2nd half. TCU’s offense will have the first possession when this candle gets lit in a couple of minutes.
6:20 p.m.: Tonight is the 93rd meeting between the Longhorns and Horned Frogs. Texas has a 64-27-1 advantage and won last year’s game 32-27 in Fort Worth, but as fans are well aware, last season went south in a hurry following that win.