AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns were almost flawless on offense, executing Steve Sarkisian’s game plan on Texas Tech’s defense Saturday at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Texas’ 70-35 thrashing of the Red Raiders broke some Longhorns records. It’s the first 70-point game from Texas since the 2005 Big 12 Championship game against Colorado. It’s also only the 11th 70-point performance in school history.
Casey Thompson eclipsed 300 passing yards, scoring six total touchdowns (five passing/one rushing) while distributing the ball to six different receivers. Xavier Worthy, Jordan Whittington and Bijan Robinson each had a receiving touchdown.
Robinson finished the game with 192 total offensive yards.
Sarkisian was highly complimentary of his team’s performance while also pointing out some defensive lapses as the game became a Longhorns blowout. Here’s the Texas head coach’s thoughts after the win.
Sarkisian’s thoughts on the game
“I’ve been talking all week about the way we prepared and the cool thing part for me as a coach…that showed up in the first half of the game. These guys can recognize when you really focus….We definitely have something build on from that front. Offensively I thought our offensive line played a really good football game against a disruptive defense. We ran the football well and we’re efficient in the pass game. We’re still so close on these deep balls and we haven’t hit yet. Defensively, especially in the first half, we had a good plan. It’s unfortunate we got called offsides on the blocked punt. All in all, I thought we were disruptive offensively. We lost a little bit of our mental intensity and the ball got over heads. That’s a good sign, we can win and not be perfect.”
On message to team after the win
“Coming out of the Arkansas game, we obviously had a bad taste in our mouth and we went to work at practice. We were able to play well last week. The new challenge was…could we handle winning? I thought this was our best week of practice. One game doesn’t win you a Big 12 conference championship. We’ve got challenges ahead and the biggest one is next week at TCU.”
On Bijan Robinson building toward individual awards
“I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about us playing well as a football team. When we need to continue to play better as a team and the better everybody plays, the more opportunities you’re going to get and the individual accolades will follow.”
What Casey Thompson did well
“He prepares really well. Casey really puts the time into his preparation I think he understands what we’re trying to do. I thought he had a really valuable lesson to be learned with the interception in the red area. But when you win and you have those teachable moments and things to learn from and grow from. We moved the ball and he was efficient with the ball…there was probably three or four, five opportunities that we just missed on. Hopefully, when we hit those down the field we’ll become more efficient as an offense.”
On balance of offense
“If I could get that every week, I’d be a happy man. It’s pretty lofty. When we can run the ball, the offense is a lot more effective. We believe in running the football, it’s a mentality, it’s a mindset and we’re starting to understand that. When you can do that, with your efficiency in the pass game, that’s when you can become really dangerous.”
On the Longhorns pass rush
“It was great. I don’t know the exact call…a tower looking deal. Just try to get one-on-one opportunities. I know it’s common to look at the sack total but for the second straight week…the pass rush is starting to get home and we’re gaining confidence in Bo Davis and PK. We’re getting better at that and obviously we still have to improve.”
On WR Xavier Worthy’s improvement
“This guy…he came in with a real mentality of want to be great and want to be coached…which I think for young guys is hard. You get here…there’s a lot of good players and you have to raise your game. This guy wants that. He’s put in the time to understand the offense. He can play and he can play at a high level and we’re starting to see that in a variety of ways. He can do a lot of things. The guy has a bright future but he had a heckuva game today.”
On message and motivation to the team after a win
“It’s about the intent. What are you really trying to accomplish every day. Are you trying to get better every day? Or are you going through the motions…change is inevitable. You’re either getting better or you’re getting worse. Our goal is to get better every day. I think guys are starting to understand that aspect every day. When you can emphasize and spotlight issues of concern, then generally you get a better result than before. We’re starting to improve. There are areas coming out of this game that we need to get better at and hopefully we can improve.”
On lapses with pass defense
“Those games are hard when you get up…you can relax. We have to demand that there’s a standard to which we play at regardless of the score. I was not pleased that they threw the ball over our heads three times. That’s the beauty of winning but still having things to get better at. People aren’t going to stop trying to score because we have a lead. We have to play complimentary football and we have to be better going forward.”
On coaching and improvement of offensive line
“Offensively, coming out of the Arkansas game, I don’t think we handled the three-down front well. It’s been an emphasis of ours to identify fronts. It’s one thing to be assignment right, it’s another to block your man and defeat your man. We’re getting our runners up to the safeties…sooner or later we’re going to make those safeties miss. As an offensive line, collectively, they’ve all improved. Jake Majors is a guy thinking…alright, let’s put a big nose over Jake Majors and see if he can handle it. I thought they gave Casey a really good pocket. To point to one guy, I think Jake has really stood up the last two weeks.”
On message/preparation this week
“Pretty hard. I don’t know what you’re going to ask them after this but I think I made my point after the game. I ask the guys quite frequently…raise your hand if you’ve won a Big 12 Championship…we’ve got no time to relax and think we’re good now. We’ve got to strive to get better.”
Does Sarkisian give out game balls?
“The team gave me one after the first game and I was bashful about that because they win the football game, I just coach them. Tonight, I’d probably give it to the offense. I don’t singling guys out as much. We have our war daddies that play hard and are rewarded. We win as a team and we lose as a team…it’s not about one person.”