AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Longhorns were able to breath a massive sigh of relief after merely surviving a 63-56 overtime game against Texas Tech last week. However, how long will that feeling last as Texas turns its attention to TCU this week?
The Horned Frogs and head coach Gary Patterson have been a nightmare for Longhorns faithful over the last decade. Texas has lost six of its last eight meetings, including a 37-27 loss last season in Fort Worth.
Longhorns coach Tom Herman has been in charge for two of those TCU losses, but guided Texas to a 31-16 win over the Horned Frogs two seasons ago in Austin. The Longhorns will be the hosts again for Saturday’s 11 a.m. kickoff in front of a limited capacity at Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium.
Herman is looking for a 2-0 start in Big 12 play for the fourth consecutive season, but it would be his first 3-0 overall start at Texas if the Longhorns can win against TCU.
Last week, Texas looked surprised by the Texas Tech offense as the Red Raiders and Longhorns got locked in a score fest full of special teams mistakes and big offensive plays. The Longhorns couldn’t handle Tech’s up tempo passing attack and often couldn’t bring their playmakers to the ground when they had the chance.
The Longhorns players owned up to the mistakes following the win and in the build up to the TCU game.
“We see the corrections that we need to make. It’s way more fixable and I’m glad it happened in that game instead of down the line,” defensive back Chris Brown said on Tuesday.
As for the Horned Frogs, the season just started last week after a COVID-19 postponement. TCU was supposed to play SMU on Sept. 11, but were forced to postpone due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the program.
TCU had to shake off the rust in the Big 12 opener against Iowa State. It was a one score game in the fourth quarter after Max Duggan threw a touchdown pass to Artayvious Lynn to make it 30-28. However, Iowa State pushed the game out of reach with a follow-up touchdown in the final minutes. The Horned Frogs lost 37-34, starting the season 0-1.
Duggan caused problems for the Texas defense last year as a freshman, finishing with three touchdowns and 273 passing yards. He missed a portion of training camp this year while recovering from a procedure for a heart condition. Duggan split snaps with Matthew Downing last week, but he’ll get the majority of the reps this week as long as he’s healthy.
The TCU defense has always been the calling card of coach Gary Patterson. The match-up to watch this week is Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger against a disciplined, strong core of Horned Frogs in the secondary.
Ehlinger was named the Big 12’s co-offensive player of the week after a six total touchdown performance against the Red Raiders. There’s a strong relationship building between receiver Joshua Moore and Ehlinger that got stronger late in the game against Lubbock.
Ehlinger and this Texas offense will certainly be put to the test Saturday against TCU.