AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN/AP) — Trying to avoid a losing season is not how Texas expected to spend its Thanksgiving weekend. Yet, that’s what faces the Longhorns on Friday as they host Texas Tech. Beat the Red Raiders and they guarantee coach Tom Herman’s third season will at least finish above .500. Lose and they head into a panicky bowl season.
Texas Tech is looking for a boost to end coach Matt Well’s first season, which will end without a bowl game. The Red Raiders know how to win in Austin picking up victories in the last two contests against the Longhorns at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in 2015 and 2017.
Two years ago, a freshman Sam Ehlinger threw two fourth quarter interceptions helping the Red Raiders get to their sixth victory for bowl eligibility. Ehlinger hasn’t thrown as many interceptions this season, but, like the offense, has been trending in the wrong direction over the last five games.
As Ehlinger goes, so goes the Texas offense. The Longhorns have flat out lost their juice. Metrically, Texas still ranks as a top 20 offense in efficiency, but those numbers are being bolstered by impressive early performances. In recent weeks, the coaching staff has received the brunt of the criticism, and it’s warranted. During the last two losses, the Texas offense has shown little imagination or aggression.
There are expected to be changes on the coaching staff. It’s likely not even an impressive victory against Texas Tech will change the fate of some position coaches. It probably won’t ease the fans’ disappointment of the 2019 season either.
Texas and Texas Tech will kick it off at 11 a.m. Friday.