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Collecting all $9.95-er articles on the Wyoming game here:

(Billy Shank) No. 4 Texas 31, Wyoming 10: Three things we learned


Coming off a phenomenal road upset last week against the then-No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide, the No. 4 Texas Longhorns came out slow at home against an unranked Wyoming Cowboys team on Saturday at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Where many expected this talented Texas team to follow their upset in Tuscaloosa with an equally impressive performance at home, the Longhorns certainly underperformed through the first three quarters. However, despite an abysmal first three quarters for Texas, they were able to flip the switch when it mattered most. Sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers and this Texas team showed impressive maturity and poise in the mental aspect of the game, scoring 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to close out this potential upset.

1. Slow starts and inconsistency

The biggest question going into this Week Three matchup was whether or not Texas would be able to follow up their big win in Tuscaloosa with a decisive performance against Wyoming to prove they can block out the noise and avoid eating the rat poison. The small details were the characteristics of the offense that defined their success in Week Two, but in this game Texas did the opposite. Penalties, dropped passes, miscommunications, an inability to convert on third down all amounted to mistakes that stalled the offense and hindered ability to move the ball effectively and establish any rhythm.

Ewers and this Texas offense just couldn’t stay on the field with the Longhorns going 0-for-6 on third-down conversions in the first half, the Cowboys were able to dominate the time of possession through their impressive rushing attack led by Harrison Waylee, who scored a 62-yard touchdown run on the first possession for Wyoming.

Inconsistency week to week was the issue that Ewers faced in his first year at Texas. Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian and this Texas coaching staff had hoped that in his second year this issue would be resolved for the talented quarterback. After looking like a potential Heisman candidate against Alabama last week, Ewers couldn’t get anything going through the air against the Cowboys defense. Overthrown passes, throws behind receivers, bad reads — Ewers looked like a different quarterback than he did just a week ago.

After starting the game extremely pass heavy, Sarkisian and the Longhorns relied on their running game to move the ball in the second half. This game was reminiscent of last year’s matchup against Baylor, where Sarkisian practically took Ewers out of the game and leaned on the running game to make up for his quarterback’s inconsistencies. With 10 completions on 20 attempts for only 87 yards through the first three quarters, Ewers just couldn’t get anything going. The only successful touchdown drive over the first 45 minutes was thanks to great field position after a 20-yard punt return by Xavier Worthy that resulted in a big man touchdown from defensive tackle Byron Murphy.

2. The defense still looks good

Despite the lack of turnovers and sacks in the first three quarters, the Texas defense stepped up to make up for the inconsistencies on offense. Despite the worrisome 62-yard rushing touchdown on the first drive of the game by the transfer running back Waylee, the defense was able to contain this Wyoming offense throughout the rest of the game. In total the Texas defense was able to hold the Cowboys with some key stops in the red zone, 291 total yards and only 10 points.

The issue from the defense tonight was their inability to get to the quarterback and create takeaways through the first three quarters. The defense did contain the Wyoming offense, however, but started slow in their ability to create big takeaways thanks to struggles in pressuring backup quarterback Evan Svoboda and Wyoming’s offensive line. Coming off a Week Two performance where this Longhorns pass rush was able to dominate one of the largest offensive lines in football and sack Alabama quarterback Jalan Milroe five times, they certainly started slow.

3. Finishing strong

Despite an objectively terrible first three quarters, these Longhorns showed their resilience and maturity when it mattered most. It’s easy to let an underwhelming start kill a team’s confidence and dig a hole that they can’t climb out of, but this team showed they have a short-term memory, put the past in the past, and brought the wood when it mattered most.

Back-to-back big plays on the first two drives of the fourth quarter by Xavier Worthy and Jonathan Brooks put all upset alerts to bed after Ewers lit a fire under his offense on the sideline before the fourth quarter. I don’t know what the usually soft-spoken sophomore said to his team, but it worked. Worthy broke off a 44-yard touchdown to get the ball rolling and following a Wyoming three and out, Brooks added to the fourth-quarter surge with a 61-yard run that led to a rushing touchdown by Ewers. Two plays later, senior safety Jerrin Thompson took one to the crib for the Longhorns first takeaway of the day — a 27-interception return for a touchdown.

On all three sides of the ball, Texas lived up to their potential, it just took three quarters to get the ball rolling. As concerning as the first three quarters were for this Texas team moving forward, their ability to flip the switch when it matters most highlight the teams maturity and control of the mental side of the game. Obviously, this is not how the Horns want to win games moving forward, but it could serve as a learning opportunity that helped further strengthen the team’s mental toughness, maturity, and for Ewers and his leadership and command of this team.

Chip Brown: Snap Judgments after a late surge by No. 4 Texas allows Longhorns to pull away for a 31-10 win over Wyoming


AUSTIN, Texas — With so many other upsets and near-upsets going on in college football Saturday, Texas will probably get a pass for its lackluster performance for three quarters in a 31-10 win over a Wyoming team that outplayed the Longhorns for three quarters. Let’s just say the fourth-ranked Longhorns came up with big plays when they absolutely had to have them in the final 16 minutes of the game to break open a 10-10 tie entering the final quarter.

There was a huge sack in the red zone by Barryn Sorrell that limited a 17-play, 77-yard drive by Wyoming that took 10:22 off the clock in the third quarter to a field goal, tying the game 10-10. Xavier Worthy had a 44-yard catch-and-run touchdown on a receiver screen from Quinn Ewers to make it 17-10 with 14:12 to play. Jahdae Barron’s fourth third-down stop of the game, this one after fighting off a block and knocking the mouthpiece out of Wyoming receiver Wyatt Wieland’s mouth for no gain, forced a punt. Barron was the defensive player of the game, posting nine tackles and those four third-down stops, including a pass breakup.

Clinging to that 17-10 lead, Jonathon Brooks ran the ball five straight times for 70 yards, including a 61-yard burst, breaking three tackles along the way, setting up Ewers for a 5-yard touchdown with 9:01 left that gave the Longhorns a 24-10 lead with 9:01 left. On Wyoming’s next possession, Jerrin Thompson jumped Wyoming backup quarterback Evan Svoboda’s pass and returned it 27 yards for a Texas touchdown that put the Longhorns up 31-10 with 8:46 left. And just like that, the Longhorns had a margin that might cause casual observers to overlook the first three quarters of the game, when Ewers was 10-of-20 passing for 87 yards with his only TD pass a 1-yard lob to short-yardage fullback - defensive tackle Byron Murphy.

— Through the first three quarters of the game, Wyoming led Texas everywhere but on the scoreboard, where it was a 10-10 tied. The Cowboys led Texas in total yards (225-175); rushing yards (115-88), passing yards (110-87), third-down conversions (4-of-11 to 2-of-9); plays (48-40) and time of possession (28:37 to 16:16).

— The Longhorns were on the verge of another fourth-quarter scoring drive when running back Jaydon Blue fumbled at the Wyoming 34 with 6:01 left to play for Texas’ first turnover of the season. The Cowboys then took Blue’s fumble and drove to the Texas 3 before suffering an offensive pass interference penalty on a completed throw into the end zone. That proved to be Wyoming’s last gasp as time expired on the Cowboys two plays later.

— Quinn Ewers completed only one pass in the fourth quarter, but it was his biggest completion of the game. He spotted Xavier Worthy in one-on-one coverage to the right side on first-down from the Wyoming 44. Wyoming corner Tyrecus Davis was giving Worthy a cushion, so Texas’ leading receiver took a step backward, caught a screen from Ewers and then made Davis look silly as he made a futile dive at Worthy’s legs as Worthy flew by and tight-roped the sideline for a 44-yard catch-and-run TD that put Texas up 17-10 with 14:12 to play.

— The game was tied 10-10 going into the fourth quarter because Wyoming was able to sustain a 17-play, 77-yard drive to a field goal that took 10:22 off the clock. The Cowboys converted third-and-4; third-and-6 (thanks to a defensive pass interference flag on Terrance Brooks) and converted fourth-and-1 from the Texas 10 after a QB sneak for 2 yards against a D-line that consisted of Ethan Burke, Alfred Collins, Byron Murphy, T’Vondre Sweat, Vernon Broughton and Barryn Sorrell. Sorrell made the biggest play of his Longhorns’ career with a 9-yard sack on third-and-10, forcing Wyoming to settle for a 36-yard John Hoyland field goal that tied the game 10-10 with :20 left in the third quarter.

— Texas’ first drive of the second half (which turned out to be UT’s only possession of the third quarter) started off with promise as Jordan Whittington caught a first-down pass on third-and-2, and Ewers hit Adonai Mitchell for 16 yards on third-and-5 to the Wyoming 29. But Jaydon Blue was stuffed for a 1-yard gain on first-down, and then Ewers threw incomplete into double coverage (intended for tight end Gunnar Helm) when he had a check down wide open on second-and-9. On third-and-9, DJ Campbell got smoked by Wyoming defensive end Sebastian Harsh, and Ewers was dropped for a 10-yard sack, forcing a punt.

— Jahdae Barron was everywhere in the first half, leading the team with seven tackles, including two stops on third down that forced punts.

— Kristopher Ross got a nice pass rush on third-and-5 in the second quarter, forcing Wyoming’s quarterback to hurry a pass in the flat that Jahdae Barron stuffed for a 2-yard gain, forcing a punt.

— Wyoming had third-and-8 at the Texas 49 midway through the second quarter, and Cowboys quarterback Evan Svoboda rolled right, looking to hit running back Harrison Waylee with a pass, but Anthony Hill had blanket coverage on Waylee, and Svoboda ended up getting flushed out of bounds by Jaylan Ford for an 8-yard loss, forcing a punt. On the previous play, Vernon Broughton batted down Svoboda’s pass at the line to force third-and-8.

— Texas capped its longest drive of the season - a 17-play, 90-yard march that took 8:03 off the clock - into a touchdown pass to .. wait … for … it … short-yardage fullback - defensive tackle Byron Murphy. The Horns converted two fourth-and-1s on Wildcat quarterback runs by Savion Red and also overcame first-and-15 after Christian Jones was called for a false start. Gunnar Helm nearly got the touchdown after a nice catch-and-run for 14 yards before getting tripped up inches short of the end zone, setting up first-and-goal from the 1.

— Byron Murphy showed some soft hands on his TD catch. After lining up as Jonathon Brooks’ lead blocker on the goal line, Jones slipped past a Wyoming defender, turned and caught Quinn Ewers’ 1-yard touchdown lob, giving Texas its first lead of the game - 10-7 - with 11:45 left in the second quarter. The play came came on second-and-goal from the 1 after DJ Campbell pulled on first-and-goal and ran right past the Wyoming defender to dragged Jonathon Brooks down for no gain.

— Wyoming running back Harrison Waylee is a transfer from Northern Illinois who hadn’t played for the Cowboys the first two games while recovering from an injury.

— Savion Red, Texas’ scout-team quarterback (impersonating the now-benched Jalen Milroe) during Alabama week, lined up at Wildcat quarterback and followed the blocks of Jonathon Brooks and JT Sanders to pick up fourth-and-2 from the Wyoming 38 just before the end of the first quarter. Steve Sarkisian ran the same play on fourth-and-1 early in the second quarter, giving Texas a first-down at the Wyoming 18.

— Jahdae Barron came through with a much-needed pass breakup on third-and-8 midway through the first quarter after Wyoming had converted two third-downs on a drive into Texas territory. Barron’s play forced a punt.

— Quinn Ewers was 1-of-6 passing for 16 yards after the Longhorns’ first two drives. After a false start on Hayden Conner put Texas in first-and-15 to start the game, Ewers was slightly off target on three straight pass attempts. On the Longhorns’ second possession, Ewers went for home runs instead of singles. He threw late to JT Sanders in the end zone and then missed Sanders in the end zone on third-and-7 from the Wyoming 19 when he had Jordan Whittington wide open underneath. Texas settled for a 37-yard field goal by Bert Auburn, cutting Wyoming’s lead to 7-3 with 9:46 left in the first quarter.

— Texas’ first big play of the game was Xavier Worthy’s 20-yard punt return to the Wyoming 38 with 11 minutes left in the first quarter. Texas was lucky Jaylon Guilbeau wasn’t called for holding after completely hooking a Wyoming defender at the line of scrimmage.

— On Wyoming’s opening 62-yard touchdown run, T’Vondre Sweat got double-teamed and pushed backward, and Anthony Hill was completely out of position, and that was all running back Harrison Waylee needed to knife through the Texas defense and run away from Longhorn defenders into the end zone.

Steve Habel: No. 4 Texas makes the needed plays late to beat Wyoming, stay undefeated


AUSTIN – There are two different versions of the undefeated Texas football team through three games this season – the one that plays around with the opposition in the first half and the other that dominates the proceedings down the stretch with the game on the line. The 101,777 fans in attendance at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday saw both versions as the fourth-ranked Longhorns turned it on in the fourth quarter for a 31-10 victory over feisty Wyoming.

Quinn Ewers passed for two touchdowns including the game-winner to Xavier Worthy early in the fourth as Texas suffered through an uneven performance for three quarters before making all the plays it needed Ewers finished with 131 yards through the air and also ran five yards for a score as the Longhorns (3-0) struggled with execution and had a bit of a hangover after their huge win at Alabama on Sept. 9.

Jonathon Brooks ran for career-best 164 yards on 21 carries, highlighted by a 61-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter as Texas put some distance between itself and the hard-nosed Cowboys. Jerrin Thompson added a 27-yard pick-six for Texas with 8:46 to play. Harrison Waylee ran for 110 yards and a score on 16 totes for Wyoming (2-1). Evan Svoboda, who started in place of regular first-team signal caller Andrew Peasley, hit on 17 of 28 throws for 136 yards and Thompson’s interception. Texas has now beaten the Cowboys all six times they’ve played, five of those in Austin.

Wyoming stunned the Longhorns on the game’s first possession when Waylee, a transfer from Northern Illinois seeing his first action of the season, ripped off a 62-yard TD to give the Cowboys a 7-0 lead just 2:15 into the game. The Longhorns answered on a 37-yard field goal by Bert Auburn with 9:46 to play in the first quarter. Texas’ scoring drive got a jump start when Worthy returned a punt 20 yards to allow Texas to set up shop at the Wyoming 38.

Texas took a 10-7 lead on Ewers’ 1-yard pass to defensive lineman Byron Murphy II out of the jumbo set with 11:45 to play in the second quarter. The Longhorns used 17 plays and more than 8 minutes of the clock bridging the first and second quarters to march 90 yards, converting two fourth downs along the way and getting a 14-yard Ewers to Gunnar Helm pass to put them on the doorstep.

The Cowboys outgained Texas 163-120 in the half, holding Ewers to 57 yards passing as the Longhorns’ quarterback hit just 8 of his 17 throws.  Texas was 0 for 6 on third downs over the first 30 minutes with its longest play of the half a 16-yard pass to Keilan Robinson.

Wyoming tied the game with 36-yard field goal by John Hoyland with 20 seconds to play in the third quarter to culminate a 17-play, 77-yard drive that ate up 10:22 of the quarter. Texas woke up in big way on the third snap of the fourth quarter with Ewers hitting Worthy on a swing pass to the right flat that the speedster turned into a 44-yard TD and a 17-10 Longhorns’ lead.







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(Ian Boyd) Five quick thoughts: Thunderstruck in the 4th quarter


For the second straight week Texas yielded some advantages to their opponent in the third quarter before showing out strong in the fourth and shutting the door. Wyoming had a 17-play, 77-yard field goal drive which devoured 10 minutes of game clock to tie the game 10-10 as the fourth quarter approached. Then Texas’ offense took the field with violent intentions in the run game, the crowd was treated to a LED burnt orange light show to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” and the Longhorns put together a few dominant possessions to pull away.

As sloppy as Texas was to start the game, they showed off their explosive potential late in the game to secure the sort of big margin win everyone expected in this game. A power run game carried Texas through to build a lead and once Wyoming was forced to throw the Longhorn defense was ready to capitalize.

Quick thought no. 1: Wyoming had a major gameplan edge

Wyoming’s plan was straightforward and predictable. Defensively they played a fair amount of 3-3-5 Flyover and moved defensive backs around to prevent Quinn Ewers from getting a lot of clean pre-snap looks at the coverage while aiming to force Texas into long drives. This was rewarded when Texas tried to establish their passing game in the first half with RPOs and a few misdirection shots which were narrowly missed. Without landing any of their shots and thanks to a few errant passes and drops, Texas couldn’t get many points on the board early in the game.

The Wyoming offensive gameplan was similarly predictable. They ran the ball as often as they could get away with, using a few different formations and angles to mostly pound inside zone downhill. When they needed to throw the ball without their starting quarterback Andrew Peasley, the Cowboys lined up quick outs in the boundary designed to attack the Longhorn safeties.

Because the Cowboy zone run game was able to consistently pick up positive yards on 1st and 2nd down, they had some manageable 3rd downs (only 4-14 on the day though) which allowed a few drives to produce field goals.

Texas didn’t really have much in the gameplan to challenge the easier throws Wyoming set up for Evan Svoboda early on, nor to really reveal some of their better designs for attacking the Flyover defense they’ll see a few more times this season. It appeared before the fourth quarter that a lack of precision game planning might have been a catastrophic mistake but Texas’ depth, size, and speed ultimately won out.

Quick thought no. 2: Texas’ run game showed up

When Texas needed it their power run game was there against the Cowboys. The early touchdown drive in the first and second quarter featured heavy doses of 12 personnel and Jonathon Brooks runs and the Longhorns returned to that well to open the fourth quarter.

As concerning as the passing game was in this contest, it was a good sign that Texas was able to bully a physical and disciplined team like Wyoming on the ground. Brooks finished with 21 carries for 164 yards at 7.8 ypc and Texas broke the game open 17-10 throwing a quick “now” pass to Xavier Worthy on another power run when the cornerback played too far off. Worthy made his man miss and was off to the races.

Jaydon Blue didn’t make the most of his opportunities with a fumble but Savion Red got some opportunities in a Wildcat package and ran very hard and effectively on quarterback power concepts.

The goal line package with Byron Murphy at fullback also got some looks and a touchdown for the big man.

As bad a game as this was for the passing game, the run game showed some diversity of packages and tactics and ultimately imposed Texas’ will on this game when it mattered most.

Quick thought no. 3: Some growing pains for the younger players

Anthony Hill got in the game early on at Will linebacker but was pulled after an unfortunate play to open the game and wasn’t seen again until late in the fourth quarter when the game was safely in hand. Hill missed his run fit, running aggressively into the wrong gap and doing so on a play where the safety behind him (Jerrin Thompson) was rotating to the deep middle and wasn’t positioned to arrive and clean it up for him.

Texas ended up getting a number of younger players in the game later on as well. Johntay Cook missed a chance on a screen that went off his hands. Derek Williams came into the game late and made a few tackles, Sydir Mitchell was involved in Texas’ late sort of goal line stand where Wyoming opted to let the clock run out rather than scoring a meaningless field goal. Liona Lefau made a great tackle on special teams and played well down the stretch in relief.

Some of Texas’ talented freshmen we’ll see again this season, others will get less run in conference play, but overall they had a strong start to the season. Hill will need more time as a package player to have maximal impact before he’s ready to be a mainstay at Will linebacker but the return of Morice Blackwell should allow him to maintain more of a situational role.

Texas’ veterans ended up making a number of big plays to secure the win. Jahdae Barron was a menace to the Cowboys with nine total tackles and a break-up while Thompson housed a pick and Barryn Sorrell ended Wyoming’s best drive with a field goal rather than points by sacking Svoboda on 3rd down.

Quick thought no. 4: Big game passing game?

One of the stark and somewhat concerning features of the 2023 season has been the inconsistent play of Ewers and the passing game. They were clearly improved against Rice from a year ago but missed some of their shots and had a few plays which didn’t look very crisp. Then Ewers smoked Alabama for 300+ yards on the road in a game Texas had clearly emphasized in the offseason and put in major work to win.

With Wyoming visiting the week before conference play began, Texas looked more vanilla and less prepared once more in style and their execution was sloppy.

For the day Ewers finished 11-21 for 131 yards at a measly 6.2 ypa and the numbers would have looked much worse if not for Worthy’s speed turning a quick toss behind the line of scrimmage into a 44-yard touchdown. Texas’ quarterback was seen on television leading the team on the sideline before the 4th quarter, giving some loud feedback and encouragement before Jaylan Ford did likewise, then he punctuated a drive with a tough touchdown run. When it mattered, he made the plays he needed to make, but it wasn’t a day that will build the case for Ewers to win any hardware.

The question Texas fans have to be asking though is which passing game they’re going to see week-to-week? The attack in which Ewers looks like a future first round pick and Texas’ abundance of NFL-caliber receiving talents is readily apparent? Or the one which sputters and fits and can’t make connections? The former could propel Texas to the playoffs and beyond. The latter puts them at risk against a number of Big 12 opponents.

Quick thought no. 5: It’s time for the last Big 12 season

Texas opens Big 12 conference play for the last time next week in a primetime (interestingly) matchup against the Baylor Bears in Waco, TX. The Bears had a little trouble edging out (checks notes) Long Island University earlier in the day and lost their starting running back while doing so. Overall it was a terrible day for multiple Big 12 teams with multiple squads coming out flat like Texas but lacking the means to bail themselves out of trouble.

Cincinnati dropped an overtime game to Miami of Ohio, Iowa State lost a 10-7 slog against Ohio, Kansas State was edged out on a 61-yard walkoff field goal by Missouri, as of this writing Kansas is currently in a battle with Nevada, and Oklahoma State got taken to the woodshed in their own building by South Alabama 33-7. The league is down and wide open. A more consistent Texas team could run the table, we’ll see how sharp they look next week playing a weak Baylor team on the road.


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15 minutes ago, satyanash said:


this excuse is getting old...and doesn't give much confidence.  Also, I'd love for someone to ask Bohl if he created a whole new defense for Texas.  I bet the answer is "not really".

It's actually worse that some team which very likely has deficiency to us in the athletic dept can install a completely different defense and stone us for 3 quarters. 

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8 hours ago, dcar00 said:

this excuse is getting old...and doesn't give much confidence.  Also, I'd love for someone to ask Bohl if he created a whole new defense for Texas.  I bet the answer is "not really".

It's actually worse that some team which very likely has deficiency to us in the athletic dept can install a completely different defense and stone us for 3 quarters. 

Yeah, it's more of it's doesn't works great against other teams so we don't use it playing them...but works great against the style Texas likes to play.

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Steve Habel: With Jonathon Brooks leading the way, Longhorns’ running game came alive in the nick of time


AUSTIN – Texas will take some time to be the dominant running team it was in 2022 but showed that it is taking strides in that direction with the production of Jonathon Brooks and crew in the Longhorns’ 31-10 win over Wyoming on Saturday. It took a while for Brooks and the Longhorns to get going but they finished strong as Brooks rumbled through a huge hole at right tackle and boxed his way down field on a 61-yard run that set the table for an eventual Quinn Ewers 5-yard scoring run that all but clinched the win in the fourth quarter

Brooks ended up with a career-high 164 yards rushing on a career-most 21 carries in a starring role. Freshman CJ Baxter, who started the first two games of the season, did not see the field because of an injury suffered late in Texas’ win at Alabama on Sept. 9. “Credit the O-line,” Brooks said. “We just kind of started out slow as a whole offense and we just came together at halftime, kind of talked to each other and reminded each other what we could do and how we could do it.”

Asked afterward why it took so long for his team find its footing, Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said the Wyoming defense – which used different fronts and angles of attack than the Longhorns had prepared for in practice – had a lot to do with the slow start. “This is now two out of the three weeks where we have gotten an absolutely different defense than they’ve put on tape,” Sarkisian said after the win. “That’s a sign of being a really good team – that people are going to such lengths to play a style of defense that they would never play against anybody else. When that happens that’s where you have to fall back on your training and trusting your trading and being able to block the plays regardless of the look that we get.”

Brooks said he felt “strong and a little bit sore” after his performance against the Cowboys. He said he was determined to score on the critical 61-yard run when he came up just short. “I just didn’t want to go down – I was really trying to score,” he said. “I just tried to get the safety off me but I couldn’t do it – we were playing little hand games all the way down the sideline.”

Sarkisian said he hopes to get Baxter back for Texas’ Big 12 opener at Baylor on Sept. 23. He thinks there’s room – and a need – for both of the backs in the Longhorns’ offense.

“CJ just wasn’t 100 percent (Saturday) and I just didn’t want to risk it,” Sarkisian said. “Jonathon stepped up, played well and was shining all the way through and kind of felt like he got stronger as the game went on, which is a sign of a really good back. How many times have we seen that and talked about that with Bijan (Robinson) and how well he’d run in the fourth quarter of tight games. We need CJ – we need to get him back. You know, those two are both physical runners and run our style.”

Justin Wells: What Texas players said after defeating Wyoming


Coming off a massive win over Alabama in week two, the No. 4 Texas Longhorns (3-0, 0-0) toppled Wyoming (2-1, 0-0), 31-10, from an LED lit Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday night. Here’s what the Longhorn players had to say following their first 3-0 start since the 2012 season.

Quinn Ewers, QB

On the mood and general feel after this win

“It’s a good feeling especially whenever it’s a win like that. You know in the fourth quarter, we were going into the fourth quarter tied up and for us to win the fourth quarter like we did, I think that just goes to say a lot about our mentality. And the fight that we have, which I don’t think we would have been the same situation about a year ago. So I’m fired up about how it ended, not so much about the first three quarters, but how it ended.”

On becoming more of a fourth quarter team

“It’s huge, especially with how we did it, with Bug (Jerrin Thompson) getting that pick-six. You know, that’s how we need to play. That’s how we need to play in the fourth quarter because last year, we weren’t that good in the fourth. For us to do what we did the past two games in the final quarter is how you win games.”

On Ewers’ thought process behind the players-only meeting earlier in the week, post Alabama win

“I just wanted everybody to be on the same page, you know, about how I was feeling and how this leadership council was feeling. Just to kind of pull guys back in so they weren’t getting so attached to looking at social media and what people think of us. It turns every single week, when they pat us on our back one week and then the next week telling us how bad we are. So we’re just going to focus on the opinions inside of these inside these four walls and go from there.”

On the new LED stadium light show

“Oh, it was awesome and unbelievable. Shout out to all the fans that came out and supported us. You know, they’re a lot of help for us. They give us motivation. They give us energy, and stuff like that just makes us want to ball out for our fans. They came out, spent their Saturday night with us. So I couldn’t be more fired up. That light show was unreal, by the way. I got to check it out a little bit when I had time and it was awesome. So cool.”

Jonathon Brooks, RB

On collecting a career-high 164 yards rushing on 21 carries

“Credit the O-line, We just kind of started out slow as a whole offense and we just came together at halftime, kind of talked to each other and reminded each other what we could do and how we could do it.”

On his determination to score on the 61-yard run despite coming up short

“I just didn’t want to go down – I was really trying to score. I just tried to get the safety off me but I couldn’t do it – we were playing little hand games all the way down the sideline.”

Xavier Worthy, WR

On whether the offense was frustrated by the lack of consistency in the first three quarters

“Obviously we’re going to get a little frustrated when things are not clicking. But I felt like in the second half we played our brand of football.”

On how it feels being effective and close to scoring in the return game

“Man, I’m trying to go score on every one. Every time I touch the ball, I’m trying to go score so I mean, really, pretty soon we’re going to put it in the end zone.”

On what he thought of Texas running back Jonathon Brooks tonight

“Oh, I feel like he had a big game. What did he go for? 170? Yeah, he had a huge game, that’s big for him. That’s big.”

On what his teammates were saying to each other during the beginning of the fourth quarter, tied at 10

“We needed to wake up. We challenged each other. I felt like it was a lot of team challenges. And I feel like we did it.”

On who has better hands, Worthy or Byron Murphy, who scored on a touchdown catch in the win

“No, no. I got better hands.”

Joe Cook: Texas overcomes sluggish start with swarming defense, rushing offense to top Wyoming, 31-10


When leaving Tuscaloosa with a 34-24 victory over Alabama in hand, Texas knew that in order to keep the season on a lofty trajectory it would have to play a quality football game seven days later. The Longhorns’ contest versus the Wyoming Cowboys started at 7 p.m. on Saturday, but Steve Sarkisian‘s team, potentially still riding high from the win over the Crimson Tide, took its sweet time putting away a well-coached but less talented opponent.

The Longhorns fell behind early versus Wyoming, surrendering a 62-yard scoring run on the first drive of the game. From that point on, the Texas defense led the program to its first 3-0 start in 11 years. Texas allowed only 229 yards over the final 57:15, a cushion the team needed before UT scored three touchdowns in the final 15 minutes to put Wyoming away 31-10.

Sarkisian said postgame that his team played versus Wyoming as if it were distracted by the accolades it received leading up to kickoff for its achievements in Tuscaloosa. That was evident on the very first drive, as a missed assignment in run defense by Anthony Hill allowed Wyoming’s Harrison Waylee to run down the Texas sideline 62-yards for a game opening score.

It was also evident in how the Texas offense started slowly. Before even taking a snap, the Longhorns committed a penalty. Then, Quinn Ewers failed to pick up where he left off last week, tossing three consecutive incompletions that hinted at how his night would go.

While Texas was uneven to start to say the least, it never appeared flustered facing the experienced Cowboys. That composure was key ahead of the defense settling in versus a Wyoming offense that utilized a number of personnel packages and formations to open up the run game and take pressure off backup quarterback Evan Svoboda, who started in place of Andrew Peasley.

Once the Longhorns forgot about the previous week and started taking the task in front of them seriously, they dominated the final 48 minutes of the game. Wyoming had five first-half possessions after the opening score. All of them ended in punts. Jahdae Barron, who led the Longhorns with nine tackles, made the essential third-down pass breakup or tackle on three of them. He’d add one more drive killing tackle during the fourth quarter.

Barron was the leader of an inspired defensive effort that received its most difficult test in the third quarter. The Cowboys moved down the field, with the drive eventually become 10 plays in length, and then 15.

On the 16th play of the drive, Barryn Sorrell recorded a sack of Svoboda to knock Wyoming out of the go-for-it zone and bring on kicker John Hoyland. His successful kick would tie the game at 10 but it would also be the last time Wyoming would score. After that field goal, the Longhorn offense would figure out how to operate versus an unfamiliar Wyoming scheme and put the game on ice.

First, Xavier Worthy took a quick pass from Ewers 44 yards to make it 17-10. After another defensive stop, Ewers rushed it in from five-yards out to make it 24-10. The Longhorn defense would complete the scoring with a Jerrin Thompson pick-six on the first play after Ewers’ run. It was his second interception of 2023 and the fifth of the season for Texas.

Admitting there was plenty to correct from the performance, Sarkisian was pleased with the fact that his team showed it could win a football game in a different manner than in previous weeks. Texas played a complete game versus Alabama, lighting up the scoreboard with successful deep passing attempts. Those types of attempts were few and far between Saturday, placing most of the burden for scoring on the run game.

Jonathon Brooks answered the bell with 21 carries for 164 yards, keeping the Longhorn offense moving down the field and setting up opportunities for scoring plays, including a second quarter touchdown reception by defensive lineman Byron Murphy.

Texas now has a 3-0 record for the first time since 2012, a campaign that also included a victory over Wyoming. The Longhorns head to Baylor next week to begin Big 12 play one last time as a member of the conference. Sarkisian gave his team praise postgame for being versatile. It took time for the Longhorns to showcase that versatility, but once they did the game ended with a Texas victory ahead of the beginning of one last season in the Big 12.


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How do you attack the 335 tite effectively? Feels like you have to be able to attack the edges with wide/outside zone and be able to play action off of that. It takes patience and precise execution
We’ve been average at best at getting much push in the run game and ewers is still inconsistent in his delivery so we’re often in 3rd and long where the flyover defense is at its best
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5 hours ago, gurt said:

How do you attack the 335 tite effectively? Feels like you have to be able to attack the edges with wide/outside zone and be able to play action off of that. It takes patience and precise execution
We’ve been average at best at getting much push in the run game and ewers is still inconsistent in his delivery so we’re often in 3rd and long where the flyover defense is at its best

The overly simplistic answer imo, and to Sark's credit this season, is patience. Lots of quick passing and intermediate throws, but we need to be more consistent running the ball. 

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Just now, BigHorn'13 said:

The overly simplistic answer imo, and to Sark's credit this season, is patience. Lots of quick passing and intermediate throws, but we need to be more consistent running the ball. 

And the intermediate/short throws need to be on target and caught.  Too many misses to kill drives. 

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(Scipio Tex) 2023 Wyoming Post Mortem: Defense/Special Teams


Before this game I wondered how Wyoming was going to score on the Longhorn defense. The answer came early in the contest. Go to the 1:26 mark of the video.

A combination of bad and inexperienced play in the box met poor luck and a lack of foot speed on the back end to create a Wyoming touchdown. What happened?

Vernon Broughton gets whipped play side 1 on 1 (he is standing way too high and turns his shoulders) and Anthony Hill vacates his gap while drifting towards the line of scrimmage where T’Vondre Sweat is being double teamed on the backside. Hill is in the wrong spot and gets caught up in the trash. A player as quick as #0 should never give up depth when he hasn’t located the ball. False steps = scores.

Behind them, cornerback Ryan Watts is in pure man coverage and the receiver sells pass. Watts’ total focus should only be on the receiver and he’s shocked to see Waylee squirting out of there. He’s not well positioned to make a play anyway. Meanwhile, Jerrin Thompson is rotating into the middle of the field pre snap away from the run and that destroys his angle. Notice that he’s actually moving away from the flow of the play (that’s the call) and then has to reverse field when he sees the box bust. Thompson lacks make up speed and Waylee houses the 62 yard run.

Wyoming wouldn’t find the end zone again for the rest of the game. Wyoming got a score, but didn’t really score. After that run, Wyoming running backs were bottled up to 89 yards on 29 carries in their standard running game and their passing attack averaged less than 5 yards per attempt. Any consternation Texas fans were feeling after that run was more a function of the Texas offense struggling and a 3rd quarter ball control nightmare than actual threat. Wyoming was basically incapable of explosive plays unless Texas defenders made multiple compounding errors.

The only other meaningful Wyoming offense was a 10 minute 17 play, 77 yard drive that started on the Cowboy 4 yard line and erased nearly the entire 3rd quarter. The Texas defense and staff got ball controlled and Wyoming converted three 3rd downs in the passing game and a 4th down. My main issue is with how that drive began. Wyoming was backed up in their own end zone and rattled off three consecutive runs totaling 15 yards to give them breathing room. Given the game context and inexperience at QB, that can’t happen as you know they’re not throwing there. Throttle that drive in its infancy when you know exactly what they’re going to do. Texas eventually held firm on the strength of Sorrell’s outstanding sequence near the goal line and the Cowboys kicked a field goal to force a tie game going into the 4th quarter.

That was pretty much the extent of the Wyoming offense. That 3rd quarter explains the time of possession disparity (Wyoming controlled the ball for 38 minutes) and how the Cowboys limited the game to only 9 drives for each team.

Excepting the Waylee run and the 3rd quarter drive, the Texas defense played very well. They gave up a net of 3 points in the box score (held Wyoming to 10, scored on a pick six finally attacking the quick out) and we’ll take that any day of the week and twice on Saturday. You’d just like to see them press their advantages a little earlier.

Defensive Line

They struggled with some of the angles in the Wyoming running game. Texas actually over penetrated at times. Example: watch Sweat on the second play of the game. He destroys the guard on the backside and then runs blindly upfield with the flow of the blocking, actually creating a massive cutback lane for Waylee. What should be a 3 yard loss becomes a 5 yard run. #93 should get flat if he can’t find the ballcarrier. Waylee is a good back and Wyoming’s running game is much more patient and nuanced than what Texas typically sees. Their OL also doesn’t mind brawling for four quarters.

From my watch, Alfred Collins and T’Vondre Sweat headlined the DL effort. Sorrell had a couple of terrific sequences, but was otherwise average. Byron Murphy was uncharacteristically quiet and had little impact. Being a touchdown scoring diva is going to his head! Burke played less than 30 snaps and didn’t have any game impact. Vernon Broughton batted down a screen, got a no gain stuff near the goal line when he slipped his blocker and had a nice pressure, but he’s shaky on standard run downs against physical OL.


A rough start for Anthony Hill earned him a lengthy benching until he was re-inserted later in the second half where he made several good traditional fills on run plays. David Gbenda played hard and had one of his more quietly effective starts. He “saw” the Wyoming running game better than his cohorts, which is atypical. Jaylan Ford was above average on run downs. Jett Bush got a lot of run (over 30 snaps) and played pretty well. He always brings physicality.

Defensive Back

Jahdae Barron was the player of the game. Absolutely exceptional in run support and in coverage. He led the Longhorns in tackles with 9 stops and he had multiple critical stops on 3rd down, including a terrific play busting up a 3rd and 3 screen where he ran through a hold and form tackled the receiver for no gain. Absolute stud. Every action in the Wyoming passing game was centered around forcing Barron to switch so they could throw at the safety or opposite corner.

Wyoming only had 136 passing yards on 28 attempts, but their quick out game was an a constant irritant and it exposed a lack of speed (Thompson) and instincts (Crawford) in the Longhorn safeties who had to range to the sideline to challenge. It was their entire passing game and the 6-5 245 pound Svoboda did a nice job getting it out there quickly and accurately.

Evan Svoboda threw only one ball between the hash all game. His 27 other attempts were all outside of the hash, with 80% no deeper than 9 yards! 22 of his passing attempts were behind the line of scrimmage or from 0-9 yards. He threw six balls between 10-19 yards and attempted zero throws 20+. He was particularly effective attacking right, going 7 of 10 for 69 yards. That’s the Wyoming passing game. They didn’t do much different than their film showed coming in, though Svoboda showed better consistency and accuracy on that route than the starter. Jerrin Thompson got picked on a bit for 3.5 quarters in the passing game until this:

Great job. Had to punish Wyoming for going to that well so many times.

Special Teams

Texas created some hidden yards that helped the three touchdown win. Ryan Sanborn punted exceptionally well (48.3 average and a pin inside the 5) and Xavier Worthy had 4 punt returns for 59 yards, including a big 32 yarder. Liona Lefau did a poor job on Worthy’s first quality punt return when he bypassed the eventual tackler to run upfield. Keilan Robinson ran hard on kickoff return and averaged 26 per return. Texas needed that special teams juice on a day where the offense didn’t show up until they decided that running the ball on a small defense with safeties deep might be worth a shot.


The Texas defense held down Wyoming for the vast majority of the game and also contributed a coup de grace defensive score. The offense’s failure to score points or do much of anything for most of the game played in Wyoming’s favor and allowed them to turn it into a rock fight. If the Texas defense had been staked to a nice lead and Wyoming was forced to throw the ball around, score separation would have certainly increased. Through three games, the Texas defense clearly sets the floor for this football team.

Coach V: Texas did what it needed to do against a well-rounded Wyoming team


By Coach Venable: Several thoughts come to mind after our second rodeo in a row. First off, I thought it obvious that a mature bunch of grown men weren’t going to allow a few minor details to change their attitude. Wyoming fielded a very experienced group of veterans that stressed their strong points on both sides of the ball. They proved they can throw and catch five yard outs till the cows come home. We proved we can’t quite get pressures, sacks, or PBU’s often enough to get them off the field playing casual. Time of possession is more important than sometimes given credit for. It’s a good thing we had strong numbers in rotation because we saw brief fatigue going against a game opponent.

Their backup QB had a career game simply taking the variety of quick outs and moving the chains. Our QB had at least four dropped zingers as well as three off targets as we were trying to “settle” in. We found out the hard way you need possession of the ball to get that rhythm and we stubbed our toe the entire first half. Three false starts (on first down) put us off schedule from the jump and missed connections kept us in the hole. Give Wyoming credit, they played well and executed their game plan to perfection. They are a much better team than most of our fan base anticipated.

I’m not sure most of us have given our special teams and their personnel enough “atta-boys” in our success. I will be most surprised if we don’t break a punt return from Worthy (1) or a kickoff return from Robinson (7) before our bowl game. Sanborn (27) has been outstanding with perfection in hang time and accuracy. Thompson (28) and Crawford (21) are the best gunners until I see better. Taaffe (16), McDonald (25), and Lefau (18) have had big hit tackles in the open field. St. Louis (58) has had great snaps. Stone (15) puts the ball in the end zone. We have 10 runaway freight trains covering the kickoffs and getting back to the 20 has been a problem for those who chose to try. X-man is slippery on punt returns. Watch Robinson (7) lead block on the 32 yarder by X.

We had one really bad play on defense along with a ton “safe” coverages that prolonged drives. They scored on a home run zoner where our DL lost the LOS, our playside LB got caught up inside, our corner reacted a little too late, and our safety recognized a tick too late and complicated matters worse by taking a poor angle and now you have a 62 yard touchdown run. The lack of press coverages (which give pass rush more time) and short throws (leads to better accuracy) finally gave us a pick 6 when Thompson (28) under cut a quick out with solid technique.

I definitely think Sorrell (88) is one of our more under-rated defenders after three games. Yes, he got credit for the red zone sack but if you watch that entire series you will find 88 disrupted all three plays before the sack. Burke (91) continues to be a force off the edge. Broughton (45) is thriving from the technique change this season, he is creating havoc and getting more than his share of rotation snaps. Barron (23) makes plays that make one smile, he’s the best defender we have in my opinion.

Thompson (28) makes difference making plays but is a liability in certain situations that must be improved. Catalon (11) is instinctive and a winner but it appears we are picking and choosing his reps carefully. Williams (2) shows his talent level by knocking the thunder out of his targets in the 4th quarter. Williams (2) and Hill (0) are going to make mistakes but boy are they going to make plays as they gain experience and knowledge. Ford (41) is still the best backer by a long shot but Gbenda (33) has been better than average in ground game but below average in pass coverage. Bush (43) continues to be effective as a edge buster.

Brooks (8), Watts (6), Crawford (21), and the entire DL rotation give us great effort on the plays they are supposed to make. The defense continues to shine and play winning football. We are getting solid rotations and still have something left in the 4th quarter. Ford is the one constant we can’t afford to lose. We need a youngster to occupy some of Ford’s snaps so their experience level will balance out.

Ewers (3) hit some hands early but found out they were skillets. He also threw high on crossing routes and mid range targets. Still no horrible bad plays and zero turnovers so there’s that. Brooks (24) picked up the slack and had his career game to date. Murphy (90) scored our first TD. Blue (23) had a turnover.

Worthy (1), Mitchell (5), Whittington (13), and Sanders (0) all had at least one throw that they could have made for Quinn but failed to finish. Helm (85) almost had a TD and definitely blocked well overall. Sanders (0) has a long way to go as a blocker if he want’s to be a true All-American. Thought Neyor (9) would get a target or two but not this week.

The O-line had an aces and spaces game. Campbell (52) missed a pass pro assignment and got Quinn sacked. Connor (76) had two false starts on first down to basically kill two drives. Majors (65) had a very good game. Banks (78) had another steady game. Jones (70) had one false start to kill a drive but otherwise played well. Hutson (54) played very well until injured in the second quarter and didn’t return.

Overall, not a very solid performance for the offense. The good news (if there is any) is we had individual breakdowns where fixing one effort gives us a good play instead of a bad one. Dropped passes are sometimes killers because of the YAC that you also lose. False starts put you behind the chains and most times never recover. Thank goodness we have almost eliminated turnovers because that’s a sure killer. We still need to get more O-line reps because they will need the experience once they are called upon to carry their load.

I figure most have now figured out we are everybody’s Super Bowl opponent as we work our way down the schedule. Them damn old Baylor Bears are furnishing the meat for this week’s bar-b-que so it’s time for us to raid Waco.

Justin Wells: Top PFF grades from Texas' 31-10 win over Wyoming


After the No. 3 Texas Longhorns’ 31-10 win over Wyoming on Saturday at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium, we take a look at the Pro Football Focus grades on offense and defense after the Horns moved to 3-0 for the first time since 2012.


QB – Quinn Ewers, 52.8

Ewers came back to Earth after his phenomenal game vs Alabama. Ewers was only 11-of-21 passing, 131 yards, and two touchdowns, but extended his streak of passing attempts without an interception. He also scored a touchdown on the ground.

RB – Jonathon Brooks, 83.5

With CJ Baxter missing the game, Brooks stepped up big time. The sophomore tallied 164 yards on 21 carries, for 7.8 yards per carry on 44 snaps.

WR – Adonai Mitchell, 57.4, Xavier Worthy, 63.0

While there wasn’t much in explosive plays through the air, Worthy (43 snaps) and Mitchell (39 snaps) combined for seven catches, 86 yards, and a touchdown. Worthy’s early fourth quarter score was a giant boost for the Horns final stanza.

TE – Ja’Tavion Sanders, 55.2, Gunnar Helm, 68.4

The production at tight end was lacking on Saturday night. Sanders (48 snaps) and Helm (32 snaps) combined for 11 yards on one catch. Sanders was targeted multiple times throughout the night.

OL – Jake Majors, 73.1, Kelvin Banks, 61.8

Majors, the senior center led all the offensive linemen with a 73.1 on 52 snaps. Banks added 61.8 on 52 snaps, and Malik Agbo led the O-line group with a 73.2 run-blocking grade.


DL/EDGE – T’Vondre Sweat, 70.5, Alfred Collins, 72.0, J’mond Tapp, 77.8

Sweat (46 snaps) and Collins (40 snaps) led the defensive interior, holding Wyoming to 2.5 yards per carry after the Cowboys’ 62-yard scoring run in the first quarter. Tapp (15 snaps) collected three tackles in the final defensive series.

LB – David Gbenda, 74.8

The senior Gbenda was fantastic on Saturday night. He tallied six tackles on 48 snaps, and led the linebackers with a 79.2 run defense grade.

CB/N – Ryan Watts, 62.3, Jahdae Barron, 90.7, Malik Muhammad, 71.5

Barron led the Texas defense with nine tackles and a 90.7 overall grade on 34 snaps, while Watts looked tremendous in run support once again, with six tackles and a 81.4 tackling grade.

S – Jerrin Thompson, 72.6, Kitan Crawford, 74.0

Between Thompson, Crawford, and Jalen Catalon, the trio each had 34 snaps, 33 snaps, and 34 snaps, respectively. Thompson notched a team-high 85.0 coverage grade and a pick-six touchdown in the pivotal fourth quarter. Crawford added a 81.6 tackling score as well.


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(Scipio Tex) 2023 Wyoming Post Mortem: Offense


A largely awful performance by the Texas passing offense (specifically the skill guys) and play caller (a reverse pass on 3rd and 1, Sark?) was offset by good defense, a 4th-quarter commitment to running the football against deep safeties and some individual playmaking by Worthy and Brooks. Texas totaled only 316 yards on 52 plays, but explosives by Brooks and Worthy moved an otherwise moribund 4.1 yards per play average up to 6.1 yards. Outside of those 4th quarter explosives, every-down success rate was poor, particularly in a pathetic passing game. Oddly, that’s despite a fairly successful running game and a Longhorn offensive line that surrendered only two tackles for loss (including one sack).

If you can win by 21 points against a likely bowl team despite playing bad ball, you’ve probably got some big upside down the road if you can clean up the nonsense. The “they came out in a novel look so we were paralyzed for three quarters” act has run its course in Austin and it will get Texas beaten against better opponents. I’m not sure if the adjustment issues are upstream or hitting a player brain dam downstream, but it’s time to pour some Draino into the “oh my, they’ve dropped three safeties” clog.


Ewers was just 2 of 9 on pass attempts greater than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage for all of 30 yards. Subtract out the Worthy touchdown where Xavier did the work and Ewers was 10 of 20 for 82 yards. Ewers threw five bad balls, had one turnover-worthy play and threw into double coverage at least twice. In one instance, he threw to Gunnar Helm in double coverage while a wide open Sanders was running seven yards inside of him on the same vertical. At halftime, Ewers was 8 of 17 for 57 yards and Texas was 0-6 on 3rd down. At that point, his longest throw was a 16 yard swing pass to Keilan Robinson.

#3 was pressured only three times in all of his drop backs and one of those was a sack. The other two pressures led to a back foot throw that almost resulted in a pick and a sail over the receivers head. He missed at least one RPO read where Brooks would have gone for 12-15 yards on the handoff. At least he didn’t turn the ball over.

Running Back

Brooks ran his blocking better than it was, particularly in the second half. He was decisive and shifty, totaling 164 yards on 21 carries. I’ll take 7.8 yards per run.

Subtract out his 61 yard run on 3rd and 1 and #24 still averaged over 5 yards per carry. Which makes one ask why Texas wasn’t more persistent with the running game earlier in the contest? Fair question. They should have been, but procedure penalties are good at screwing up run downs and Ewers and the receivers botched multiple chain movers that would have allowed Sark to run the ball with a new set of downs. Offense is a virtuous circle and if your passing game can’t covert 3rd and 4, you lose out on all of the potential runs (and wear and tear on the defense) that might have come after.

With CJ Baxter out, this was a big opportunity for Jaydon and he Blue it. Fumbling is never good. Fumbling when the offense is finishing the game in the 4 minute offense is even worse. Fumbling when a -28 cover is on the line inside of the opponent 40 up 31-10 is unforgivable. Some will say it was just a meaningless late game turnover, but others know it was a personal attack on their children’s dissipated college fund.

Savion Red came in at RedCat and had two third down conversions. The first was a piece of art titled “Please run up the field, ******.” On his second conversion, he ran up the field. Good job.

Offensive Line

Outstanding pass protection headlined by Majors, Jones and Conner. The lone sack was on DJ Campbell not responding to Christian Jones’ line call when the Wyoming DE took an inside rush and Jones picked up a blitzer outside. Campbell trying to block the guy and actually pushing him into Ewers was amusing on rewatch. Campbell is at his best when doesn’t have to think and can just fire out on someone in front of him. He’s a very poor decision maker on the pull, highlighted by a goal line play where he managed to bypass the only viable tackler and double a superfluous end.

Cole Hutson going out with a leg injury at the end of Q1 is terrible and it makes me sick for him. Prayers for a quick recovery.

Run blocking wasn’t really all that good until the 4th quarter, when the OL started firing out with real intention and sticking on their blocks longer. Our run game isn’t very timed up through three games and that needs to improve dramatically. The OL isn’t exactly a bunch of slavering wolverines out of the gate either. The run game was still effective because Wyoming played an honest box and runs a little small. Brooks also maximized most of his runs.

This unit has made strides in pass protection from the opener, but pure run blocking and unit coordination in the run game has major room for improvement. Three false starts. One on Jones, two on Conner. Conner false started on the first play of the game. He’s closing in on double digits for his career.

Wide Receiver


Xavier Worthy housed that on pure talent. Amazing play. Counting on that bailout against higher order defenders is more of a wish than a plan though. Unfortunately, catching the ball doesn’t require talent. Just hands and focus. The Longhorn wide outs and tight ends dropped four balls (five if you include a higher level of difficulty). The drop load was shared equally at least. Cook and Whittington even dropped balls on back-to-back plays in a display of inept one-upmanship.

Everyone played poorly. Did hesitancy about how to attack the scheme contribute? I don’t know. They need to spend an hour after practice with Byron Murphy on the JUGS machine.


This offense seems determined to keep Longhorn fans from ever feeling real confidence in their consistency week to week, but the areas for critical improvement are hopefully as obvious to the coaches as they are to internet casuals. The question is whether Texas can build up the competency to execute and adjust to novelty in the time span of a series rather than in a half. Speed of adjustment remains a residual question from 2022. 3-0 and on to Waco.

(Gerald Goodridge) Inside the Numbers: Pounding the rock paid off for Texas vs. Wyoming


Despite the sluggish start, the then-No. 4 Texas Longhorns managed to take care of business and avoid the full letdown against the Wyoming Cowboys with their 31-10 win to close non-conference play on Saturday at Darell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

The offense struggled in the first half, with quarterback Quinn Ewers unable to connect with his playmakers and the running game failing to create any sort of rhythm for the offense, leading to short drives and frustration. However, the Longhorns kept plugging and leaned on the services of running back Jonathon Brooks, who served as the featured back in the game after an injury sustained against Alabama left CJ Baxter sidelined for at least one game.

The faith in the Brooks was rewarded and was one of the keys to breaking the game open.

Jonathan Brooks: 21 car, 164 yards (7.8 ypc)

The former Hallettsville Brahma struggled to get things going early, thanks in part to the Wyoming defensive front facing the offense with looks they had not yet seen on tape from the team, and was given eight carries in the first half of the game, just two in the second quarter.

However, Steve Sarkisian came out of the locker room with a look to run the ball and lean on Brooks, who rewarded his coach’s trust with performance. The highlight moment for Brooks was a 61-yard run that set up a five-yard touchdown run by Quinn Ewers, the second on three fourth-quarter touchdowns for Texas, but it was the consistency of the production by Brooks that made the difference. If you remove the long run from his game total, Brooks still would have averaged 5.2 yards per touch on his 13 second-half carries.

Perhaps more impressively, 14 of his carries on the day went for more than four yards and all but two of them went for positive yards — a no-gain in the second quarter and a three-yard loss in the fourth against an overloaded box on 2nd and goal from the 2-yard line.

Jerrin Thompson: 3 tackles, PBU, INT, TD

After years of struggles at safety, the Longhorns may have once again found another playmaker at the position with the recent emergence of Jerrin Thompson. His stats for the game may not be gaudy, but the impact of his pick six cannot be overlooked.

With the Longhorns up 24-10 and trying to put away a scrappy Wyoming team attempting to mount a comeback, the Cowboys found success on intermediate out routes when they needed a quick five yards. However, quarterback Evan Svoboda went back to the well one too many times and Thompson made him pay, jumping the route and returning it 27 yards for a touchdown, his first career pick six and his second interception in two weeks.

Thompson still has a long way to go before seeing his name in the school record books, but it's clear Pete Kwiatkowski’s group prioritizes being disruptive and taking the ball away, especially Thompson, who had two career interceptions entering this season despite breaking up seven passes in 2022 — turning those PBUs into INTs was a point of emphasis for the Nacogdoches product during the offseason.

In the 28 games since the new coaching staff took over, the Texas defense has taken the ball away via interception 22 times, which is actually a slower pace than the previous regime, but have found more ways to make an impact. Texas has returned five of their 22 interceptions for scores, which Tom Herman’s staff did in its first year, but then did not return to the end zone for the final three sessions of his time with Texas.

Third downs: 4-12 (33%)

It’s not an Inside the Numbers under Steve Sarkisian without checking in on third downs and despite game No. 14 of the Sark era with a sub-40 percent conversion rate, it was a tale of two halves for the offense.

The opening 30 minutes were not kind to the Longhorns and, in fact, the Longhorns went the entire first half without converting on a single third-down attempt. That run included a drop by Jordan Whittington, a PBU on a likely touchdown to Ja’Tavion Sanders, a six-yard rush, a Xavier Worthy reverse for no gain, and two three and outs featuring misses to Sanders and Worthy. In that mix, Texas did manage to convert on two fourth downs thanks to the newly-revealed wildcat formation featuring triggerman Savion Red, who converted on consecutive attempts to set up a touchdown in the first half.

Texas finished the first half 0-6 on the money down. Those fourth-down conversions got Texas into the red zone, where Ewers connected with defensive tackle Byron Murphy for the lone touchdown of the first half.

The second half was a different story for Texas, which went 2-of-3 on its opening drive, with the miss coming on a 3rd and 9 sack to end a promising drive. Wyoming took over and put together a 10-minute drive that both tied the game and effectively ended the quarter, giving Texas the ball back with 20 seconds left in the third. The Longhorns then converted on their first two third-down attempts to go ahead by two scores and finished the second half 4-of-6 on third downs.

With non-conference out of the way, Texas now turns its focus to its final run in the Big 12 conference, hoping to take home the trophy for the first time since Colt McCoy roamed the Forty Acres. Their conquest starts on the road as they travel to Waco to take on the Baylor Bears, who are 1-2 on the year and would love nothing more than to upset the Longhorns and even their record on the year.


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On 9/17/2023 at 8:40 AM, MonkeyDoughnut said:

Yeah, it's more of it's doesn't works great against other teams so we don't use it playing them...but works great against the style Texas likes to play.

OK maybe but he uses this excuse a lot when the O looks like shit.  I think Scipio covered it pretty well the same.  I'm sure whatever Bohl was playing wasn't a totally new defense to college football so maybe Sark should be more prepared.  Does he not realize everyone game plans for Texas like we do for Bama and OU?

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On 9/17/2023 at 9:32 AM, gurt said:

How do you attack the 335 tite effectively? Feels like you have to be able to attack the edges with wide/outside zone and be able to play action off of that. It takes patience and precise execution
We’ve been average at best at getting much push in the run game and ewers is still inconsistent in his delivery so we’re often in 3rd and long where the flyover defense is at its best

Execution on quick passing concepts and being able to bully a light (but not as light as it sounds at face value) box in the run game. The north star of the concept is to prevent big plays. It's betting a college offense isn't going to consistently execute a 10-12 play drive down the field. A lot of them can't do that on a regular enough basis to blow a game open.

You do that, and then you have a ball control offense featuring David Montgomery and Breece Hall grinding out some points on the other side, and all of a sudden you're not giving Lincoln Riley's Oklahoma and other Big 12 offenses that have personnel advantages against you to have many opportunities to get out ahead of you, thereby allowing you to compete.

I think Sark has problems with it inherently because he is so trigger happy with deep shots. It's also been an issue for Texas because the ability to impose their will at the LOS and just run through a light-ish front hasn't been there. The quick passing game largely has been there, dating back to even 2021, Sark just doesn't love going to it. The best part of the Wyoming game, offensively, was that they did show that ability to run the ball. They showed it against Alabama too (not that they run such a scheme). I don't know why Sark seemed so hesitant to lean on the running game for so long - maybe he wanted to rep the passing game, maybe he's just stubborn, who knows? - but when they did, Wyoming had no answer. As it should be, but still, gives me some hope that maybe they will be able to simply run through this defense after all.

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2 hours ago, gmr548 said:

Execution on quick passing concepts and being able to bully a light (but not as light as it sounds at face value) box in the run game. The north star of the concept is to prevent big plays. It's betting a college offense isn't going to consistently execute a 10-12 play drive down the field. A lot of them can't do that on a regular enough basis to blow a game open.

You do that, and then you have a ball control offense featuring David Montgomery and Breece Hall grinding out some points on the other side, and all of a sudden you're not giving Lincoln Riley's Oklahoma and other Big 12 offenses that have personnel advantages against you to have many opportunities to get out ahead of you, thereby allowing you to compete.

I think Sark has problems with it inherently because he is so trigger happy with deep shots. It's also been an issue for Texas because the ability to impose their will at the LOS and just run through a light-ish front hasn't been there. The quick passing game largely has been there, dating back to even 2021, Sark just doesn't love going to it. The best part of the Wyoming game, offensively, was that they did show that ability to run the ball. They showed it against Alabama too (not that they run such a scheme). I don't know why Sark seemed so hesitant to lean on the running game for so long - maybe he wanted to rep the passing game, maybe he's just stubborn, who knows? - but when they did, Wyoming had no answer. As it should be, but still, gives me some hope that maybe they will be able to simply run through this defense after all.

Sark did well running the ball vs ISU and KSU last year. You saw the extra OL and unbalanced sets. That was his answer. The issue vs Wyoming was they dared him to run and it took him awhile to accept the challenge. Sark has 1 arrow in his quiver vs the flyover, run the ball. 

The part he has not solved is how to throw on the flyover defense. Herman stubbled into it. He would try to run on ISU for 3Qs. Sometime in the 4Q, when he was down 2 scores, he would spread them out and let Sam throw. Texas would make a comeback and fall just short. Sark did the same thing vs TCU last year. They spread TCU late and started moving the ball. It’s much harder to disguise coverages, when you spread them out. That ability to disguise coverages and distort the count in the box kills Sarks RPO game and his window dressing. 

I’ll steal a line from Babers. The way to beat the flyover is to go extreme. Load up with big bodies and run it or spread them out 

Edited by Codaxx
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