Texas’ path to the Big 12 title game just got a whole lot tougher.
The 15th-ranked Longhorns fell to 5-3 on Saturday with a 37-27 loss to TCU and dropped into a jumbled conference position in the process.
Texas is now grouped in the middle of the pack among four Big 12 teams with two conference losses — a clear step behind undefeated Baylor and Oklahoma, which lost its first conference game earlier Saturday. In a year where the Longhorns were expected to challenge Oklahoma for the conference title, Saturday’s result is an extremely disappointing outcome.
Saturday’s loss reflected many of the same issues Texas has exhibited in recent weeks — especially in last week’s 50-48 near-upset at the hands of lowly Kansas. But despite giving up 434 yards of offense to a team starting a true freshman quarterback that had lost three of its previous four games, you can’t pin all of this one on the defense.
Sam Ehlinger, Texas’ usually reliable quarterback, turned in a miserable effort. The junior completed just 22-of-48 passes for 321 yards and a career-high four interceptions. Ehlinger’s turnovers directly led to the points that put the Horned Frogs ahead. His second interception came with the game tied 20-20 late in the third and gave TCU the ball at UT’s 44.
The next play was this touchdown connection between Max Duggan and Jalen Reagor:
Ehlinger’s third interception was his worst one. It set up a field goal for TCU that increased the lead to 30-20.
Texas would cut the lead to 30-27, but its defense could not get the stop it needed. Instead, Duggan led TCU right down the field, including a 36-yard connection with Taye Barber on third-and-14. On the next play, Duggan scored from 11 yards out to seal the victory.
Duggan finished the afternoon with a career-high 273 yards passing, 72 yards rushing and three total touchdowns.
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