Image via @TexasFootball (Twitter)
Here are 5 quick thoughts from me following Texas’ 31-16 win vs #17 TCU.
1. This was the one.
Texas had a big win vs USC last week, a must-win game in a lot of people’s mind with a tough start to Big 12 play ahead of them. They got that win, but most could tell that USC team isn’t anywhere close to being a ranked team. So it was a win vs a big named team, not a good team. Texas got that win today vs #17 TCU who put up over 500 yards and looked really good for three quarters vs Ohio State last night. This is a win that Texas can look at and say “We can contend for the conference title, this year.” Now was it pretty for most of the game? No, but a huge shift for Tom Herman and his teams trajectory in 2018.
2. Texas showed they know how to win.
We saw it all the time last year. Losing to Top 15 teams in USC, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State by single digits. But not getting the win, that changed today. Texas played a solid first half, but came out of the game slow and TCU looked to have all the momentum up 16-10 and driving on Texas. Then Shawn Robinson turned the ball over a few times, and Texas took advantage. Two extremley impressive drives that ended in TD’s to his two star WR’s, Collin Johnson and Lil’Jordan Humphrey. The other was INT #2 on the day for Caden Sterns and he returned it to the TCU 3 which set up an Ehlinger TD run. Last year, I think the game would’ve gone sideways in the 3rd quarter.
3. Give Todd Orlando whatever he wants.
All the talk this week was about the explosive offense of TCU after their big performance in a loss vs Ohio State. Now Shawn Robinson did give the Texas a gift on one interception where the Horned Frogs were driving in Texas territory. But Orlando and his defense came to play once again. Giving up 16 points on less than 350 yards vs any Big 12 team is impressive, let alone TCU. Gary Johnson had another great game, as did DB’s Caden Sterns and Brandon Jones.
4. Collin Johnson backed up the hype today.
In what is likely his final season in Austin, Collin Johnson hasn’t had many dominant performances outside of the USC game last year. He had one today, finishing with 7 catches for 124 yards and a TD. The highlight of the day was his 31-yard diving TD catch between two safeties that put Texas ahead by 8. It was also the first game that a defense started bracketing Lil’Jordan Humphrey, and Johnson took advantage.
5. Ranked Red River Shootout?
After dominating USC and knocking off #17 TCU, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Texas ranked next week. And if they take care of Kansas State I think they’ll definitely be ranked heading into the Oklahoma game. I don’t even remember the last time both teams were ranked going into that game. It’ll make it that much more exciting. On to Kansas State this week though.