What are the Chances

The team Texas thoroughly demolished last Saturday was not your father’s Kansas.  It was a respectable if not good Kansas team that had won six games and probably would have won one or two more if their starting quarterback Jalon Daniels hadn’t missed for four and a half games due to injury. The offense was scoring 36.9 points per game coming into the Texas game.  If Daniels hadn’t been injured in the first half against TCU they could have won that game.  Daniels started against Texas to no avail as Kansas was shut out during the first half while the Horns were scoring 31 points. Game over.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that Texas’ defense was the weak link that would cost them a game or two coming down the stretch. It wasn’t my best observation as evidenced by the defense playing the game of the decade in losing to TCU and following it up by shutting down Kansas on the road.

On the offensive side for Texas, Steve Sarkisian seemed to have seen the errors of his ways. Quinn Ewers attempted only 21 passes while Texas ran the ball a stunning 57 times. Bijan Robinson had 247 yards on 25 rushes. The complimentary football Texas played was probably the way they should have been playing all season. Had they, Bijan Robinson would be heading to New York, and they probably would be playing in the Big 12 Championship game next week win, lose or draw Friday versus Baylor.

Baylor

Texas is Baylor’s rivalry game and though they’re only 6-5 overall and 4-4 in conference play this will be a tough game for the Horns. Baylor is a physical team that averages 202 yards per game rushing while limiting opponents to 131 yards on the ground.

If Texas struggles to run the ball early, Sarkisian has to have adjustments ready to find a way to be successful on the ground. If you rely on Quinn Ewers throwing the ball 30 + times I think you’re going to lose this one in a repeat of the TCU loss. This could be and should be a game that come hell or high water Bijan Robinson carries it 30 times.

Texas has not won two games in a row since mid-October and they’re 2-2 in their last four. It’s been a long time since you could forecast a dominating feel good win against an inferior opponent at home on the last day of the season for Texas.  It would be good to re-establish that tradition on Friday and continue it in the near future against the Aggies.

Bijan and Ricky

Wouldn’t be nice if Bijan went out with a Ricky Williams like 250 yards or more rushing leading Texas to a win and giving us 24 hours to hope that Kansas can pull off the upset and beat Kansas State?  Rock Chalk!

Speaking of Ricky Williams, what are the chances that Bijan will stay at Texas for his senior season, another shot at a Heisman Trophy and a championship run for Texas?  Nil you might answer but stranger things have happened when you consider NIL (see what I did there) and the big bucks he’s pulling down now that would get even bigger if he stayed.  It could happen.

Texas A&M @ Texas (November 29, 1996)

Texas came into the game with a 7-4 record, 5-2 in the Big 12 and unranked. They had already clinched the South Division of The Big 12 in its inaugural season. But still, it had been a disappointing season prior to this game. Texas was ranked #8 to start the season and then lost a heartbreaker at home to Notre Dame on a last second field goal. Next they were blown out by Virginia 37-14 in Charlottesville and fell out of the rankings. They later blew an 11-point 4th quarter lead losing 30-27 to Oklahoma in overtime.

As close as I can remember, Texas was a 3 or 4 point favorite over the Aggies. The kickoff was a few minutes after 10am on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The Notre Dame game also started at 10am that season. The early kicks were an accommodation for television.  It was cold and rainy when the game started. My lasting memories of the game are of Mike Adams and Wane McGarity catching multiple touchdown passes from James Brown and how the sun came out and warmed things up as Texas routed A&M 51-15. Reviewing the box score from the game confirms that Adams caught touchdown passes of 14 and 36 yards and McGarity caught a 53-yards touchdown pass.  

Celebrating with Helen and a legion known as the Yoxalls in the parking lot of the LBJ Library after the game, my brother David and Sister-in-law Cheryl offered to pick up our 6- and 9-year-old kids who were with a sitter at our house and take them to spend the night.  Helen and I now free for the afternoon and evening went to Sullivan’s in downtown Austin for a victory dinner. We ordered steaks and Helen asked me if we should split a baked potato, which was our usual custom. I replied that on a day when we beat down the Aggies I think we should each have our own.

Hook “Em,

W.E.

Song of the Week

If you’re taking nominations for the greatest song of all time, this is mine.  I’m sorry that whoever posted this video placed the “Gaucho” album cover in the beginning of it. “Deacon Blues” is on the “Aja” album.

I crawl like a viper
Through these suburban streets
Make love to these women languid and bittersweet
I rise when the sun goes down
Cover every game in town
A world of my own
I’ll make it my home sweet home

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