Big 12 Report: Longhorns focused on growth during bye week

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Brad Tollefson/AP/Shutterstock (13420077a) Texas coach Steve Sarkisian yells out to his players before an NCAA college football game against Texas Tech, in Lubbock, Texas Texas Texas Tech Football, Lubbock, United States – 24 Sep 2022

Big 12 Report: Longhorns focused on growth during bye week

After suffering a tough loss on the road to No. 9 Oklahoma State, the Texas football program heads to the bye. The off week will be spent focusing on growth by both the players and the coaching staff. Coach Steve Sarkisian reflected that he should have stuck with the ground game more in the second half, but he also stated that his faith in redshirt freshman starting quarterback Quinn Ewers was not shaken. “There’s definitely room for growth. He’s still a young player for us, but he’s got a bright future ahead of him. Hopefully, we can clean up some of the issues that we had this week, so that going into next week in the game week, he’s back to razor-sharp,” Sarkisian said. 

With four games to play, the Longhorns are a team at a crossroads. An undefeated final stretch of the season would see Texas qualify for a major bowl and have an outside chance at a berth in the Big 12 Championship game. On the other hand, going winless in these final four games would see the Horns match last season’s 5-7 record.

Sarkisian is confident in his team and his approach. Citing growth that has already occurred, Sark promised to stay the course and continue on a path that he believes has already paid dividends. According to Sark, Texas needs to “mow our own lawn and take care of business,” and the rest of the season will fall as it should.

Around the Big 12

Baylor jumped out to an early lead and held off a late rally to defeat Kansas 35-23. The Bears led 28-3 at the half and were able to do just enough to put the Jayhawks away in the final two quarters. The Baylor offense was paced by running back Richard Reese, who rushed for 186 yards on 31 carries, scoring two touchdowns. Baylor will travel to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech next week. After starting the season 5-0, Kansas has dropped three straight and will look to rebound with a strong November after closing out October on a bye.

The Red Raiders stormed to a 14-3 first-quarter lead and never looked back as they manhandled West Virginia 48-10. Tech quarterback Behren Morton completed 28 45 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns while running back Tahj Brooks added two more scores along with 107 yards rushing. The road won’t get easier for West Virginia as they take on No. 7 TCU next week, while Tech will host the Baylor Bears.

The No. 8 ranked TCU Horned Frogs remained unbeaten and atop the Big 12 standings after a come-from-behind win against No. 17 Kansas State on Saturday. Deuce Vaughn’s 47-yard touchdown run in the second quarter staked the Wildcats took a 28-10 lead, but the Horned Frogs took over from there, scoring the final 28 points to secure a 38-28 win. Quarterback Max Duggan led TCU to the win putting up 280 yards passing on 17 completions in 26 attempts with three touchdowns. Kendre Miller balanced the Horned Frog attack with 153 yards rushing on 29 carries. Miller also had two rushing touchdowns. TCU will look to continue its winning ways against West Virginia, while Kansas State will host No. 9 Oklahoma State.

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