Longhorns Comeback Win vs. UTSA Speaks Volumes On New Steve Sarkisian’s Texas Culture
AUSTIN – Just over a year ago, the Texas Longhorns football program was in an awkward place.
Following a blowout loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks, questions arose about the team’s culture and ability to overcome adversity.
A few weeks and six-straight losses later, it was clear that something was missing.
Whatever that missing piece was, the 2022 Longhorns seem to have found it.
In Week 2, Texas had a free shot against then-No. 1 Alabama, and they nearly pulled off the biggest upset of the season, losing on a last-second field goal after a hard-fought battle.
In Week 3 against UTSA, it was a totally different form of adversity.
The Longhorns were missing their top quarterback due to injury and were battered and bruised at multiple positions from a week before.
More importantly, the Longhorns fell behind by double-digits in the first half after the Roadrunners took control of the momentum with a surprise onside kick and a trick play for a touchdown to put them up 17-7.
In the same situation a year ago, the Longhorns would have buckled and likely suffered an embarrassing loss – much like they did against Kansas.
But in 2022, the Longhorns overcame the adversity… not only coming back and taking control of the game but blowing out the Roadrunners in convincing fashion.
It was the kind of performance from the Longhorns that showed exactly what Steve Sarkisian is building on the 40 Acres.
“A good hard-fought win,” Sarkisian said. “I said to the team before the game we were going to get faced with adversity tonight, and how we would respond to that adversity would be the key to the drill to us having a successful ballgame and playing together.”
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From a personnel standpoint, they showed signs of being the physical SEC-style program that dominates in the trenches and with the running game.
But from a program standpoint, they have now become the tough-minded team that doesn’t blink in the face of adversity and doesn’t panic when things don’t go as planned.
And Sarkisian sees it too.
“I didn’t think our team blinked for a second,” Sarkisian said after the game. “I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage after that.”
Now, the Longhorns (2-1) look the part of a team that is on the path to competing in the College Football Playoff.
Maybe not in 2022, but that isn’t entirely out of the question either.
For now, they’ll have to focus on reaching AT&T Stadium in Arlington for the Big 12 Championship Game this December.
That quest will start next Saturday when they head to Lubbock to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders in their first conference matchup of the season.
You can follow Matt Galatzan on Twitter @MattGalatzan
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