It was a game they should have won.
But then there’s that famous phrase. Should have. Would have. Could have.
That’s how this game went in the fourth quarter. The Texas Longhorns had taken the lead 17-13 with just over five minutes to go and it looked like the improbable was going to happen. On the next drive, the Texas defense forced a turnover and it looked even more promising but Longhorns quarterback Tyrone Swoopes couldn’t use enough time off the clock, and couldn’t get the offense down the field.
Then, with one punt return, and one pump fake, it was all gone.
After a long punt return by the Bruins getting them deep into Texas territory, UCLA quarterback Jerry Nueheisel took the snap, pump faked, and hit wide receiver Jordan Payton in the left corner of the end zone for the touchdown that would tell the story of what transpired for Coach Charlie Strong and the Longhorns in the second half.
As defensive coordinator Vance Bedford said during the post game press conference, “we did some good things but we didn’t do enough of them.” Coach Strong, during his post game press conference, admitted that there were only one of two passes down field but it seemed like the offense never gave him a chance to throw down field. Whether it was the offensive line not giving him enough time or the wide receivers not running routes more than 10 yards deep, it ended up being a recipe for disaster.
At the end of the night, it was the defense’s job to come up with one more stop. They just couldn’t do it.
Give the Longhorns credit, they played far better than they did the previous week against BYU and will have an off week to review everything that went wrong, or right, against the 12th ranked Bruins who stole a win at AT&T Stadium.
Swoopes is learning, Strong is too. It might be a tough season for the Longhorn faithful but it won’t be rough for too much longer. Give this crew a few years and they’ll give you a reason to be yelling “Hook ‘EM” at the top of your lungs again.