For the second year in a row, the University of Texas starts the season with great expectations of becoming nationally relevant once again. For the second year in a row, the Maryland Terrapins end those dreams on week one. On Saturday, the Terrapins upset the Longhorns 34-29. This loss contributes to a week where the Big 12 conference looked weak overall.
Following the loss head coach Tom Herman said, “We know how much better we are now than we were probably at any point last year. We didn’t show it in the first quarter and the fourth quarter.” I am not sure exactly what Hermon was seeing but I am unclear what aspect of his team was clearly better than last year. Last season the issue was the Longhorns would often be competitive but ultimately find ways to lose games, which is exactly what happened on Saturday.
The same issues that plagued the Longhorns last year, mostly below average quarterback play, showed up again. Sam Ehlinger threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns but his two interceptions, including one to essentially end the game, torpedoed their chances of winning.
On top of that, the defense that most expected to carry this team could not stop an offense with clearly inferior talent. The yardage given up was not dramatic but they were unable to hold a lead once the Longhorns took the lead late in the third quarter after scoring 22 straight points.
This game showed Red Raider fans that there are a lot of flawed teams in the Big 12 this season. After this game at least Red Raider fans are feeling better than Longhorn fans are about their team’s performances. Although both teams lost, only one team had to deal with losing their starting quarterback in the first quarter and having three defensive starters missing a large chunk of the game.
Does that make you feel better about the Red Raiders loss?