Examining how the Texas football team improves in Big 12 play in 2023

It’s been a long decade on the Forty Acres for the Texas Longhorns football program. Much of the frustration revolves around how the team has fared in Big 12 play.

The program has been barely above average in Big 12 games over that span. Last season was no different. The team went an underwhelming 6-3 against conference foes including losses to Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. Despite outmatching those teams in talent, the Longhorns found a way to lose. It’s become far too common of late for the storied football program.

Since 2013, the Longhorns have never had one loss or less in a season in conference play. In the last three seasons, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and TCU have accomplished that feat.

Texas has finished 7-2 twice since 2013. The team won seven conference games in 2018 and in 2013. In contrast, in six of the last 10 seasons the team has lost four league games or more. What needs to change this season?

For starters, Texas needs to start the season strong. The trip to Baylor will determine whether or not Texas has learned from its 2022 loss to Texas Tech in the conference opener.

From there, the Longhorns need Quinn Ewers to be far more consistent at quarterback. They need Ewers to convert the layups as much as he has converted terrific plays. They need him to excel under pressure, because rival opponents are going to send the house to stop this offense.

Texas needs its receivers to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. It needs AD Mitchell to put games away in clutch moments and Xavier Worthy to catch the schemed up throws. It needs Ewers to connect on those throws.

Inconsistency and resignation to fate have hurt Texas in conference games. Teams are going to try to frustrate the Longhorns. There’s no place for despondence or apathy this year. The team can’t be fazed. It needs to impose its will and take control against lesser opponents.

Though it’s an uphill battle, Texas can fare well in conference play. If the team controls what it can, it could be in store for a special season.

Story originally appeared on Longhorns Wire