No. 18 Baylor hands Texas third loss in a row as another fourth quarter collapse dooms Longhorns

·3 min read

In a crossroads game for Texas, the Longhorns look like they're taking the paths toward San Antonio or Houston — as in the Alamo Bowl or the Texas Bowl.

The 31-24 loss to No. 18 Baylor in Waco was Texas' third straight loss, something we haven't seen since Charlie Strong's final season in 2016, and it knocked out hopes of making it to Arlington for the Big 12 championship game; right now, it looks like it'll be either Oklahoma State, Baylor or Iowa State that'll be paired opposite Oklahoma.

What went wrong in Waco? For those looking to blame, consider:

• The running game didn't look right.

• It was another second-half collapse. Only this time, it didn't come off a big first half, either.

• In the first head coaching matchup between Steve Sarkisian and Dave Aranda, Aranda came out on top.

Baylor running back Abram Smith (7) celebrates his touchdown agains Texas in the second half.
Baylor running back Abram Smith (7) celebrates his touchdown agains Texas in the second half.

Another game, another fourth quarter test

And, again, the Longhorns failed the test.

This was a 21-17 game entering the fourth quarter, with Texas nursing a lead and Baylor working on a second consecutive long drive. And it took only five plays to turn it into a 24-21 deficit with a whole quarter to play.

But Texas' next drive stalled and then ended with a real thud. Casey Thompson was sacked, Tope Imade was flagged for a false start and Thompson threw a third-down duck on third down. And credit Sarkisian for rolling the dice on fourth-and-11, but Cameron Dicker was stuffed far short on a fake punt run.

The Bears responded with a touchdown (a 32-yard run by Abram Smith) to go up 31-21. Texas tacked on a field goal, but needed a touchdown, with four minutes left. The defense held to give the offense the ball back with 2:07 to go, at UT's 32.

Texas' final gasp:

First-and-10: An incomplete pass to Bijan Robinson over the middle.

Second-and-10: An incomplete shot to Marcus Washington down to Baylor's 25 (Washington made the grab but lost his handle).

Third-and-10: A wobbly incompletion thrown under duress toward Xavier Worthy.

Fourth-and-10: An incompletion to Worthy, who had three defenders around him.

Texas has now been outscored 75-24 in the second half over these last three games.

ANALYSIS: Big Ten title runs through Michigan State and Ohio State ... for now

Remember the Alamo?

As in the Alamo Bowl? It looks like that's where Texas' season will end for a third straight year, unless maybe the Longhorns, who are now 4-4 and 2-3 in the Big 12, finish their season at (shudder) the Texas Bowl.

This was a costly loss because it put an official end to several important things. Texas isn't going to make it to the conference title game. Bijan Robinson won't make it to the Heisman Trophy ceremony. And at this point, you can say Texas will be favored over Kansas, but certainly not at Iowa State and who knows against West Virginia and Kansas State.

A slow day for Bijan Robinson

Robinson, who was the nation's third-leading rusher, needed only 76 yards to reach 1,000 for the season entering the game. The Big 12's leading rusher is still 33 yards away.

He finished the day with 43 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, and really was held in check during the first half (seven carries for 15 yards). Up next for Texas: Iowa State

Make that No. 23 Iowa State. And this one's in Ames, too.

Texas is 2-3 in its last five trips to Ames.

This article originally appeared on Hookem: Baylor Beats beat Texas as Longhorns collapse again in Big 12 game