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Three big takeaways from Texas’ 37-31 loss to Washington

The Texas Longhorns’ season ended in a 37-31 loss to the Washington Huskies in the Sugar Bowl.

Texas could not stop Washington quarterback Michael Penix. The sixth-year senior totaled 430 passing yards and two touchdowns. But even that impressive stat line doesn’t tell the whole story.

Penix carved up the Longhorns’ secondary all night, throwing it wherever and whenever he wanted to. Texas’ biggest question mark coming into the game was how it was going to stop the Huskies quarterback, and it didn’t.

You also cannot win the game if you commit self-inflicted wounds. The Longhorns committed 10 penalties for 66 yards; several were drive-ending for Texas or drive-extending for Washington.

Despite a heartbreaking defeat in the College Football Playoff, it was a successful season for the Texas Longhorns. They finished the season 12-2  and as Big 12 champions. They have an exceptionally bright future in the SEC.

Here are three takeaways from the loss:

Michael Penix was unstoppable

Syndication: Austin American-Statesman
Syndication: Austin American-Statesman

Texas couldn’t stop Michael Penix. The Huskies quarterback threw for a record-setting 430 yards and two touchdowns with only eight incompletions. Washington receivers Rome Odunze and Ja’Lynn Polk both eclipsed 100 yards and would not be denied a big play. Texas luckily has reinforcements coming for 2024, but unfortunately, they didn’t help Monday’s cause.

Penalties

Syndication: Austin American-Statesman
Syndication: Austin American-Statesman

Texas committed 10 penalties for 66 yards, with obvious tensions arising at the beginning of the game. False starts were an issue with multiple offensive linemen committing fouls. They resulted in longer yard-to-go situations. Whether you blame it on the coaching staff or players, the issue was a huge factor in the loss.

Turnovers

Syndication: Austin American-Statesman
Syndication: Austin American-Statesman

Jonathon Brooks was severely missed in this game. Both Jaydon Blue and CJ Baxter fumbled in crucial moments in the game, once during Texas’ first possession after halftime and another in Washington territory just as the fourth quarter started. The two young backs ran the ball very well, exposing Washington’s weak run defense, but holding onto the ball was an issue and played a factor in the defeat.

Story originally appeared on Longhorns Wire