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Are the Longhorns Over?

Texas beats outmatched Kansas 35-13, but have Horns lost that championship feeling?

Michael Corcoran
Malcolm Brown Kansas game
Malcolm Brown ran for 119 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries. Photo courtesy of UT Athletics
Cedric Reed Kansas game
A fumble forced by Cedric Reed led to a ... Photo courtesy of UT Athletics
Chris Whaley Kansas game
... defensive TD when Chris Whaley picked it up and ran it in. Photo courtesy of UT Athletics

A few hours before the end of daylight savings time, the Texas Longhorns set their clock back to about 1965 Saturday with a boring 35-13 victory over the dreadful Kansas Jayhawks.

The only folks cheering in the fourth quarter were the Gamblers Anonymous class of 2017, who watched Texas top the 28-point betting line by going up 35-6, then lose it when the defense started having Provo, Utah, flashbacks. Malcolm Brown ran for 119 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries, but the rest of the UT offense played like the Amish deejay.

This game had fewer highlights than Chevy Chase’s talk show, and I was mentally urging the clock to run out so I could scrub the toilet. That’s what I thought about when it was mentioned that Texas, now 6-2 overall and 5-0 in the Big 12 conference, is bowl eligible.

Texas wasted a Saturday afternoon like they were named the Lohans, not the Longhorns. In winning his first home game as a Longhorn starter, Case McCoy’s playing was as uninspired as those lame in-house commercials on “Dodds’ Folly,” aka the Longhorn Network. (Please tell me the person who thought of that spot where all the school kids are named “Vince” did it for a freshman school project.)

If the Kansas game is any indication, next week could conclude the winning portion of the Longhorns season. 

The storied UT sense of entitlement returned, as the Horns seemed as pumped up as Jared Leto going on a date with a fan who won it in a raffle. If this season was the Led Zeppelin discography, today’s win against Kansas was “Presence.” And you could say that Malcolm Brown was its “Achilles Last Stand” (i.e. the lone highlight), but you should never use that “A” word when talking about a running back.

The play of the game came with Texas leading 14-6 in the third quarter and Kansas with the ball. DE Cedric Reed, who is playing his way into the NFL, sacked KU’s Jake Heaps, the ball came lose and RB-turned-DT Chris Whaley scooped it up and ran it back 40 yards for a touchdown.

Whaley now has two TDs on the season, the same number as Joe Bergeron, last year’s leader, who’s been chained to the bench since coughing up a couple of frozen pigskins earlier in the year.

The fundamentally sound Malcolm X’s and O’s aside, a game ball goes to Jaxon Shipley, the only receiver to have a good game, with six catches, three to convert third downs, for 77 yards.

UT’s Tons of Anarchy defense was its usual swarming self, but when KU’s Darrian Miller ran all over them in the fourth quarter for 67 yards, we were glad Texas was playing a team that has lost 26 consecutive Big 12 games.

Next week, it’s off to West Virginia to shake hands with DeLoss Dodds’ expected replacement Oliver Luck, who knows a thing about developing young quarterbacks. Not saying this choice is a shoo-in, but the UT marching band is working up an arrangement of “Luck Be An A.D.,” the Sinatra song with slightly altered lyrics.

If the Kansas game is any indication, next week could conclude the winning portion of the season. After that, we have three ranked teams: Oklahoma State on Nov. 16, Texas Tech on Thanksgiving Day and the Oregon of the Southwest, which would be Baylor University.

After Texas shocked OU and trounced TCU, it seemed the team had turned the boat around, but even though the winning streak continued against Kansas, the Longhorns didn’t look good.

They only seem to play well when they’ve got their backs against the wall. And chicken fingers on their breath.

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