Texas Longhorns Week 3 Review: Taking It to UCF
Texas seems to be welcoming all challengers this season, much different than other big name schools. Texas is scheduling ranked teams, good teams from poor conferences, and even offered to be the road team in Central Florida's new stadium.
Meanwhile, other high-profile teams are scheduling cup cakes.
Which ones you ask?
Wisconsin struggled against The Citadel.
Alabama already played Western Carolina, Georgia Tech, and Stamford.
Ohio State made quick work of Youngstown State.
Michigan scheduled a freebie against Appalachian State, and lost.
Clemson setup Furman, Hawaii, Northern Colorado.
And the list goes on...
So instead of taking an easy win (or a not so easy win if you're Michigan), Mack Brown and UT have put their team in "real" college football games. You can argue that this is a major benefit to the 'Horns, as they get better experience against better teams, but it still makes it harder to reach certain win plateaus for BCS runs and such.
And why doe this matter? Because people need to stop doubting this team. Yes, they are young, but this past weekend's game against Central Florida proved that Texas can be a BCS team, and will certainly be in the near future.
As for this weekend's game, UCF came to play.
They were unleashing a brand new stadium, filled with fans dressed in gold and black to cheer on the hometown Knights. And cheer they did. The ESPN2 cameras were shaking all game long, but the Texas freshmen on their first roadtrip did not seem frazzled.
Texas took an early lead on a Ryan Bailey field goal that closed their first drive on the UCF 3 yardline. The Golden Knights were not frazzled as they used their gameplan to the fullest. Beastly RB Kevin Smith put his team on his back and ran over many Longhorns on the day. Their young QB, Israel, had a rough day, but it seemed to be exactly what the visitors wanted.
Both teams had their turnovers, as most inexperienced teams do. The Longhorns, with 13:38 remaining trailed in the final quarter for the first time this season. Down 24-23, despite Brandon Foster's (the defending Big XII defensive player of the week) 33-yard interception return for a TD, the 'Horns decided that they had to make a run. Bailey made two field goals and Jamaal Charles broke a few tackles en route to the endzone from 46 yards out to push the lead to 35-24.
Head Coach Mack Brown made a curious decision after the Charles TD to forego the point after and instead try for the two-point conversion, but failed.
Instead of forcing UCF to score two touchdowns in 3:37, Brown's decision allowed UCF to potentially score a touchdown, convert the two-point conversion, and add a field goal to tie. The Knights took advantage and marched down the field for a touchdown, succeeded on the two-point try, and set up for an onside kick while down only 3 points.
Luckily for us Texas fans, watching comfortably from Austin, the Longhorns recovered the onsides and escaped with a 35-32 victory to move to 3-0.
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