Golden: It should all start with defense with this UT team,
Congratulations, Longhorn Nation. Your four-year TCU nightmare has come to an end.
The Horns just beat the Horned Frogs and did it in convincing fashion.
With a belly-rubbing, ball-hawking defense leading the way. Texas 31, TCU 16. They tackled in bunches. Todd Orlando’s pupils arrived at the ball with bad intentions. And most important, they took the ball away four times on Saturday. After a porous first drive that saw the Horned Frogs march down the field for three points, Texas stiffened up the rest of the way. A few anxious moments here and there, but overall, the biggest signature defensive performance of the Tom Herman era. Texas is 3-1 and surging. Gary Johnson is as talented as any linebacker in the Big 12. Cornerback Kris Boyd’s fearlessness is trickling down to his younger secondary mates. And you can go ahead and pencil in Caden Sterns for the national freshman All-America team if his health holds up. He resembles a younger version of Earl Thomas with his innate gift of being in the right place at the right time.
“Caden Sterns. Hell of a football player,” Herman said. Co-sign. If Saturday is any indication that Texas is about to return to those thrilling days of double-digit wins that it enjoyed under Mack Brown, then we will one day recall the night that Marqez Bimage stripped quarterback Shawn Robinson, Brandon Jones’ fumble recovery, the subsequent touchdown pass from Sam Ehlinger to a diving Collin Johnson, Sterns’ pick on the next play from scrimmage, and Ehlinger’s clinching touchdown run.
It might go down as the night Texas football announced its unofficial return to national respectability.
Enjoy this one. It had been a minute since the Horns walked off the field against TCU a winner. If you’re looking for specifics, let’s go back to Oct. 26, 2013, when Brown, in his final season, lifted Tyrone Swoopes’ redshirt with the game well in hand. We remember that night even more for the threehour weather delay at Amon Carter Stadium.
No one could have imagined that a four-year drought would follow that storm.
Herman was hired to win these type of games and up until now, the only dub of note was last November at No. 24 West Virginia. This was huge because the defense made some mistakes yet never stopped believing. Boyd was toasted a couple of times but made a touchdown-saving pass breakup in the end zone. Cornerback Davante Davis fell for a pump fake in the red zone but the Horns held the opposition to a field goal.
Even TCU coach Gary Patterson showed some uncharacteristic give when he punted the ball away on fourth-and-4, down two scores with about 2:30 remaining. Sure, he blew his three timeouts afterward in an attempt to get the ball back, but it was as close to a concession as you will see without literally throwing in the towel.
As for Texas, its fortunes will ultimately come down to defense. The offense has made some strides but it all starts on the other side of the ball.
TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson fumbles as he is tackled by Texas defensive back Caden Sterns (7), defensive back Davante Davis (18) and linebacker Gary Johnson (33) in the second half Saturday.