Texas fans who mentally checked out after the loss to Oklahoma State should reconsider. The house lights are flickering and the third act is always can’t-miss theater.
The final scene in this spellbinding drama known as the Longhorns’ season could go any direction. And it all plays out in Waco in what will be the final game at Baylor’s 64-year-old Floyd Casey Stadium.
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Texas at 9-Baylor, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, FOX, 1300, 98.1
Linemen happy for RBs: Running backs Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron got all the attention for their gaudy totals against Texas Tech. And that was just fine with the offensive line.
Left guard Trey Hopkins joked after the game that fans never see how many pancake blocks they have on the video board. But when two running backs rush for more than 100 yards each, “Those big numbers, you get to quantify your work,” Hopkins said.
Texas’ linemen feel like they can line up and run over just about anyone at the moment. Ball control and clock management will be key to keeping Baylor’s offense off the field.
LB corps gets even thinner: Linebacker Steve Edmond (lacerated liver) has been ruled out for the Baylor game and Kendall Thompson (head) is still being evaluated. That leaves Texas woefully thin at the position. It may force defensive coordinator Greg Robinson to get creative with Jackson Jeffcoat and his blitz calls.
It helped that Duke Thomas showed himself to be a threat coming off a corner blitz against Tech; he sacked Baker Mayfield. It was Thomas’ first sack of the season. Fellow cornerback Quandre Diggs, normally the nickel back, also has 2.5 sacks this season.
Shipley on special teams: Receiver Jaxon Shipley handled punt return duties against Texas Tech since Daje Johnson was out serving a one-game suspension. Shipley returned four punts for 52 yards, including a 27-yarder. It’s unclear whether Shipley will continue those chores this week when Johnson returns as expected.
Unfortunately for Shipley, he did not have a catch against Tech, thus snapping a streak of 33 consecutive games with a reception. It was the third-longest streak in school history.
Honoring Dodds: The Texas band honored retired athletic director DeLoss Dodds during halftime against Texas Tech by spelling out “DELOSS” on the field. They then played “The Eyes of Texas.” New men’s athletic director Steve Patterson was not there; he had flown back to Arizona to spend Thanksgiving with his family. But on Thursday, he tweeted “Big win by the Horns. Happy TDay to all.”
— Brian Davis
With 4.5 sacks in his final two games, Jackson Jeffcoat can vault into the top five in school history in career sacks. He’s currently tied for eighth with Aaron Humphrey (1996-99) with 24.5 sacks. … Expect to hear a lot this week about Baylor’s big-play ability. But Texas has scored 12 touchdowns this season on plays of 45 yards or longer. … Baylor officials had previously announced they would remove the tarp covering the south end zone to sell more tickets at Floyd Casey Stadium. The game was announced as a sellout in early October.