Texas needed a win over Texas Tech in its traditional Thanksgiving night football game, and the Longhorns got it, setting up what could be a title showdown with high-powered, top-10-ranked Baylor in the final game of the regular season.
Texas Tech scored first, early in the opening quarter, on a 51-yard touchdown on a fake punt, but did not find the end zone again until the fourth quarter. By that time, though, Texas had rung up 34 points for a 34-10 lead, putting the game out of reach and handing the Red Raiders their fifth consecutive loss after starting out the season with seven straight wins, including four consecutive victories in the conference.
Said Texas Tech first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury about his team’s five-game losing streak to finish the regular season: “We played good teams. We made too many mistakes against good teams. We got away with it early on in the year against teams that weren’t so good. We went against five good teams in a row (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Baylor and Texas) and haven’t played our best game, and that’s what happens.”
The loss, in Tech’s final game of the 2013 regular season, dropped the Red Raiders to sixth place in the league standings with a 4-5 conference record after being tied for first and unbeaten on the season five weeks before.
The Red Raiders entered the game with the country’s top passing offense, and they had another big game through the air against the Horns (302 yards passing), but quarterback Baker Mayfield paid the price, getting sacked seven times by the aggressive Texas defense.
In their four-game losing streak prior to squaring off with Texas, Texas Tech had yielded huge rushing numbers to their four opponents. And Texas made it five, pounding out 281 yards against th4e porous Red Raider defense.
Texas quarterback Case McCoy threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, and the Texas ground attack, behind senior Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown, did the rest as the Longhorns rebounded from a 25-point home loss to Oklahoma State two weeks earlier, their worst home loss in 16 seasons under coach Mack Brown.
Texas opened the 2013 season losing two of its first three to nonconference opponents, and then reset its team goals on winning the Big 12 championship. Eight games later, the Longhorns stand 7-1, and with a win next weekend at Baylor would assure themselves of no worse than a tie for the league title. The Horns could win the league crown outright with a win over Baylor and an Oklahoma win in the Sooners’ regular-season finale aqainst Oklahoma State.