Defensive Texas handles delay and in Big 12 lead
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP)
Texas has figured out how to deal with lengthy weather delays.
There won't be any Longhorns coaches fired in the aftermath this time.
The Longhorns overcame a lightning delay that lasted 3 hours, 6 minutes - longer than it actually took to play the game - in a dominating 30-7 victory at TCU that ended early Sunday morning.
Seeming to get better each game under defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, a swarming Texas defense forced a fumble on an early sack that set up a short touchdown. The Longhorns (5-2, 4-0 Big 12) won their fourth game in a row while limiting TCU to 246 total yards.
''We were all around the ball,'' defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat said. ''That's what coach Robinson wants us to do, always be around the ball.''
Seven weeks earlier, Texas had to wait out a delay of 1 hour, 47 minutes before starting its game at BYU. The Cougars then won 40-21 while running for 550 yards, the most ever allowed by the Longhorns. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was fired the next day and replaced by Robinson, the former Syracuse head coach and Longhorns coordinator.
Texas went to TCU after an open date that followed an impressive Red River Rivalry victory when Oklahoma had a season-low 263 yards.
''We're just playing pretty sound, solid football with our guys. It really does start up front, and our defensive line, they just keep getting better,'' Robinson said. ''And the rest of the guys, they're getting around the ball. I just think that all in all we're playing pretty well together. And that's real important on defense.''
While Texas is tied atop the Big 12 standings with fifth-ranked Baylor (7-0, 4-0), the Horned Frogs have to win three of their last four games just to be bowl eligible.
TCU (3-5, 1-4), with only one losing season in coach Gary Patterson's 13 seasons, is home again next Saturday to play West Virginia.
''I'm not pleased with anything,'' Patterson said.
''I don't think we can go any lower,'' Frogs safety Sam Carter said. ''You have to go up.''
The Longhorns play three of their next four games at home before the regular-season finale at Baylor. They are home Saturday against Kansas, which has lost 25 consecutive Big 12 games.
Texas Tech's first loss Saturday left Texas and Baylor as the only teams unbeaten in Big 12 play.
When asked what his message was to his players, Longhorns coach Mack Brown responded, ''Beat Kansas, that's it. Let's be 5-0 in the league.
''We're a team that needs to get better and play to a standard,'' he said. ''We can do things better than we did tonight, and that's pretty good when we go on the road and win big against a good team that beat you last year, that doesn't like you very much, and with a three-hour delay.''
Texas led 17-7 when officials stopped the game with 6 minutes left in the second quarter because of lightning and an approaching storm.
The Longhorns sacked Trevone Boykin twice in a three-play span. He fumbled the second time and Texas recovered, setting up the first of Malcolm Brown's two 3-yard TD runs on the next play for a 7-0 lead.
Soon after the game resumed around 11 p.m., Case McCoy hit Mike Davis along the sideline for a 44-yard play that set up Anthony Fera's 37-yard field goal on the last play of the first half for a 20-7 lead.
''Something big for us was handling that rain delay because we haven't done that before,'' McCoy said. `For the most part, it's just showing this team is maturing every day, every game, and we're going uphill right now.''