Wyoming gave Texas more of a game than some on The 40 Acres would have liked this past weekend. Still, Steve Sarkisian was glad that his team got their minds right in time to close out their third win of the season.
Sarkisian opened up about the Longhorn’s early lack of attention during his postgame press conference on Saturday. He thought that some of the applause that his team earned after the Alabama win may have distracted them. That was clear to him based on some of the head-scratching mistakes that they had in the first half and into the third quarter.
“It’s human nature to sometimes get distracted by that (applause) and you lose sight of what’s in front of you,” Sarkisian said. “I think it kind of showed in the first half, especially offensively.”
“We had a couple of false starts right off the bat. We had a false start on the first play of the game. Why is that? How can we go play at Alabama on the road and not have one false start? And then come home and have a false start on the first play of the game? That lends itself to psyche. It’s not about physical ability or what we’re capable of,” explained Sarkisian. “I think then we had a snap in there where we had 12 guys on the field on defense. How do you go to Alabama and not ever have one snap of 12 on the field? But then you come home and have 12 on the field?”
Texas was losing to Wyoming through points of the first half and was in a 10-10 with the Cowboys through three quarters. That could be chalked up to a lack of focus as the Longhorns also lost a fumble and committed six penalties overall.
However, in the fourth quarter, Texas put their foot down. They closed the game on a 21-0 run in the span of just seven or so minutes. They scored two offensive touchdowns to start the fourth and then sealed it with a pick-six.
Again, it wasn’t an ideal response to what they did in Tuscaloosa the previous Saturday. Still, since they managed to win by a final score of 31-10, Sarkisian saw it as a learning experience and was proud to see them respond how they needed to late.
“I think it was a good lesson learned for us,” Sarkisian said. “At the end, I thought our guys really did a nice job maintaining their cool, staying composed. We’ve talked a lot about our composure, our poise. I thought that that shined through tonight.”
“In the end, we adapted, schematically, to some things that they were doing. We found a way to really dominate the second half of the football game and, ultimately, the fourth quarter,” said Sarkisian.