First-year Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian hasn’t been in Austin all that long. But a simple Google search would reveal that the Texas Longhorns’ upcoming opponent — the 2-1 TCU Horned Frogs — present more than just an in-state rival; they present a game in which the Longhorns have struggled mightily the past few years.
Although Texas holds a significant edge in the all-time series, having beaten TCU 63 times and having lost just 27 times, the Longhorns have not defeated TCU in consecutive seasons since they did so in 1994 and 1995. This Saturday marks 364 days to-date since the Longhorns-Horned Frogs matchup in 2020, a game in which the then-No. 9 Texas Longhorns fell from grace after a 33-31 upset loss to visiting TCU. The year prior was hardly any different; Texas traveled to Fort Worth, only to lose to TCU 37-27 in 2019. Sarkisian hopes that his first game will look a little different.
As Texas prepares for a new outcome against TCU, Sarkisian wants to erase the past — well, some of it. Maybe not the Longhorns’ performance last week.
“Some of those things, I don’t know if we want to erase them,” Sarkisian said of the past, which includes a 70-point performance against Texas Tech in Week 4. “We’re just very demanding on what our approach needs to be. There’s things to clean up from last week’s game that we obviously met on and are demanding on; we’re not naive to the elephant in the room that we’re 2-7 against TCU the last nine years.”
Much like Sarkisian, TCU will look to erase parts of its past, too. And while Texas hopes to string together a similar performance to its 70-35 win over Texas Tech, a game in which the offense generated 639 yards of total offense and converted on ten of 14 third-down attempts, TCU will look to move past its upset loss to another in-state rival in SMU.
The SMU Mustangs pulled off a potential season-defining upset against TCU in Week 4, bringing the Mustangs’ record to 4-0. Sarkisian knows that TCU will look nothing like it did last week, allowing 595 yards of total offense to the visiting SMU Mustangs en route to losing 42-34.
“We’re also not going to buy the lie that we’re going to play the same TCU team that just played SMU [last] Saturday,” Sarkisian said. “We’re going to get a little different animal, a little different opponent [this] Saturday. So, we’ve got to buckle up and get ready to play.”