Monday, Dec. 29 will go down as the worst day in the history of the Big 12 since, well, three weeks ago. After West Virginia was beaten by Texas A&M in the Liberty Bowl and Oklahoma was embarrassed by Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl, Texas completed an 0-for-3 day for the conference by getting outclassed by Arkansas 31-7 in the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl.
If a 24-point game ever felt like a 240-point spread, it was this one.
Texas scored its only touchdown on an eight-play, 44-yard drive with 3:59 to go in the second quarter after Jacorey Warrick set the Longhorns up with a short field on a 30-yard kickoff return, pulling the ‘Horns within 17-7.
Other than that, Texas’ offensive drives traveled as followed (those among us wearing burnt orange may want to find a stiff drink before reading): two yards, 11, three, minus-4, minus-19, minus-8, minus-7, minus-2, minus-4, 29. This means that, after the touchdown drive every Texas possession went backwards except for the last one, and that drive ended in a 46-yard interception return by Henre’ Tolliver, so technically that one belongs on the list as well.
Oh, and before all that started, Tyrone Swoopes and Johnathan Gray combined to fumble a ball into the Texas end zone, which Taiwan Johnson recovered for an Arkansas touchdown.
Put it all together and Texas ran 43 plays (25 passes, 18 rushes) for 59 total yards (57 passing/two rushing), gained seven first downs, went 3-of-11 on first downs, committed two turnovers, punted seven times and netted zero points after scoring one touchdown and giving away another. Remember, this is fresh off a 48-10 blowout at the hands of TCU in which the Texas offense gave away more touchdowns (two) than it scored (five) and committed six turnovers.
Texas’ 59 total yards were the fewest by an FBS team this season, and its 1.37 yards per play are the second fewest, according to the Longhorn Network.
That, folks, is about as bad as offense can possibly be played.
Put it all together and it’s hard to call Charlie Strong‘s debut season anything but a failure.
Texas is in danger of its fifth 20-point loss in one season. It’s been playing football since 1893, and that’s never happened.
— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) December 30, 2014
Arkansas, meanwhile, did everything it wanted to on offense. Brandon Allen completed 12-of-23 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns, and the combination of Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins rushed 40 times for 181 yards and a touchdown. At a much-better-than-it-looks-on-paper 7-6 and the bulk of the roster returning next season, Bret Bielema has to love how his team stacks up heading into 2015.