Texas was looking seconds away from a potential win over Alabama.
The Longhorns almost had it. Instead, a rowdy, record-breaking crowd that so desperately tried to push the Longhorns to victory left with a 20-19 loss.
But it inspired hope that Texas could be on the way back.
“We didn’t lose today,” Texas coach Steve Sarkisian told his players. “We ran out of time.”
The game clock is counting, and the final 0:00 left yet another round of “what ifs?” for Texas when it comes to beating the Crimson Tide. Texas certainly had their chances, but an injury to quarterback Quinn Ewers stalled the offense and a defense that chased Heisman-winning quarterback Bryce Young throughout the second and third quarters finally cracked in the fourth. .
The game between future Southeastern Conference opponents was loud, wild and unpredictable until Young took control of the final period by leading the Crimson Tide to a touchdown and the game-winning field goal.
“Texas has a much better team than people give them credit for. If they were in the (Southeastern Conference) right now, they would probably be in the top half of the league,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said after the game.
The Longhorns are expected to leave the Big 12 for the SEC in 2025, so it won’t be long.
Since Alabama and Texas played for the national title in the 2009 season, Alabama has won six national championships and Texas has not won a Big 12 championship since that year. The Longhorns also had five losing seasons and fired three head coaches during that time.
Still, Sarkisian and some of his players said the narrow defeat sent the message that the Longhorns were coming.
“Nobody gave us a chance in this game. None of you. None of the national media. Nobody gave us a chance, okay,” Sarkissian said. match. We played like a team that thought they were going to win the game… Bad breaks happen (and) we ended up not winning the game.
Texas running back Bijan Robinson, who had little room to run Saturday but scored Texas’ lone touchdown, said the showdown with Alabama showed Texas are tougher than expected.
“We’re ready to take on anyone, but I think what the country has seen is Texas, they’ve got a different culture, a new brotherhood,” Robinson said.
Texas has tools to challenge anyone it plays. Robinson can be as dynamic as any player in the country and the same goes for wide receiver Xavier Worthy, who was tearing up the Alabama secondary under Ewers with an injury.
The Texas defense may have played its best game in years behind a plan that often made Alabama look confused, with a solid tackle and physical effort at the line of scrimmage that Texas has lacked in recent years. .
Sarkisian loves what he’s built into the Texas roster that has launched two freshmen and sophomores on offense and a freshman quarterback.
“We are coming,” Sarkissian said. “Sometimes young is good. We don’t have some of the battle scars that can affect your performance going forward.
“We have a group of hungry guys,” he added.
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This story was originally published September 10, 2022 11:42 p.m.