Keys to the Game: vs. TCU

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Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

Secure the ball

After Texas’ devastating 24-21 loss to Kansas on Saturday, the tension in Austin is stronger than ever. It’s down to the wire for the Longhorns and they have one last chance to avoid a losing season and one last opportunity to become bowl eligible. 

Before Saturday, Texas hadn’t lost to Kansas since 1938 and Kansas hadn’t won a conference game in two seasons. But the Longhorns fumbled in Kansas. Fumbled on the field and fumbled the opportunity to secure its sixth win. 

Texas committed a season-high six turnovers against the Jayhawks, including a costly fumble by junior running back D’Onta foreman late in the fourth quarter. But the nail in the coffin came in overtime when freshman quarterback Shane Buechele threw an interception that led to Kansas’ game-winning field goal.

Texas needs to do a better job of protecting the ball against TCU. Foreman has notched a record-setting rushing season, but has also fumbled the ball seven times. With a lot on the line against the Horned Frogs, the Longhorns need to hold on to the ball.  

Get angry

Before the season started, the Longhorns thought this would be their year. After beating Notre Dame to kick off the season and moving into the rankings, the hope grew even more. But since that early September win over the Irish, Texas’ season has been a rollercoaster and its 2016 campaign has been anything but consistent. The Longhorns head into this weekend with a truck-sized load of distractions hovering above. At this point, all they can do is get angry and play with emotion.

After missing bowl season last year and finishing with five wins, the Longhorns are hungry for their sixth win. But they need to play like it. In Texas’ victories over Notre Dame and Baylor earlier in the season, the passion and fight on the field was noticeable and that’s truly been the difference for the young team this season. With huge chips on their shoulders, the Longhorns need to get angry.   

Embrace the moment

Friday’s matchup with TCU marks the regular-season finale for the Longhorns and the seniors’ final game at Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium. It will be an emotional night for the team considering the circumstances surrounding the future of the program, but Friday night will be especially emotional for Texas’ seniors as they put on their burnt orange uniforms for the final time. Since the team fell short of six wins last season, this is the group’s last chance. Last chance to play in front of their home crowd, last chance to compete with their teammates and last chance to keep the season alive.

Texas needs to embrace the moment when the lights come on Friday night. The team needs to lay it all on the line and leave everything on the field.