Texas fans are accustomed to drama. From Kody Clemens lighting up the Disch to Texas breaking Longhorn fans’ hearts after a double-overtime loss to USC, the Longhorns’ 2017–2018 sports year provided nothing short of entertainment.
Here’s a look back on some of the most memorable moments across the 40 Acres throughout the year:
Texas volleyball rattles off 21 straight wins
Repeat after me: Texas is a volleyball school.
After sweeping Texas A&M, 3-0, in College Station, all the Longhorns seemed to do was win. The match against the Aggies marked the first victory in a string of 21 straight wins. It was nearly a full three months before Texas’ winning streak came to an excruciating halt after a season-ending defeat at the hands of Stanford during the NCAA tournament on Dec. 9.
Ehlinger, Longhorns push USC to the brink, fall in 2OT
In week three of the college football season, Longhorn fans once again said “Texas is back,” and they were almost onto something. Almost. On Sept. 17, Texas took fourth-ranked USC to double overtime in freshman Sam Ehlinger’s second career start. Ehlinger marched the team 91 yards down the field in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, only to be stunned by a last-second field goal from the Trojans to tie the game. Unfortunately, Ehlinger’s heroics were overshadowed by a fumble at the USC three-yard line, leading to a 27-24 loss in double overtime.
Men’s basketball pulls out gutsy 2OT win after Andrew Jones’ diagnosis
On Jan. 10, fans across the country were left heartbroken after the news of sophomore Andrew Jones’ leukemia diagnosis broke. Later that night, the Longhorns would host TCU, wearing patches on their jerseys to support Jones in his fight against cancer. The game proved to be an emotional one for Texas, as the two teams battled into double overtime before the Longhorns finally prevailed in a 99-98 win.
“We had a meeting last night in the dorm and at that point we told our guys what the diagnosis was,” head coach Shaka Smart said in a Texas Athletics release after the game. “Leaving that meeting, we had guys that weren’t just in tears, they were wailing … When the coaches left the room, they all got together and said, ‘We gotta win this game for Andrew, we have to play for him.”
Longhorn baseball makes remarkable run to Omaha
"This is the game and this is the series, where you cement your legacy if you're a Longhorn or an Aggie."— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 2, 2018
Kody Clemens. Legendary. pic.twitter.com/tlUbC0eky8
By nearly all measures, the Texas baseball team exceeded expectations of fans and media members this season by reaching the College World Series after hosting both a regional and a super regional. What started as a 9–9 record for the Longhorns turned into a Big 12 conference title, and an opportunity to host a regional and super regional.
Then, a renewed rivalry with Texas A&M electrified fans at UFCU Disch-Falk Field as junior Kody Clemens launched two home runs into the stands and flashed the ‘horns up’ gesture as he rounded third base and stared down the Aggie dugout. The team would go on to beat the Aggies 8-3 and then followed it up with a 3-2 win over Indiana to advance to the next round.
After a game-three win over No. 20 Tennessee Tech in the super regional, the Longhorns were headed back to Omaha for the first time in four years with a little inspiration from the passing of legendary coach Augie Garrido in March.