Texas senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger said his school “deserves better,” after the No. 9 Longhorns lost at home to unranked TCU on Saturday.
The 33-31 loss to the Horned Frogs marked the sixth time since 2017 that the Longhorns have entered a game ranked in the Associated Press poll and lost to an unranked opponent, the most such defeats in the FBS in that time span.
“Losing bothers me the most,” a visibly dejected Ehlinger said afterward. “This university deserves better. And it’s very frustrating when it’s self-inflicting and it’s preventable by attention to detail and playing the way we all know that everybody is capable of playing in this program.”
The loss was also Texas’ sixth to TCU in the past seven years. The Horned Frogs’ 6-1 mark against Texas since 2014 is the best record of any Longhorns conference opponent in that time frame.
The game was littered with penalties; the 26 infractions was the most in a game this season involving a Power 5 conference team. Though he threw for four touchdowns, Ehlinger completed only 17 of 36 pass attempts (47.2%), marking the third-worst completion percentage Ehlinger has had in his 39-game career. TCU held Ehlinger to a similarly low completion rate last season (45.8%) in the Horned Frogs’ 37-27 win over Texas in 2019.
The Longhorns also committed two turnovers, an Ehlinger interception and a Keaontay Ingram fumble at the TCU 1-yard-line with 2:32 remaining and the Longhorns trailing by 4.
“We can’t continue to beat ourselves the way that we have these last two weeks and expect to win many more ballgames,” Texas coach Tom Herman said. “That’s on me to get them ready and find a way to make sure that we don’t beat ourselves.”
Ehlinger said he tried to encourage Ingram after the loss. “Everybody made a ton of mistakes,” Ehlinger said. “It’s more on me than it is on him. I don’t want him to think that he lost the game for us.”
He later added: “Everybody’s got to take ownership of their mistakes. Own it. Don’t point fingers.”
The Longhorns face rival Oklahoma next week in the annual Red River Showdown. With both teams possessing a loss, it will serve as a critical game to both teams’ hopes to make it to the Big 12 championship game, because the loser will have two conference defeats with six games still left to play. The team’s focus, Ehlinger said, can’t go beyond the day-to-day.
“We shouldn’t even be thinking big picture right now with the amount of small mistakes that we made,” he said. “We’ve got to come in tomorrow and get better. Obviously, we’ve got a big one this week and we’ve got to focus on the next one.”