08 Oct

By

No. 9 Longhorns’ eyes forward focused on Bears

The Longhorns have their eyes forward, focused on the pesky Baylor Bears after an emotionally-draining win Saturday over the Oklahoma Sooners (photo by Don Bender/Horns Illustrated).

By Steve Habel, Senior Contributing Writer

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas climbed from head-scratching loser in Week 1 in Maryland to No. 9 in the country over five games, on the strength of victories over three ranked teams and historically good play from quarterback Sam Ehlinger.

It’s been a wild ride already through the first half of the year.

Now, one of the real challenges for the Longhorns, beginning with this Saturday’s home game against Baylor, will be staying on course, blocking out the “noise” and continuing to improve.

That will be easier said than done. Texas coach Tom Herman said in his Monday media availability that he received 197 text messages in the 24 hours following the Longhorns’ thrilling 48-45 win over the then seventh-ranked Sooners last week in the AT&T Red River Showdown.

“I got nine after we lost to Maryland — I got nine,” Herman said. “With an 18- to 22-year-old kid that's on probably four different social media platforms, I would imagine that his circle is being pulled in every direction to try to expand."

The Longhorns have not been ranked this highly for their seventh game of a season since 2009.

Texas Football quarterback Sam Ehlinger points forward for a Longhorn first down during their 48-45 win over Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown (photo by Don Bender/Horns Illustrated).

Steve Habel is a senior contributing writer for Horns Illustrated. He has covered Texas sports since 1989 and was this magazine’s senior editor for 24 years. You can follow him on twitter @stevehabel .