The Horned Frogs may have acquired the nickname “the big bruisers,” but Texas proved it was more than capable of handling a few black and blue marks and cruised over TCU 34-22 to maintain its undefeated record.
The Horned Frogs have traditionally been a strong team with big physical athletes. They’re big; they’re strong; they’re aggressive. Texas’ goal was to best them physically.
“TCU was a lot bigger than every team we’ve played so far so that was a challenge,” junior Matthew Bomberger said.
But the Longhorns followed through with their goal and drove hard to earn extra meters in mauls and maintain possession and force turnovers in the scrums. Texas stretched TCU’s defense thin. The Longhorns won all of their mauls and nearly every scrum.
“This game I feel like we played with constant aggression throughout the whole game and that’s why we pulled off the win,” junior Taylor Hayes said.
Although head coach Chris Hopps (Buss) says he’s anxious for every match, freshman Reed Hogan was confident in his team’s ability to outplay TCU even before his cleats kicked up any dirt on the field. “I knew we had the win at the beginning of the game,” Hogan said.
Bomberger and some of the other players, on the other hand, needed a wake up call to kick start their momentum. “They scored first and I think thats when we all realized like, okay let’s go,” Bomberger said.
Although TCU got on the scoreboard first with a try, Hogan never lost certainty in the Longhorns’ competence. “We were up to the challenge,” Hogan assured.
Early in the first, freshman Charlie Schwan raced down the field to earn Texas’ first five points to show the Longhorns were up for the fight.
Texas had a few slip ups and missed tackles in the first 40 minutes, allowing the Frogs to keep the score close, going punch for punch with the Longhorns. “The biggest challenge for us was to stay low and grab their legs,” Hogan said.
The Longhorns were also faced with the task of maintaining organization and power in the forwards without their captain, junior Peter Hyams.
“Peter is a big part of our forward pack,” Bomberger said. “Not having him in there was a bit of a struggle but we beared down and got to it and played pretty well and came out with the victory today.”
The Longhorns found their stride in the second half and forced TCU to spin the ball out wide in order to convert runs into points, limiting the Frogs on the scoreboard. While TCU hit a stalemate on the field, Texas racked up points as Matthew Young and Bomberger plunged into the try-zone to contribute one try each, while Hayes, who was named Man of the Match, followed suit with two tries of his own. Junior John Boudreaux also contributed with three conversions.
With the solid win over TCU on their backs, the Longhorns head to Norman to take on Oklahoma on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
OU poses an especially ominous threat for Texas. Not only do the Sooners match the powerful physicality of the TCU defense, but they also posses the skill the Horned Frogs lacked. The heated rivalry is expected to produce a tight game.