Texas reverses direction and leads Big 12

10/28/2013 5:03 PM

10/28/2013 5:03 PM

You probably missed Texas improving to 4-0 in the Big 12.

It happened early Sunday morning as the Longhorns put the finishing touches on a 30-7 victory at TCU that was delayed for more than three hours because of storms in Fort Worth, Texas.

Since the embarrassing losses to Brigham Young and Mississippi, the Longhorns have rolled off four straight victories, and chatter about Mack Brown on the hot seat has been reduced from boil to simmer.

In a month, the program that hasn’t won the conference since 2009 finds itself tied with Baylor at the top. This after Texas stood 2-2 after four Big 12 games in each of the past three seasons.

“When you have two tough games like we had early in the season, you go one way or the other,” Brown said. “There is finger-pointing, your team splits, your staff splits. They all call around for jobs.

“Or you can go back to work. We had that discussion with our staff and players. We decided we’re Texas, we’re going back to work. That’s who we are, that’s what we do.”

Texas didn’t exactly look like world-beaters coming off the September skid, turning the corner with victories over Kansas State and Iowa State. But the Longhorns followed those with convincing triumphs over Oklahoma and TCU and plays host to Kansas on Saturday.

Texas’ defense is much improved under coordinator Greg Robinson, who replaced Manny Diaz after the BYU loss.

“Greg has been really good in that he brought expertise, he brought in confidence,” Brown said. “The defensive staff has bonded so well together.”

Something else you might have missed late in the Texas-TCU game: the redshirt came off freshman quarterback Tyrone Swoopes. He played on the final possession with the Longhorns’ nursing a 23-point lead. He handed off five times and had an 8-yard rush.

With David Ash ruled out this weekend while continuing to recover from concussion symptoms, Swoopes becomes the primary backup to Case McCoy.

“He wanted to play,” Brown said of Swoopes. “If Case sprains an ankle, (Swoopes) will be in.”

Texas fans have been waiting to see Swoopes, the 6-4, 245-pound athlete with an excellent arm and good speed. Peeling off a redshirt this late in the year means Swoopes’ playing career will last 3 1/2 years, but Brown said it had to be done.

“He wants to play,” Brown said. “We’ve got to beat Kansas. If Case had sprained an ankle today, Tyrone would have needed to be the starter.”

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