Entering the 2012 season, seniors on the Red Raider football team had two goals they had not yet accomplished in their collegiate career – win a Big 12 Conference championship and beat Texas.
With a 31-22 loss to the Longhorns (7-2, 4-2 in Big 12 play) on Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium, both of those goals will go left unchecked after the seniors hang it up at the end of the season.
"I mean it's our last chance at UT," senior quarterback Seth Doege said. "It's our last chance to really try to do something special here that nobody has done before and give us an opportunity to do that. So that's out of it too … But it hurts to know that the goals you were after and you set for your team going into the season kind of went out the door with this loss."
Doege finished the game going 26-for-44 for 329 yards and one touchdown, but chances to cash in for seven came a plenty.
Tech (6-3, 3-3) drove into the red-zone five times, converting only two of those trips into seven points, the other three for field goals.
The Longhorns defense stalled Tech's drives multiple times, but penalties also hindered the Red Raiders, nine for 85 yards including a crucial holding penalty against Tech late in the fourth quarter after Kenny Williams had ran the ball into the end-zone.
"A lot of disappointment, obviously," Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville said following the loss. "We just shot ourselves in the foot. Made too many mistakes against a good football team. The last two weeks we've done that, so hopefully we can correct that."
Neither Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown, nor defensive coordinator Art Kaufman was made available to the media following the loss.
The Red Raider defense has seen their share of struggles the last two weeks, giving up the big plays and that was its achilles heel against the Longhorns.
Texas had six plays go for 20 or more yards, including a 25 and 75-yard touchdown passes from Longhorn gunslinger David Ash, who finished 11-for-19 for 264 yards and three touchdowns, to Mike Davis, who finished the game with four catches for 165 yards.
Tech middle linebacker Will Smith said there were adjustments made on the defensive side of the ball, but done a little to late.
"There were a few minor adjustments," he said, "but it's just about settling down and just paying attention to what you already know. Just simple things like that that we should have done earlier that could have helped us prevent a couple more early scores."
Despite the loss to Texas, Doege knows the team needs to recover and get ready for the next one against the Jayhawks.
"Yeah, it's tough, but that's part of it. I think we've been around long enough to know that there are three games still left," Doege said. "We can still, like I said, we can still make a special season out of this. Three winnable games just like this one. But we've got to learn from the mistakes on this film and this game, continue to push forward, continue to get better as a football team and try to up our bowl game, whatever it may be."