Last night’s shootout in Austin was the biggest win of Charlie Strong’s career. Strong sprinted off the field to those chanting his name. Texas had just defeated No. 10 Notre Dame 50-47 in a double-overtime thriller that could serve as a huge turning point in this program. The Longhorns needed this win. Charlie Strong, who had a 11-14 record in his first two years, needed a win just as bad.
Texas Longhorns defeat Notre Dame in dramatic fashion
The Longhorns had a miserable 7-23 record against Top 25 teams entering the night, and that included a 1-11 record at home. This game was a chance to bring back some confidence against a Notre Dame team that straight up embarrassed them 38-3 in South Bend last season. However, who could’ve imagined that the true freshman quarterback would’ve made such a poised debut in front of a record crowd of 102, 315?
Competing against senior Tyrone Swoopes, Shane Buechele was a name few outside of the Longhorn loop have heard of. Any questions of his ability were quickly put aside in his debut. He was able to make pinpoint passes and exploit the Irish vertically down field. Buechele finished the debut 16/26 with 280 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.
Tyrone Swoopes proved to be an enormous help in the package designed for him. The ’18 wheeler’ trucked his way right through the Notre Dame offensive line, scoring three touchdowns including the game winner.
Most of the game was a shootout battle between Shane Buechele and DeShone Kizer. Even though Texas was up 31-14 in the third quarter, Kizer hung in there. Notre Dame erased the lead with three straight TDs of their own, and one came after an interception from Buechele. After the end of the 3rd quarter, Kizer found Josh Adams on a 17-yard touchdown pass to give the Irish their first lead since the opening drive.
Down by four points with less than four minutes remaining, Longhorns running back D’Onta Foreman ripped off a 19-yard rushing touchdown to make it a 37-35 Texas lead. Then the unthinkable happened. On the ensuing extra-point attempt, Notre Dame blocks the kick and returns it for a two-point conversion. The game was tied at 37, thus leading to overtime.
The two teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime. In the second overtime, Notre Dame was held to a field goal. Strong turned to Swoopes to finish this game off. Swoopes barreled through the Notre Dame secondary to get to the six-yard line, and on the next play he dove for the game-winning score.
An excellent takeaway from this game for the Longhorns is that Shane Buechele looked like a seasoned-veteran for Texas, showing accuracy, calmness, and a very strong arm. Texas may have finally found its star quarterback in Buechele. Big wins over big programs come with a lot of hype. Texas is no different. Since Oklahoma lost, TCU struggled and Baylor is still waking from an offseason nightmare, the door is wide open in the Big 12.