Former Frenship teammates Seth Doege and Mason Walters will be starting on the same field for the first time Saturday.
Tech’s quarterback and the Texas offensive guard never had the opportunity to run the Tigers’ offense together due to a pair of knee injuries that prevented Doege from ever taking a snap during his two years at Frenship.
“I think it speaks a lot to his character,” Walters said of Doege going on to start — and thrive — at Tech. “It just shows that he’s been able to fight through any adversity he has. I think a lot of him for it.”
Doege said the two have traded text messages throughout the season, and he may send him one more.
“I might send him a text this week and say, ‘Hope you’re ready,’” Doege said Monday.
What’s at stake Saturday, though, is bigger than any personal or Big 12 Conference rivalry. One of the two teams will be bowl eligible after the game, and the Longhorns are hoping it’s them — particularly after missing out on a bowl game last season for the first time in 13 years.
Neither team has any bankable wins on their remaining schedule.
The Longhorns close out their season with three of four games on the road — against Missouri, Texas A&M and Baylor — and a home game against No. 17 Kansas State. Texas lost to three of those four teams last year and didn’t play Missouri.
Getting its sixth win this week is at the top of the team’s agenda.
“It’s very important, especially to us right now,” guard David Snow said. “As a Texas team not being bowl eligible last year, that’s not our standard. That’s not anywhere close. This will be another step in getting that back and revamping what happened last year.”
Tech and Texas are coming off of radically different performances last weekend.
The Longhorns recorded their first shutout since 2005 in a 43-0 rout against Kansas.
The Red Raiders suffered their worst loss of the season, falling 41-7 to Iowa State at home. That game followed one of the biggest wins in Tech history, when the Red Raiders upset No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.
“We prepare for the team that beat OU, obviously,” linebacker Keenan Robinson said. “I’m going to watch both films, going to watch probably every game they played this season and just see what they like to do. See how they beat teams. Don’t underestimate a team.”
Safety Blake Gideon agreed, and given the rivalry between the two teams, he expects nothing but Tech’s best effort.
“We’re definitely not going to see the team that just played this past week,” he said. “That’s really always been the case here at Texas, that however bad a team has been playing this season, whenever they come to Austin, it’s going to be a different team that we see. There’s just a lot of tradition that comes with the name of Texas and playing against Texas. So I think a lot of teams, they come to Austin ready to play.”
Texas has more reason to underestimate the Red Raiders than simply their performance against the Cyclones.
The Longhorns have won 10 of the last 12 meetings and are 28-5 all-time in Austin against the Red Raiders.
Regardless of the history, Walters said he’s pretty excited to play his hometown team.
“I know a lot of people that are Tech fans and go to school there,” Walters said. “So it’s just one more thing that helps get me fired up for the game.”
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