For a football coach, a sleepless night after a game often is not a good thing. But that proved to be the happy reality for Texas coach Charlie Strong after Sunday night’s double-overtime upset of No. 10 Notre Dame in Austin.
Strong said he eventually returned to his home after the 50-47 triumph with plans to grab some sleep.
“I didn’t get any,” Strong said during Monday’s conference call with Big 12 football coaches. “I went home, sat around for a couple of house and came back to work. There was no sleep. It was just an impressive win. I’m just so happy for the players. It was just so hard to rest your mind after that win.”
For Strong, who posted records of 6-7 and 5-7 during his first two seasons in Austin, the triumph validated his belief in a core of young players that were instrumental in pulling the upset. The list includes quarterback Shane Buechele, an Arlington Lamar graduate who became the first incoming freshman quarterback to start for the Longhorns since Bobby Layne in 1944.
Buechele threw for 280 yards and two TDs and added a rushing touchdown. Tyrone Swoopes, an upsized senior quarterback used primarily in short-yardage and goal-line situations, rushed for 53 yards and three TDs.
Strong said the triumph provided a much-needed confidence boost for coaches and players after two difficult seasons. He also pointed to the emotional boost from a record-setting crowd of 102,315 as instrumental in helping the Longhorns in crunch time.
“I was just so proud of our fans. They packed it in … and we held them in their seats the whole time,” Strong said. “From the very beginning, I told our players, ‘You’ll play with so much energy because of the passion our fans are going to have for this game. Just play off of our fans.’ That’s what we ended up doing. Especially there late in the game, they were just so loud. They watched our team continue to fight and they continued to fight with us. I’m just so happy we were able to get that crowd that we had.”