Longhorns Play Last Orange and White Game as Members of the Big 12
Apr 25, 2024

Longhorns Play Last Orange and White Game as Members of the Big 12

Reporting Texas

AUSTIN, Texas — Although rain was on the radar all day Saturday, Texas football fans still cheered on the Longhorns at the annual Orange and White game.

The game is an exhibition scrimmage where the team splits into two sides that play against each other. One team wears home jerseys and the other wears away. It serves as a way for fans to see Texas play one more time before the fall season begins and takes place during Family Weekend, an annual event when the University of Texas invites the families of current students to experience life on the Forty Acres.

Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (DKR) hosted families with traditional football game festivities like the Hook ‘Em Herd, songs from the Longhorn Band and Smokey the Cannon.

Bevo Blvd. also returned. Photo booths, a ferris wheel and live music from Reckless Kelly at Longhorn City Limits entertained fans prior to the game.

Inside the stadium, former Texas players including running backs Bijan Robinson and Jonathon Brooks, defensive lineman T’Vondre Sweat, and wide receiver Jordan Whittington cheered on the Longhorns.

Redshirt freshman Arch Manning (#16) takes the field during the Orange and White game in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, April 20, 2024. (Campbell Choate/Reporting Texas TV)

Although the game is just a scrimmage, this year’s edition meant more as Longhorn fans look forward to next season’s matchups in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). In July 2021, Texas and the University of Oklahoma decided to move to the SEC due to the financial incentives the conference brings.

This upcoming season, Texas will face Texas A&M in conference play for the first time in 13 years. Texas will also play Arkansas as a conference opponent in conference play for the first time in 33 years, bringing back historical ties to the Southwestern Conference which preceded the Big 12.

Fans such as Kevin Rayford are looking forward to reigniting the rivalry between Texas and A&M on Nov. 30 in College Station.

“That’s like me fighting my brother in the yard,” Rayford said before the game.

This year’s game marked the last time fans could see the team prior to entering the SEC on July 1.

Players will have May off, but head football coach Steve Sarkisian said it’s all SEC preparation come June 1.

“The month of May is my longest month of the year, I’ll tell you that. Every football coach around the country would probably tell you the same thing,” Sarkisian said.

He said that while he trusts his players, he worries about them in the time off.

“I have 120 sons between 18 to 22 years old, so if you think of it from a parents perspective, you like to see your kids and you like to be around them,” Sarkisian said.

Linebacker David Gbenda said time off won’t change their mentality.

“There’s nothing too glaringly different. Still the same standard that’s been set from last year and we’re maintaining that standard just with new faces,” Gbenda said.

Quarterback Trey Owens and wide receivers Ryan Wingo and Parker Livingstone were among the new faces who played in front of fans at DKR for the first time.

The Longhorns’ 2024 schedule includes the most recent national champions, Michigan and Georgia, but quarterback Quinn Ewers said that the team is blocking out the noise and is focused on themselves.

“If we focus on the opinions inside of these four walls, like Coach Sark says all the time, if we just stay enamored with us and what we’re doing, the path is already paved,” Ewers said.

With the support of Longhorn fans, Texas has a chance at finishing the first season in the new conference on top.

“I bleed burnt orange. We’re a number one team and we can play with anybody at any time,” Rayford said.

Team Orange beat Team White 35-34.

Texas hosts Colorado State for the season opener on Aug. 31.