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Saturday, the Texas Longhorns will face one of its oldest rivals—Baylor—in a matchup that has all the makings of a do-or-die game for the Longhorn season.
Last season, The University of Texas lost a back-and-forth game to Baylor 24-10 in Waco. This year will mark the 60th time the two programs face off against each other in the capital city, with Longhorns fans hoping that this season's home field advantage might play a role in a Texas victory.
Baylor, losers of their last conference game against West Virginia on Oct. 3, come to Austin in hopes of moving up the Big 12 standing and competing for a conference title at the end of the year.
The Longhorns, and their fans, are still trying to get over the overtime loss to Oklahoma two weeks ago, which not only knocked Texas out of AP's Top 25 ranking but also put them at 1-2 in conference play. Add into the mix the debate over "The Eyes of Texas" still burning bright on Longhorn message boards, with the Longhorn band reported not to be traveling due to resistance to play the song. Even the school mascot Bevo isn't safe from controversy after being sued by a photographer it charged at the Sugar Bowl in 2019.
Dear Baylor Bears: you’d better strap-down your helmets, the Longhorns are our for revenge. Seriously, you’ll get… https://t.co/YebyNj45Vs— Ed (@Ed)1603152081.0
One of the only bright spots has been senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger. Ehlinger threw for 200 yards and rushed for 79 more against the Baylor defense last year. This season, Ehlinger has continued being dangerous with both his arm and his legs, leading the conference in passing yards (1,211) and touchdowns (16). Combined with his five rushing touchdowns, Ehlinger is the proven dual-threat quarterback in the conference. But even with Ehlinger and the offensive successes, the Texas defense still ranks near the bottom of the conference in defensive efficiency.
The defense shouldn't be a problem this weekend however for the Longhorns. Baylor has struggled putting points on the board against good Big 12 competition, scoring only 21 points in two overtimes against West Virginia.
Longhorns fans of course are always nervous when senior quarterback Charlie Brewer comes to town. Brewer threw for a touchdown and rushed for one last season in the match up in Waco, but was forced to leave against West Virginia two weeks ago due to a shoulder injury.
After the Bears had to move their game last week against Oklahoma State back due to COVID concerns, Brewer has had two weeks of rest and should be ready to go for Saturday's game. The Baylor quarterback's arm is still something for Texas fans to keep an eye on as the game progresses on Saturday.
A Sam Ehlinger led football team has never beaten a Charlie Brewer led football team: 2015 - lost 35-14 2016 - inj… https://t.co/dT1f3JIIW9— Kyle Umlang (@Kyle Umlang)1603242485.0
The match between the Bears and Longhorns will be ugly. These are two of the most penalized teams in the conferences, and something UT will have to cut down on if they want to win against Baylor. The Longhorns beat themselves on many drives against the Sooners by jumping offsides and committing penalties that took big plays off the board.
To beat Baylor it will come down to three key questions.
- Can the Texas offensive line allow Sam Ehlinger and red shirt sophomore receiver Joshua Moore enough time to move the ball down field and keep Baylor linebacker Terrel Bernard out of the picture?
- Can the Texas defense contain Brewer?
- Can Texas cut out all the different distractions that have been circling this team all season?
The Longhorns are 12-4 coming off a loss in the Tom Herman era. The Longhorns season may be on the line as they try to protect home field against the Baylor Bears at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.
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After a long, long year without live music, Austin has waited patiently for a return that has finally come. Festivals are planning returns and even venues that adhered strictly to safety protocols during the pandemic are feeling safe enough to gather again in person.
Starting in just a few short days, you can finally enjoy what makes Austin, well, Austin again. Here are a few of the live shows to look forward to.
Stubb's Waller Creek
For the first time since the pandemic shut the iconic venue down forcing canceled and rescheduled shows, Stubb's BBQ is reopening its amphitheater to the public for concerts starting with a series of five sold-out Black Pumas shows, each with different openers, from May 26-30. It may be too late to catch Black Pumas this time around but Stubb's already has a host of other shows scheduled up through December. You can catch Surfaces, a College Station-based jazz-pop-hip-hop and vocals heavy duo known best for their song "Sunday Best," on Stubb's Stage on June 25 while tickets go on sale this Friday.
Next at Stubb's is electronic duo Louis the Child on July 28 and 29 on their "Euphoria Tour," followed by Umphrey's McGee on Sept. 9.
Likewise, Mohawk Austin has remained closed for more than a year since the onset of COVID-19, even tweeting "Thanks bro but we ain't gonna do it till it's safe," in response to Gov. Greg Abbott lifting all safety restrictions back in March. Starting May 27, Mohawk is officially back with Heartless Bastards and opener The Tender Things.
From there, Mohawk has an exciting lineup—Jukebox the Ghost will play on Sept. 10, Bully and opener Lightning Bug on Sept. 17, Big Freedia and Too Many Zooz on Oct. 4 and Beach Bunny on Dec. 14, with several talented artists in-between. Keep checking back though, Mohawk will continue to add shows and is currently planning on operating at 50%.
Frank Erwin Center
Though it is making a later comeback than Stubb's or Mohawk, the Frank Erwin Center will make a huge return on Aug. 14 featuring Tame Impala. If you missed their highly popular set at Austin City Limits Festival in 2019 or you want to relive it, this is the chance to do so. Plus, you get the added benefit of being able to see the stage, though you will still be watching with around 16,000 other spectators. Michael Bublé will have you swooning when he comes to perform on Sept. 20 and Chris Stapleton is taking his "All American Road Show" live on Nov. 4.
Nutty Brown Amphitheatre
Holding some socially distanced concerts earlier this year, the Nutty Brown Amphitheatre isn't stopping there with rap artist Ginger Billy playing two sets on May 7. Nutty Brown has a star-studded lineup ahead: Austin-based Bob Schneider on May 8 and other Austin favorite Shinyribs will grace the stage May 29. A little further down the line, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts will take over on Aug. 21 followed by Styx on Oct. 23.
Texas Performing Arts Center
If you prefer a little bit more visual appeal to go with your music, the Texas Performing Arts Center is reopening in-person after consistent online events. First up is Cody Ko and Noel Miller, a multi-hyphenated YouTuber-podcaster-comedian duo, who will perform their "Tiny Meat Gang – Global Domination," on July 31. Of course you can't miss The Beach Boys, coming to the theater on Oct. 24, or a two-week long production of Hamilton from Dec. 7-19. For all the young ones that have missed going out in-person, "Disney Princess—The Concert" is coming to the Texas Performing Arts Center on Feb. 6, 2022, performing timeless gems like "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast and featuring all their other favorite princesses. Tickets go on sale this Friday.
Remember to jump on those tickets–Austinites have been missing their live music!
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Austin is on a rollercoaster that only goes up, according to the new U.S. Census Bureau data that says the city has been the fastest-growing large metropolitan area in the U.S. for a full 10 years.
The data, which was released on Tuesday, said the population between the five counties in the Austin metro area—Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell—increased by 3% since 2019 and 34% since 2010.
Austin still isn't the largest metro area but it does have the fastest population growth compared to other U.S. metro areas with over a million people. In the past decade, the metro population has gone from around 1.7 million to 2.3 million people.
The huge increase in Travis County alone is enough to bring the city closer to the leagues of other big cities, jumping above San Francisco and San Jose, California and Jacksonville, Florida in the ranks of most populous.
An increase of more than half a million people in the metro area puts it as the 29th largest, an increase of one spot from last year.
However, in terms of just population growth compared to last July, Austin was beaten by a few other Texas cities: Dallas ranked first in the U.S. with an increase of 119,748 and Houston took third, gaining 91,078. Austin ranked fourth with a growth spurt of 67,197, averaging out to 184 new people per day including natural increase, or the difference caused by births and deaths.
Overall, Texas gained the most residents out of all other U.S. states.
With companies like Tesla, which has promised to hire 10,000 people at the new Gigafactory, Oracle, Samsung and Google putting down roots in Austin and Texas tax breaks and lack of personal income tax, it's no surprise companies and people are flocking to the Lone Star State.
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