At one point near the end of the first half of the Texas-Oklahoma football game, Longhorn fans in the Austin City Limits Music Festival beer hall grimaced when the big-screen TVs showed an ominous stat: Oklahoma had 151 rushing yards, Texas had minus-5. But there was reason for optimism among the festgoers who spent the early part of their day following the game: Just before halftime, UT's Cameron Dicker kicked a 49-yeard-field goal to keep the Horns within a touchdown, with the Sooners leading 10-3.
The beer hall crowd for the game seemed a little lighter than in past years, though it's a little hard to tell because the bar-level tables that previously dominated the space have been removed. Instead, fans sprawled out on the astroturf that covered the floor, or sat in chairs they brought with them to the festival.
In this music-dominant environment, you could be forgiven if you thought the Eagles (that's UT wide receiver Brennan Eagles) were up against Motley Crue (hat tip to OU cornerback Parnell Motley). Just before the half ended, heads turned at the sound of Orville Peck's quasi-country warble as he started his set on a nearby stage, dressed in red. (Hey Orville, know your audience!)
Among those taking in the game were Round Rock residents Emily Clancy and Kevin Kocurek, who arrived in time to catch the second quarter. Wearing both a Longhorns shirt and an Astros cap, Kocurek could be on double-sports-duty, with Houston set to take on the New York Yankees in the first game of the American League Championship Series in the evening on Saturday. That could be tricky with plans to catch Billie Eilish, though she'll play nearby on the Honda stage. "We'll walk back and forth, " Kocurek figured.
As for music, they're most psyched about Sunday, with plans to see Third Eye Blind but some disappointment about competing time slots: "I would see Kacey Musgraves, but she’s playing at the same time as Third Eye Blind," Clancy said. Friday was all about Guns N' Roses for Kocurek: “That one rocked out," he said. "That was the yesterday of my day yesterday.”
The Horns' fortunes picked up after halftime when Roschon Johnson scored on a 4-yard run midway through the third quarter to tie the game at 10-10.