AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns opened up its 10-game season with a dominant 59-3 win over UTEP Saturday at Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium.
Sam Ehlinger threw for 426 yads and five passing touchdowns. Seven different receivers caught a touchdown pass.
Below is a blog with updates, analysis and stats from the Longhorns’ first win of the season.
A lot of work has been done behind the scenes by UT Athletics to get the Longhorns to a season during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are an estimated 18,000 fans in the stadium for Saturday night’s game. UT Athletics has dozens of COVID-19 protocols in place to keep the team and the fans safe while at the stadium.
To see what game day looked like around Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium, check out this timeline over the last few hours.
This will certainly be a different season, missing two key national players with the Big Ten and Pac-12 conference’s decision to postpone fall sports. Even without two of the “Power 5” conferences, the Longhorns have high expectations, entering the season with veteran leadership on both sides of the ball.
After a (very, very) long offseason, let’s head to the football field…
Start of the game
The Texas offense will get the ball first against UTEP, giving Sam Ehlinger a chance to show off his new playmakers first.
Longhorns first possession, first quarter
What happened: Wow. That escalated quickly. Ehlinger hit receiver Joshua Moore on a slant route at their own 22-yard line and Moore did the rest without being touched. Moore didn’t have to do much, but he looked very fast out there, scoring on the first offensive play of the season.
Score: Texas leads 7-0
UTEP first possession, first quarter
What happened: UTEP got it to third and one on their first series, but the Longhorns defense stopped the inside run to force a Miners punt.
Longhorns second possession, first quarter
What happened: Two drives and two touchdowns for the Longhorns and Sam Ehlinger. Tight end and Lake Travis product Cade Brewer scored on a 21-yard pass from Ehlinger to cap off a 10-play, 67 yard drive.
Score: Texas leads 14-0
Longhorns third possession, first quarter
What happened: Freshman running back Bijan Robinson made his first appearance in a Longhorns game. His first touch was a three-yard run. Graduate transfer Tarik Black made two catches during the drive. Sophomore Jordan Whittington picked up 15 yards on a reverse with Ehlinger as a lead blocker. Roschon Johnson scored on a one-yard touchdown run.
Score: Texas leads 21-0
Longhorns fifth possession, second quarter
What happened: Graduate transfer receiver Brenden Schooler was just cleared to practice with the Longhorns this week, according to Texas head coach Tom Herman. On the Longhorns fifth possession, he made two impressive plays, shedding tacklers for another Texas touchdown. Schooler scored on a 40-yard touchdown for the first score of his Longhorns career. On the first play of the drive, Schooler picked up 25 yards after getting away from a Miners tackler.
Score: Texas leads 28-0
UTEP fifth possession, second quarter
What happened: There hasn’t been much focus on the defense, but they’ve done their job against an undermanned UTEP offense. The Texas defense has allowed 35 yards on five UTEP possessions. Josh Thompson is back at cornerback and he provides Texas with its first turnover of the season. Thompson picked off UTEP QB Gavin Hardison, giving the Longhorns the ball at the UTEP 42-yard line.
Longhorns sixth possession, second quarter
What happened: Tarik Black is on the honor list for an effort play that nearly came back to bite the Longhorns. Black made a catch on the right sideline for 33 yards, fighting off at least four UTEP tacklers. During the swarm around him, Black had the ball stripped by a Miners defender. Longhorns tight end Brayden Liebrock was able to recover the fumble. After a review ruled in favor of Texas, Ehlinger went back to Black for a five-yard touchdown.
Score: Texas leads 35-0
Longhorns seventh possession, second quarter
What happened: After missing his first attempt, Cameron Dicker connected on his first field goal of the season from 32 yards out to give Texas a 38-0 lead midway through the second quarter. The Longhorns drive went 11 plays and 54 yards before stalling in the red zone.
Score: Texas leads 38-0
Longhorns eighth possession, second quarter
What happened: Walk-on Longhorns receiver Kai Money is now in the stat book with a Texas touchdown. Texas set up its offense in a two-minute drill situation at the end of the first half and Money was (I’m sorry) money for the Longhorns. Ehlinger found Money near the sideline for a six yard touchdown with six seconds left in the first half.
Score: Texas leads 45-3
First half stats: Ehlinger threw for 429 passing yards and five touchdowns | Texas offense puts up 498 yards | Joshua Moore has five catches for 130 yards
Longhorns possession, third quarter
What happened: After a three and out by the Longhorns on the first possession of the second half, Casey Thompson took over at quarterback. Receiver Marcus Washington didn’t help him out, dropping a ball that would’ve result in at least 25 yards. The Longhorns were forced to punt.
Next Longhorns possession, third quarter
What happened: Tom Herman said he wanted to get the ground game going in the second half. Freshman Bijan Robinson busted out a 29-yard run on the first play of the drive. Thompson earned his first touchdown pass of the season with help from receiver Brennan Eagles. Eagles made a 35-yard touchdown catch with a defender draped all over him for the Longhorns seventh touchdown of the night.
Score: Texas leads 52-3
Texas possession, fourth quarter
What happened: A seventh different Longhorns receiver scored a touchdown. This time, it was Marcus Washington from 17 yards away. Casey Thompson picked up his second score of the game. Ten different Texas receivers have caught a pass in the season opener.
Score: Texas leads 59-3