AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns outscored the UTSA Roadrunners 24-3 in the second half en route to a 41-20 win Saturday night at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Longhorns junior running back Bijan Robinson had two big plays in the second half, touchdown runs of 78 and 41 yards, to lead the way with 183 yards on 20 carries. He had a 4-yard touchdown run in the first half, as well.
Tied 17-17 at halftime, the Roadrunners gave the Longhorns everything they could handle behind the magnificent play of quarterback Frank Harris. Harris seemed to get out of trouble every time the Texas pass rush was closing in and made positive plays just about every time. Harris ended the game completing 24 of 35 passes for 222 yards, but was kept out of the end zone and threw a costly interception in the third quarter.
Jahdae Barron got underneath a high pass from Harries tipped by a receiver and returned it 41 yards for a pick-six, stretching the Longhorns lead from 24-20 to 31-20 after the extra point with 18 seconds left.
“It was just running to the ball and being in the right spot at the right time,” he said after the game. “Coach said we had to lock in at halftime and just play as a team.”
The Roadrunners looked primed for an upset early on and went to the bag of tricks in the first half. Following a Brenden Brady 2-yard touchdown with 10 minutes left in the second quarter that gave UTSA a 10-7 lead, they surprised all 102,520 people in DKR with an onside kick and recovered it. Not long after the recovery, Brady caught a pass from Harris, and then chucked it to Zakhari Franklin on a double pass for a 35-yard score. The point after gave the Roadrunners a 17-7 lead with 9:36 left in the first half and things got a little nervous in Austin, but Sarkisian said his guys were cool as cucumbers.
“I didn’t think we blinked for a second,” Sarkisian said. “All in all, that’s a good football team we beat. I loved the way our team stayed the course and hung together.”
The Longhorns tied the game on a Bert Auburn field goal with 18 seconds left in the half, then forced a punt on UTSA’s first possession in the second half. After that, Robinson stole the show.
He ripped off a 78-yard touchdown run to ignite the Longhorns and give them a 24-17 lead after the PAT early in the third quarter. UTSA had a touchdown wiped out after a review and they had to settle for a field goal with 3:21 left in the frame, and then Barron made the biggest defensive play of the night with his interception return for a touchdown.
Roschon Johnson did a little bit of everything for the Longhorns, as well. Johnson had 81 yards on 11 carries and three catches for 23 yards and a score. He also took a few snaps in the Longhorns’ wildcat formation and made plays in key spots.
Card finished the game 15 of 23 passing for 151 yards and a touchdown, and he made a 32-yard scramble in the fourth quarter for a first down. Sarkisian said Card “was not 100%” when he made that play, still dealing with an ankle injury he picked up in the Alabama game.
Looking ahead to next week, the Longhorns could be without linebacker DeMarvion Overshown for the first half of their Big 12 opener against Texas Tech. Overshown was called for targeting after he hit Harris in the fourth quarter and was ejected from the game. NCAA rules say Overshown could be suspended for the first half of the next game, pending an appeal which Sarkisian says he’ll do.
“The officials deemed the quarterback a defenseless player at that point, Sarkisian said the officials told him. “I feel like DeMarvion did everything he could to make a clean hit. We’ll take a look at it and send it in to see what the league says.”
Before his early exit, Overshown had 10 tackles with an assisted tackle for loss and a pass break-up. Linebacker Jaylan Ford had 15 tackles, 10 solo, with a forced fumble.
Texas (2-1) heads to Lubbock for the Big 12 opener against the Red Raiders next week. The game will be broadcast on ESPN. Texas Tech lost to North Carolina State 27-14 on Saturday. UTSA (1-2) has one more nonconference game against FCS Texas Southern at the Alamodome before they get into Conference USA play.
FINAL: Longhorns 41, Roadrunners 20. Texas ends with 299 rushing yards as a team, led by 183 from Bijan Robinson as the Longhorns outscore UTSA 24-3 in the second half.
4:59 4Q: Bert Auburn with a 26-yard FG. Longhorns 41, Roadrunners 20. Longhorns have outscored UTSA 24-3 in the 2nd half.
9:36 4Q: Bijan. Robinson. 41 yards up the gut for the score. That feels like a back-breaker for UTSA. PAT good. Longhorns 38, Roadrunners 20
10:34 4Q: Hudson Card with a tremendous scramble for 32 yards and a 1st down to the Texas 49-yard line. He didn’t look hobbled during that run.
11:46 4Q: Out of a timeout, UTSA tries to throw an inside screen and it’s dropped on 4th-and-1. Longhorns take over on their own 29.
11:50 4Q: UTSA calls its first timeout of the second half before a 4th-and-1 play on the Longhorns’ 29-yard line.
13:49 4Q: DeMarvion Overshown is called for targeting after a hit on UTSA’s Frank Harris and has been ejected from the game. Break for UTSA and now they have a fresh set of down at their own 49
End 3Q: Longhorns 31, Roadrunners 20. Barron’s pick-six put some breathing room between the Longhorns and Roadrunners, but by the way UTSA can move the ball, an 11-point lead isn’t a comfortable one.
0:18 3Q: Jahdae Barron intercepts Frank Harris and returns it 43 yards for a TD. Harris threw a hitch pass too high and it bounced off the receiver’s hands, and then Barron did the rest, Huge play for the Horns. PAT good. Longhorns 31, Roadrunners 20
2:35 3Q: Card has to scramble and he’s hobbling as he gets up. Let’s keep an eye on that for the rest of the game
3:21 3Q: UTSA’s TD pass gets wiped out after a review. Officials said the ball hit the ground. Big break for the Longhorns. UTSA kicks a FG. Longhorns 24, Roadrunners 20
8:59 3Q: Longhorns drive fizzles out and Daniel Trejo knocks a punt down to the UTSA 9-yard line.
11:05 3Q: Texas nearly blocks a UTSA punt and the Horns take over on its 37-yard line.
11:56 3Q: An explosive play from Bijan Robinson, he makes a cut and runs away from everyone for a 78-yard TD. PAT good. Longhorns 24, Roadrunners 17
12:37 3Q: Texas forces UTSA to punt on its first drive and the kick goes into the end zone. A field position change of 30 yards, Texas takes over on its 20-yard line.
15:00 3Q: Texas’ Will Stone hammers the second-half kick through the end zone for a touchback. UTSA takes over on its own 25-yard line
Halftime: Longhorns 17, Roadrunners 17. As the old cliche goes, we have ourselves a ballgame, folks.
0:12 2Q: Texas drive stalls, but Bert Auburn ties it up with a 44-yard field goal. Penalties killed the Texas drive there, an illegal snap and then a holding call. At any rate, it’s Longhorns 17, Roadrunners 17.
0:41 2Q: Texas running some uptempo offense and after a first-down run from Roschon Johnson, UTSA calls its last timeout of the half. Texas has it at the UTSA 29-yard line.
2:15 2Q: UTSA punter Lucas Dean drills a 51-yard punt to pin Texas at its own 12-yard line
3:28 2Q: UTSA is making things a lot harder than they have to be with false start penalties. Turns a 3rd-and-7 into 3rd-and-12.
5:22 2Q: Bijan Robinson scores from 4 yards out. PAT good. 11-play, 67-yard drive for the Horns. Roadrunners 17, Longhorns 14
6:29 2Q: Texas splits Hudson Card out (very wide) and Roschon Johnson takes the snap. Handoff to Bijan for 7 yards. Our first wildcat play of the night.
9:36 2Q: After the onside kick, UTSA digs into the bag of tricks again. Brady, a running back, hits Zakhari Franklin behind 2 defenders for a 35-yard TD on a double pass. PAT good. Roadrunners 17, Longhorns 7.
10:00 2Q: UTSA gets tricky and surprises everybody with an onside kick. They recover it on their own 48-yard line. Wow!
10:07 2Q: Brenden Brady runs it in from 2 yards out for the Roadrunners. PAT good. Roadrunners 10, Longhorns 7
10:11 2Q: Texas DB Ryan Watts gets called for pass interference in the end zone on a 3rd-and-long play. UTSA now has it on the Longhorns’ 2-yard line
14:03 2Q: Card finds Johnson again in the flat, and then Johnson fights off a defender with a stiff arm, turns the corner and scores from 11 yards out. PAT good. Longhorns 7, Roadrunners 3
14:47 2Q: After a holding penalty, Card hits Roschon Johnson who makes a nice one-handed grab out of the backfield for a 19-yard gain.
End 1Q: UTSA 3, Texas 0. Longhorns have the ball 1st-and-10 on the UTSA 20-yard line to start 2Q: So far, UTSA has outgained Texas 79-67.
0:34 1Q: UTSA stuffed Texas on 3rd-and-1, but then jumped offside on 4th-and-4. Ouch. First down Longhorns.
1:09 1Q: UTSA takes its first timeout as the Longhorns have a 3rd-and-1 on the UTSA 33-yard line.
3:22 1Q: Card hits Worthy for a 19-yard gain on the first play of Texas’ second drive. Nice throw and catch.
3:28 1Q: UTSA strikes first with a 24-yard FG from Jared Sackett. That was a 20-play, 74-yard drive that took 8:27 off the clock. Roadrunners 3, Longhorns 0
6:00 1Q: UTSA not having trouble moving the ball on Texas’ defense. Harris is tough to corral and he’s making good decisions so far. The ‘Runners have it 1st-and-goal from the Longhorns’ 8-yard line
11:36 1Q: UTSA takes over after Daniel Trejo’s punt goes through the end zone and Frank Harris hits Oscar Cardenas for an 11-yard pass and a first down.
12:40 1Q: Texas had to convert a 4th-and-short and then Card tries to rip one deep to Xavier Worthy but it bounces off of him and the defender.
15:00 1Q: UTSA boots it through the end zone and the Longhorns take over at their own 25 for the first drive of the game.
Coin toss: UTSA calls tails … and they win the toss. UTSA differs and Texas will receive the opening kickoff.
6:45 p.m.: Hudson Card will start at quarterback for the Longhorns. The starting lineups were put up on the video board about 20 minutes before kickoff.
6 p.m.: An hour before kickoff and Texas has three quarterbacks listed on the pregame depth chart. Usually, Sarkisian lists just two, but Charles Wright is the new addition behind Quinn Ewers and Hudson Card. All three were on the field participating in early warmups.