SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KXAN) — After the resounding Sugar Bowl victory against Georgia, no one in the Longhorns locker room expected the results of the 2019 season.
Texas looked out of sorts during the final half of the regular season finishing with a 7-5 record. The performances were so concerning that both coordinators were removed from their posts after the regular season finale against Texas Tech.
The Longhorns were picked to play in the Alamo Bowl and would face Utah without its top assistants.
None of that mattered Tuesday in San Antonio.
Texas dominated another excellent opponent in a bowl game pushing Tom Herman’s bowl record to 3-0 at Texas. Herman is the first Longhorns head coach to start his Texas career with such a record.
The Longhorns led 10-0 over Utah at halftime. In the second half, they opened it up for a 38-10 resounding victory.
After an abysmal passing defense for most of the season, the Longhorns were aggressive Tuesday limiting Utah to 254 total yards. Linebacker Joseph Ossai, the game’s defensive MVP, picked up three sacks and six tackles for loss against the Utes. Running back Zack Moss ran for less than four yards a carry on 16 attempts.
On offense, UT quarterback Sam Ehlinger seized opportunities rushing and passing. Ehlinger was awarded the game’s offensive MVP award, but he certainly had help from the offensive line and receiver Devin Duvernay.
Duvernay and Collin Johnson ended their Longhorns careers on a bright note. Duvernay caught three balls for 92 yards and a touchdown. Johnson caught three balls for 62 yards and a touchdown.
When asked about the significance of this victory, Ehlinger didn’t go as far as last year’s “we’re back” statement following the Sugar Bowl, but it is clear the returning players see potential.