The return of Connor Williams and the play of San Ehlinger helped propel the Longhorns to a 28-14 win. The Longhorns secured bowl eligibility and will look for win number 7 on Friday against Texas Tech. Let’s take a look at how the offense graded out in the win:
Shane Buechele received the start and finished the game 4 for 7 for 28 yards. His best pass of the day was dropped by John Burt, and then Buechele was replaced by Sam Ehlinger shortly after.
Ehlinger went on to throw for 136 yards on 12 of 19 passing with 2 touchdowns and an inexcusable interception. #11 brought a much needed running dimension to the offense, but his interception when Texas was heading for a 21-0 lead shows that the freshman is still learning. The entire offense will benefit greatly from the extra practices they are going to receive with Ehlinger behind center.
Daniel Young lead the way again with 12 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown. The freshman continues to display great balance and burst through the hole. Fellow freshman Toneil Carter finished with 10 carries for 27 yards. Carter lacks the power between the tackles that Young brings to the table.
One of the biggest surprises on the offensive side of the ball was the play of Kyle Porter. Porter had 7 carries for 53 yards, including a nice 10 yard touchdown run. This was far and away the most productive day for Texas running backs since San Jose State, and it was refreshing to see the Longhorns rush for over 200 yards and see the offense establish a running game.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Outside of 2 touchdown receptions from TE’s Kendall Moore and Chris Warren, the Longhorns didn’t get much production from the receivers. Reggie Hemphill Mapps hauled in a beautiful 50 yard reception in Texas’ first scoring drive. Lil Jordan Humphrey led the team in receptions with 4, but only finished with 28 yards. It was obvious the Longhorns wanted to run the ball and the passing game took a back seat, especially in the second half.
Warren and Moore both played excellent games. On top of their touchdown receptions, both played key roles in opening up holes in the running game. Moore in particular is a huge asset as a blocker. If Chris Warren continues his development and buys into the idea of playing a Tight End/H-Back role, the former running back could have a huge 2018 season.
The return of Connor Williams is possibly the biggest reason Texas is going to a bowl. The All-American left tackle played an outstanding game, and the entire offensive line looked more comfortable. The unit didn’t fold when Patrick Vahe went down with an injury, and Terrell Cuney played good enough as his replacement. This was the first game where I felt like the coaches didn’t ask the offensive line to do too much and they stuck with what was working. After weeks upon weeks of failing grades, the offensive line deserves a lot of praise for their performance yesterday.
Pass Block Grade: B-
Run Block Grade: B
Offensive Play Calling
Texas’ new favorite running play is counter to the left side. The Longhorns ran the play repeatedly, giving the running backs room to operate behind Connor Williams. Tim Beck also opened up the playbook a little bit with a beautifully designed throwback pass from Jerrod Heard to San Ehlinger. The entire offensive unit looked to be in cohesion and the play calling reflected that. However, it may be time to eliminate the pick play with the receiver catching the ball in front of the line of scrimmage.
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