On Saturday, the Longhorns kicked off their 2023 season campaign against the Rice Owls. Despite a slow first half, the Longhorns gassed their way to a sizable lead in the third quarter, ultimately beating the Owls 37-10.
If someone were to tell you that the Longhorns were to only score 16 points in the first half of Saturday’s contest, there is a good chance that you would not have believed them. However, that is what occurred in Texas’s season-opener against Rice as the Longhorns offense struggled to finish drives early. Early on in the contest, the offensive line looked rusty and Quinn Ewers had a hard time finding receivers on the deep ball. Thankfully for Steve Sarkisian’s Longhorns squad, the Texas defense had a phenomenal performance from the get go. In the first half, the Longhorns came away with two interceptions, one by senior linebacker Jaylan Ford and one by sophomore defensive back Austin Jordan. By the end of the game, Texas had reached head coach Steve Sarkisian’s goal of creating three turnovers defensively when senior linebacker Jett Bush recovered a fumble in the second half.
Despite early offensive struggles, once the second half was whistled in, the Longhorns offense came alive as Ewers connected with junior wide receiver Adonai Mitchell and junior tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders on third quarter touchdown passes. Ultimately, Ewers would end his night with a total of four touchdowns, with one of them being on the ground.
The season’s first touchdown for the Longhorns came at the hands of Jonathon Brooks, who took a Quinn Ewers pass 37-yards to the house with 7:27 left in the first quarter. Despite not making the start on Saturday, Brooks led the team in rushing attempts after freshman starter CJ Baxter left the game with an injury in the second quarter. In addition to Brooks, fellow sophomore running back Jaydon Blue made the most out of his opportunities as he had a game-high 55 rushing yards on 10 attempts.
Next week, the Longhorns will travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to take on Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide squad. There will be many questions to ask before next Saturday’s game which is set to air on ESPN at 6 P.M. (CT).
- QB Quinn Ewers: 19/30, 260 passing yards, 3 passing TDs, 1 rushing TD
- RB Jonathon Brooks: 94 all-purpose yards, 1 TD
- WR Xavier Worthy: 7 receptions, 90 yards
- TE Ja’Tavion Sanders: 2 receptions, 44 yards, 1 TD
- LB Jaylan Ford: 5 tackles, 1 INT