No. 10 Texas opened up the 2019 campaign with a dominant 45-14 victory over Louisiana Tech, a game in which they dominated the Bulldogs in all elements of play. Texas had the upper-hand on defense, offense, and special teams, which helped them grab a season-opening win for the first time since 2016. Sam Ehlinger came out of the gates strong and tossed 3 first-half touchdowns to give Texas a commanding 24-0 lead at half. After a Longhorn victory over Louisiana Tech, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest plays from yesterday’s opener.
Best Drive of the Game:
It was early in the second quarter and Texas was coming off a drive that ended in a lost fumble that was knocked out of the hands of receiver Collin Johnson. Following a forced punt on the ensuing drive, Ehlinger and the Horns marched 74 yards down the field in 11 plays and capped it off with a beautiful touchdown throw from Ehlinger to Johnson in the back of the end-zone. This was Texas’ 18th scoring drive of at least 10 plays in the last two seasons, which ranks amongst some of the great teams in the nation. Freshman wide receiver Jake Smith also caught 3 passes for 27 yards on that drive. Ehlinger helped this drive stay alive with a huge 7-yard run on third-down to keep the chains moving. This put Texas up 14-0 and really set the tone for the game.
Worst Drive of the Game:
Texas scored fairly easily on their first drive, but this didn’t startle the Lousiana Tech offense. They came out strong and moved the ball down the field in 11 plays to set up kicker Bailey Hale for a 43-yard field-goal, but Hale missed the kick and another one later in the game. This was a critical drive for the Bulldogs if they wanted to keep this a competitive game. Quarterback J’Mar Smith appeared to have found his rythym on the first drive. He completed 4 of his 5 passes for 43 yards, but the missed field goal derailed this Louisiana Tech team.
Best Offensive Touchdown:
There is so much great football going on during this play. Ehlinger drops back and scrambles to the right, but has time because of the power of the offensive line. Collin Johnson follows the play, and is found open in the back of the end zone on a dart thrown on the run by Ehlinger. Sam showed off his incredible mobility, the new Texas offensive line shedded some light, and Johnson proved to Texas football fans that he is capable of filling the role of Lil’Jordan Humphrey.
Best Defensive Play:
On a ball that was tipped by cornerback Jalen Green, sophomore linebacker Joseph Ossai caught the deflection and returned it all the way back to the 31-yard line. On the following drive, Texas kicked a field goal to take a commanding 24-0 lead going into the half. The read by Green on quarterback J’Mar Smith allowed him to get his hand on a ball that was then caught by Ossai. This turnover that nearly took the life out of the Bulldogs…and it wasn’t even halftime.
Diving fourth-quarter interception by DeMarvion Overshown
The health of the Texas running backs continues to be a major concern. Keaontay Ingram showed out last night and his 78 yards and a touchdown helped Texas glide through a victory against Louisiana Tech. The Longhorns came into the game with three young injured running backs and Jordan Whittington re-aggrevated his groin in yesterday’s game. Roschon Johnson, who committed to Texas as a quarterback this past offseason, received 7 carries for 26 yards yesterday. The Texas backfield is thin and they will need a strong running game to compete with some of the more powerful teams on their schedule. However; Ingram looked capable of being a top back, and if Whittington stays healthy, Texas shouldn’t have a problem succeeding on offense.
Player of the Game:
The man who received criticism for uttering the famous words “We’re back,” in reference to the Texas team returning to their old ways of greatness, threw for nearly 300 yards last night and tossed 4 touchdowns. Ehlinger proved he could be mobile in the pocket, throw the ball downfield, and complete the difficult passes with tight windows. If the Heisman candidate continues to play like this in 2019, Texas is going to be a scary team to face for opponents.
Texas exceeded their expectations in Week 1. While Coach Herman stated that there are many elements to success the team has to work on before facing LSU next weekend, the Texas Longhorns looked strong, confident, and capable of beating any team in the country.
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