The Longhorns came out firing against an overmatched Rice defense, scoring touchdowns on their first four possessions on drives of 82, 90, 73 and 79 yards, respectively. When your first four drives yield >300 yards of offense and 28 on the scoreboard, the game is going to go a certain way if the Texas D shows up. The first drive really told the tale, as Texas converted three 3rd down situations on their way to the score, proving that even if Rice could inflict negative plays in the running game with shifting fronts and overloads (and Texas did a poor job getting out of a couple of bad runs early), the Longhorns could still convert based on Sam Ehlinger's play, OL pass blocking and better skill athletes.
We showed up ready to play. The game is fun when your guys work their way into displaying their talents on center stage. We have our share of good players. Many were back home---hometown heroes from back in the day. Rice fought gamely but this was a mismatch. Here are the grades:
Texas secured a good victory that included some nice stats for star Sam Ehlinger and a lot of snaps for freshman and back-ups. Several players that will likely redshirt this season got in on the action in this contest.
It's band week as UT gets set to take on the Rice Owls. I hope the LHB is ready to match intensity as they get ready to face the MOB. College bands are a big differentiator between the college game and professional, and Rice's squad is one of the most iconic. Expect those nerds to march in formation of the chemical compound of freon, or whatever AC's use these days.
There’s no turning back from third-and-17. That was a decisive moment in history for Tom Herman’s time at Texas when it became clear that Todd Orlando is not “getting it” in the way that it appeared he did in 2017. The Longhorns had a fantastic chance on that down to play respectable defense, receive a punt, and then allow Sam Ehlinger to go win the football game against a worn down LSU defense. Instead he called that fateful zero blitz that played man coverage on all four wideouts while asking safety Chris Brown to hang shallow to play hot routes or the QB scramble.
The Owls are 0-2 after a game loss to Army (14-7) in their opener and a hiding at the hands of a decent(ish) Wake Forest team (41-21). I'm not going to do the Lou Holtz thing where I build up Rice as the second coming of The Sacred Band Of Thebes, but they can keep the game scrappy for a bit if Texas is still working through some LSU residue. If Texas shows up, the game will be over fairly quickly and we can get walk-on RB Mason Ramirez the eight carries he deserves and get the Casey Thompson Heisman chatter started.