The Texas defense limited Breece Hall to his first sub 100 yard rushing game of the season (Hall carried 20 times for 91 yards, but went for 30 yards and a touchdown on his last three carries of the game), made WR Xavier Hutchinson irrelevant (1 catch), and limited surprise slot starter Tarique Milton to just over 5 yards per reception on 6 catches. In fact, ISU wide receivers totaled a puny 112 yards receiving on 14 catches.
Press conference after press conference, Texas head coach Tom Herman reminds fans and media alike his program brought in seven new assistant coaches, including two new coordinators. He will also point out his team was unable to go through a regular spring football program with those new coaches, and the team’s summer conditioning program was drastically altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Texas defensive performance played out about like I expected: they kept the WVU passing game in front of them (Doege completed 70% of his throws, but at only 9 yards per completion), completely took away the running game (43 rushing yards, longest run was 12), consistently won in the trenches, and held West Virginia to 13 total points on the strength of a largely mistake free red zone defense. That clutch red zone defense was in sharp contrast to what we saw in Stillwater. In fact, the entire game result relied on stiffening up near the Longhorn goal line, particularly as the Texas defensive performance transitioned from dominant to bend-but-don't-break.
The Texas defense matched the inconsistent output of the Texas offense. If I’m going to hold that the Texas offense wasn’t quite as good as 63 points on the scoreboard suggests, it’s only fair to point out that the Texas defense wasn’t quite as bad as a series record 56 points allowed implies.
After a tumultuous offseason, we finally got to see the Longhorns take the field on Saturday night. Following the hiring new coordinators on both sides of the ball, Texas received what proved to be a fairly extensive makeover and finally gave the reveal to their fans.
Plenty of offseason attention on the Longhorns went to fourth-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger, fourth-year offensive linemen Sam Cosmi and Derek Kerstetter, and fourth-year head coach Tom Herman. Saturday night’s 59-3 win for the Longhorns over UTEP wasn’t just a time for established veterans to show off. Several members of the program took the opportunity to make strong impressions on Campbell-Williams Field.
A peculiarity surrounding every new assistant coaching hire is figuring out their locations on game day. Texas took away some intrigue when the game notes for Saturday’s game with UTEP listed where Texas’ 10 assistants would be during the 2020 season.