The Texas Longhorns opened Big 12 play on Saturday against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, hoping to continue their momentum from their dominant win over Rice last week.
With a bevy of recruits in attendance, Steve Sarkisian's team was able to do just that, blowing the doors off of the Red Raiders on the way to a 70-35 win to move to 3-1 on the season.
"I think our offensive line played a really good offensive game against a disruptive defense. I thought we got the football and ran it well. I thought we were efficient in the passing game," Sarkisian said. "We won on first downs which enabled us to be effective and get into some really manageable third downs and even in some of the fourth and short situations. This is when we are at our best offensively."
The Longhorns were able to get going on the offensive side of the ball quickly from the opening drive of the game, scoring touchdowns on all six of their first-half drives to take a 42-14 lead into the locker room at halftime.
From that point on, Texas never looked back, amassing 630 yards of offense as a team for the game, including 336 yards on the ground.
“It’s exciting," Texas quarterback Casey Thompson said. "I think that it shows the ability to not get complacent. Obviously, we had a good game last week, but like I said, every week there’s things we can do better and there’s things we can clean up. We had a great week of practice and preparation. The team really bought into the game plan and I think it showed today.”
The Longhorns were unsurprisingly led on the ground by Heisman candidate Bijan Robinson, who rushed 18 times for 137 yards, while also hauling in two catches for 54 yards and one score.
With Robinson serving as the fire-starter, Roschon Johnson was the finisher in the run game, accumulating 64 yards on 13 carries with two scores.
"The guys look up to me on the offense," Robinson said. "We all make each other better through our play when we start fast and start early and if I have the opportunity to do that for my team and get us going and get us rolling, I feel we’ll have a pretty good day on the field... it’s a good feeling to get that momentum."
Through the air, Longhorns starter Casey Thompson was nearly flawless in his own right, completing 18 of 23 passes for 303 yards and five touchdowns, while also rushing seven times for 29 yards and another score.
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Freshman Xavier Worthy led the way for the Horns on the receiving end, catching eight passes for 100 yards and three touchdowns. Jordan Whittington also had a big day, catching five balls for 93 yards and a score.
“Xavier, he’s a great player," Thompson said. "What I like about him the most is that he is a great competitor. I have never seen him be fearful or scared at all. He doesn’t back down to any challenge. The first day he got here, all the way up until now, that’s been who he is. Xavier does a great job with his speed and quickness, which I think showed today”
As dominant as the Longhorns were on offense, however, the same could not be said for the defense... at least in the second half. The Horns would end the game giving up a bevy of big plays to the Red Raiders, to the tune of 520 total yards.
Fortunately for Texas, the scoring difference was to wide of a gap for Tech to overcome.
With the win, the Longhorns (3-1, 1-0 Big 12) will now turn their attention to Fort Worth, where they will take on the TCU in their first road test of conference play. TCU will be coming off of a tough loss on Saturday against SMU.
Texas currently leads the all-time series against the Horned Frogs by a 63-27-1 margin. TCU has had the edge in the series as of late, however, winning seven of the last nine matchups between the two teams, including six of the last seven.
The Longhorns' last win over the Horned Frogs came in Austin in 2018, while their last win in Fort Worth came in 2013.
"The beauty of all this is that it is a really good win for us to start conference play but we still have work to do," Sarkisian said. "I think that it’s a good sign when we can win, not be perfect, and still have things to work on. We are going to need to because we have a tough opponent next week.”
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