Texas’ season opener has come and gone this afternoon vs. Rice.
Here were the game’s update throughout the day:
It’s over: Texas pounds Rice 37-10
Texas’ season opener is over at Royal-Memorial Stadium. The Longhorns have beaten Rice 37-10 and will take a 1-0 record into Tuscaloosa for next weekend’s showdown against Alabama.
Quinn Ewers was 19 of 30 for 260 yards and 3 TDs, no picks, and added a rushing touchdown. It was Jaydon Blue, not Jonathon Brooks, who led the Horns in rushing. He had 10 carries for 55 yards; Brooks finished with 12 runs for 52. CJ Baxter averaged 7.6 yards a carry, but left the game late in the first half with an undisclosed injury. Xavier Worthy had 7 catches for 90 yards, and Adonai Mitchell, Ja’Tavion Sanders and Brooks all had TD catches.
Maalik Murphy played two drives and threw two notable darts, one to Isaiah Neyor and one to Johntay Cook II. Arch Manning never got into the game.
4th quarter: A score for Rice
There’s 3:04 left in the game. Texas leads 37-9; Rice just scored on an impressive 15-yard catch from Luke McCaffrey, who’s Christian’s younger brother.
It was the Owls’ best drive of the day: 13 plays for 62 yards, and it took 9:24 off the clock.
The Longhorns are well on their way to closing this one out. Perhaps we’ll see a little bit of Arch Manning in the closing minutes; he has been warming up on the sideline. Maalik Murphy was 2 of 4 for 23 yards in Texas’ last drive.
4th quarter: Murphy’s first drive
Maalik Murphy’s first career drive has come and gone, and it ended with a missed 56-yard field goal by Bert Auburn.
Murphy’s first career pass attempt went to freshman Johntay Cook II, but they couldn’t connect downfield. But Murphy fired a 13-yard laser to Isaiah Neyor — and perhaps “laser” is an understatement here — and faced his first bit of adversity: a first-and-40 situation.
Murphy got the backup nod over true freshman Arch Manning, who also still may get into this game before it’s over. Texas is up 37-3 with 12:28 left.
End of 3rd: Maalik Murphy sighting
Texas linebacker Jett Bush recovered a fumble on the final play of the third quarter, setting the Longhorns up on Rice’s side of the field — and bringing in backup quarterback Maalik Murphy, making his Texas debut. And Arch Manning is warming up.
Texas still leads 37-3.
3rd quarter: The rout is on
There’s xx left in the third quarter. Texas, which is a 35½-point favorite today, are up by 34 with a quarter to go. The Horns lead Rice 37-3.
Quinn Ewers just ran in a touchdown from one yard for the score. For the game, he’s 19 of 30 for 260 yards and 3 TDs, plus the rushing score.
3rd quarter: Quick-strike Quinn
There’s 5:33 left in the third quarter. Texas leads 30-3.
The Longhorns, taking over at Rice’s 44-yard line, struck quickly: a 44-yard touchdown pass from Quinn Ewers to Ja’Tavion Sanders, as the tight end ran it in for the final 30 yards up the middle of the field. It tied the longest touchdown pass from last season, a 44-yarder from Hudson Card to Xavier Worthy in the win over West Virginia.
The score was set up by the defense, which stuffed third-and-short and fourth-and-run runs behind Byron Murphy and T’Vondre Sweat.
3rd quarter: Hello, Adonai Mitchell
There’s 9:37 left in the third quarter. Texas is up 23-3 off Adonai Mitchell’s 9-yard touchdown catch from Quinn Ewers. It’s the first TD for Mitchell as a Longhorn; he transferred in from Georgia after having caught two career CFP touchdowns.
The Horns stopped Rice on the Owls’ opening drive of the second half. Texas’ was 8 plays and 62 yards.
It was the Horns’ eighth drive of the game. How they’ve gone so far:
∙ Jonathon Brooks’ 37-yard TD catch
∙ Bert Auburn’s 27-yard FG
∙ Bert Auburn’s 46-yard FG
∙ Bert Auburn’s 49-yard FG
∙ Adonai Mitchell’s 9-yard TD catch
Halftime: Horns add third field goal of the day
It’s halftime. Texas — which is favored to win today by five touchdowns — leads Rice by 13 points: 16-3.
We’ll let that sink in for a second.
Bert Auburn added a 49-yard field goal — which is tied for his longest one as a Longhorn — on the final play of the half.
The story of this game so far, for the Longhorns: Quinn Ewers has looked sharp on the short and medium routes, but still hasn’t solved the deep throw. The running game isn’t standing out, though the running backs are. Texas’ defense, though, has looked the part of the No. 11 team in the country. The Horns have picked off two JT Daniels passes (Jaylan Ford, Austin Jordan) and have applied pressure throughout. The Longhorns have gone for it on fourth-and-short two times, and failed to convert both.
Passing: Ewers is 14 of 23 for 161 yards and a TD. Daniels is 6 of 14 for 66 yards and two picks.
Rushing: Jonathon Brooks (9-43, 1 TD catch) leads Texas in touches, with 11. CJ Baxter had one notable burst of 32 yards, but has 4 runs for 6 yards beyond that one.
Receiving: Xavier Worthy has 5 catches for 60 yards, Jordan Whittington has three grabs for 31. Worthy’s been targeted 8 times.
Defensively, LB David Gbenda’s the Horns’ leading tackler with 4 stops, and also has half a sack. DL T’Vondre Sweat has 3 tackles and 2 quarterback hurries, including one that forced an interception. LB Jaylan Ford and DB Austin Jordan each have picks.
Rice will get the ball to start the second half.
2nd quarter: Texas pads its lead
There’s 7:51 left in the first half and Texas leads 13-3. The Horns just got another field goal, this one from 46 yards by Bert Auburn.
That’s the third-longest field goal of Auburn’s career. He had a 49-yarder against Alabama and a 48-yarder against Texas Tech last year.
2nd quarter: Horns’ linebackers shine
There’s 9:53 left in the first half. Texas just produced its first turnover of the season.
And it came from, who else, linebacker Jaylan Ford. The preseason Big 12 defensive player of the year has picked up right where he left off in 2022: making plays. He tipped a JT Daniels pass over the middle on third-and-16, then corralled the bobble to give the ball back to the offense.
And David Gbenda, who was burned for a 36-yard catch earlier in the drive, sacked Daniels for a 9-yard loss to set up the third-and-long.
Texas has taken over at its own 36.
2nd quarter: Texas adds to its lead
There’s 12:59 left in the second quarter. Texas leads 10-3, having just scored on Bert Auburn’s 27-yard field goal. Jonathon Brooks dropped a pass out of the backfield on third down that very well could have ended with six. Looked like he took his eyes off the ball as he turned upfield.
Texas settled for the field goal, though, as it capped its best drive of the day: 9 plays, 50 yards. On it, Jordan Whittington’s 26-yard catch and run off a slant patter early in the second quarter was Texas’ third pass of 20 or more yards today.
End of 1st quarter: Rice is hanging in there
End of the first quarter. Texas still leads 7-3.
The Horns have the ball and are driving to open the second.
1st quarter: Texas’ drive breaks down
There’s 3:20 left in the first. The Horns still lead 7-3, but just punted the ball back to Rice, which will start its drive at the 15.
What you missed:
Adonai Mitchell has made his first catch of the season, an 11-yard gain for a first down.
Quinn Ewers has taken his first downfield shot of the season — an underthrown pass down the right sideline to Xavier Worthy, which Worthy couldn’t come up with. Recall that deep throws were a season-long issue with Ewers throughout last season.
Also, Worthy is wearing No. 1 this year.
1st quarter: Score one for Jonathon Brooks
There’s 5:48 left in the first quarter. Texas is still up 7-3.
Jonathon Brooks’ 37-yard touchdown catch on the last drive was the Horns’ first touchdown of the season. Keilan Robinson scored the first TD of 2022 (a 12-yard blocked punt return), Bijan Robinson’s 18-yard catch from Hudson Card against Louisiana was the first score of 2021, Sam Ehlinger’s 78-yard pass to Joshua Moore (on the very first play of the game) against UTEP was the first TD of 2020 and Ehlinger’s 4-yard pass to Devin Duvernay against Louisiana Tech was the first TD of 2019.
1st quarter: Texas … is leading
There’s 7:27 left in the opening quarter. Texas is up 7-3.
Jonathan Brooks scored the Longhorns’ first touchdown of the season on a nifty 37-yard quick screen pass from Quinn Ewers. Christian Jones and Jake Majors paved the way, and Brooks showed a good burst as he was untouched on his way to the end zone.
Suddenly, that failed fourth down seems further and further away. There’s a buzz again at DKR.
1st quarter: Texas … trails
Rice is leading 3-0, off a 43-yard field goal.
The Owls were given a short field, however, when Texas failed to convert a fourth-and-2 from its own 33-yard line on the Horns’ first drive of the game. Quinn Ewers’ play-action pass to Ja’Tavion Sanders went in and out of the tight end’s hands. (The throw was low, and the catch wasn’t an easy one.)
And yes, Rice got a field goal out of the short field for the early 3-0 lead, but the decision tells us Steve Sarkisian thought his team could convert it. This wasn’t a fourth-and-inches thing. It was a fourth-and-2 play-calling decision.
Kickoff is upon us
The Longhorns and Owls are about to kick off at Royal-Memorial Stadium. The Horns are favored by 35½ points.
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Texas Longhorns football vs. Rice: UT races to season-opening win