WHY NO. 23 TEXAS (0-1) LOST: Saturday’s 2017 season opener felt like we were in 2016 all over again. Or was that 2015? Or 2014? The first game of the Tom Herman era was marred by the shortcomings that have haunted Texas the last three years. There were missed opportunities on offense, there were defensive issues stopping runs up the middle, the secondary gave up chunk plays, there were costly penalties and there was a general malaise of not being able to sustain drives.
WHY MARYLAND (1-0) WON: Quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome, thought to be a liability in the passing game, was a spark. He produced 239 yards of total offense and accounted for 3 touchdowns. And the defense won the battle up front, consistently getting into the backfield thanks to one UT lineman’s blocking breakdown after another.
THE EYES OF TEXAS: … were on three specific Terrapins — center Brendan Moore, the local product in his third season as a starter; running back Ty Johnson, a 1,000-yard rusher last year; and linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr., who’s logged 213 tackles in 25 starts the past two seasons.
How did they do?
Moore anchored an offensive line that allowed only one sack and produced 482 yards of offense. Johnson led the team in rushing (12 carries for 132 yards, an average of 11 yards a carry) and produced 50- and 40-yard runs, the latter a touchdown. Carter tied for the team lead with seven tackles and had two sacks.
Offense: Collin Johnson. Seven catches for 125 yards and a touchdown.
Defense: Holton Hill. For two quarters he was the Texas offense, and he plays defense. Two touchdowns, second on the team in tackles.
THIS AND THAT
1. Let’s hear it for big defensive plays. Hill had a pick-six. And a blocked field goal return for another score. Poona Ford’s the one who blocked the kick.
2. The Longhorns were 9 of 18 on third-down conversions. That’s a 50-percent success rate.
3. Buechele misfired on his downfield throws, but set career highs for attempts, completions and yards. It was his second 300-yard game as a Longhorn. And his 375 yards were the 10th-most for a UT quarterback and the most since Colt McCoy’s 396 vs. Kansas in 2009.
1. Not a good day for the offensive line, which Herman praised earlier in the week. If Connor Williams is getting flagged for two holding calls on the same drive, something’s not right.
2. At this rate, Warren and Porter will combine for 624 rushing yards this season. That kind of rushing inefficiency won’t last.
3. Texas was flagged 11 times for 117 yards.
TEXCETERA: This is the fourth time that Texas has played Maryland and the first time that the Terrapins have scored; the Longhorns had enjoyed a 102-0 all-time scoring advantage heading into Saturday. … The Longhorns produced three non-offensive touchdowns; they had none in 2016.
ON DECK: San Jose State (Saturday, 2:30 p.m., LHN)
If ever there was a time for San Jose State to come to town, this is it. The Longhorns need a win to right their 2017 ship.
— RICHARD TIJERINA
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