LANDOVER, Md. — “What was that?”
It’s what Longhorn Nation had to be asking about 20 minutes in against Maryland.
The 2018 college football season had started and the Texas Longhorns took a while to get off the team bus.
Take away a nice 39-yard touchdown connection between Sam Ehlinger and Devin Duvernay and it things looked rather grim.
That is, until the Horns drove 69 yards to make this game after freshman Keaontay Ingram’s first career touchdown run. That snapped an ugly streak of four consecutive three-and-outs.
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Then Ehlinger hooked up Collin Johnson for a 20-yard score at the end of the half to secure the halftime momentum.
The good news: the Horns can win this.
The bad news (I made a list):
- Davante Davis is out with a neck injury.
- Gary Johnson got ejected for targeting.
- Maryland true freshman Jeshaun Jones has already posted a rushing, receiving, and passing touchdown.
Here are some quick takes from my Statesman colleagues in the pressbox.
Brian Davis: “Are you not entertained?”
Kirk Bohls: “Texas looked as bad as it could the first 21 minutes then as good as they could look in the next nine.”
Danny Davis: “I wrote about Devin Duvernay in Friday’s paper, so I feel pretty good about myself.”
There was very little lockdown in nickel cornerback P.J. Locke III who gave up a couple of catches on Maryland’s first drive then couldn’t shed a blocker on Jeshaun Jones’ 28-yard touchdown. Overall, Todd Orlando’s defense looked very much in the first quarter like the one that gave up a 51-burger to the Terps in the 2017 season opener.
QB Kasim Hill hooked up with Jones for a 65-yard TD pass one play after cornerback Kris Boyd dropped what would have been a interception. Not the best debut.
The Horns did a great job of responding with a 15-point second quarter as the defense was much better against those quick-hitting jet sweeps that got the Terps going early. And more important, Ehlinger woke up, despite the some in the Twitterverse calling for the early hook.
So what happens?
It feels like a game the Horns can gut out. At this point, any win is a great win. Style points do not matter.
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