Saturday morning, we looked at four questions that Texas was facing ahead of its matchup with Maryland.
Here’s how they played out:
1. How did Texas replace D’Onta Foreman?
Oh, the Longhorns tried — giving Kyle Porter and Chris Warren III the bulk of the tailback snaps, but neither of them produced. Warren, who was expected to inherit Foreman’s role, had six carries for 31 yards; Porter, who actually started, had eight carries for 21 yards, averaging 2.6 yards a carry. Shane Buechele ran it more than the two of them combined.
There’s a lot of season left, though Foreman’s 2,028 yards from 2016 now seem like a long, long time ago.
2. Did Sam Ehlinger make an appearance?
The freshman quarterback from Westlake who battled Buechele throughout the spring and summer kept his spot on the sideline, usually within ear shot of Tom Herman. The coach had said that he’d play only if Buechele struggled. The sophomore threw for 375 yards and two touchdowns.
After the game, Herman said he never considered inserting Ehlinger.
3. Did any newcomers step up on defense?
You have to go 10-deep on Texas’ final defensive stats before you hit a newcomer. Freshman linebacker Marqez Bimage and freshman cornerback Josh Thompson each finished with two tackles, which tied for 10th on the team. Malik Jefferson quietly led the team with nine tackles and Holton Hill — Texas’ player of the game — had eight.
4. Were Texas fans ready for some football?
Just perhaps not the football that they got. Saturday’s crowd was 88,396 — a far cry from Texas’ 2016 opener against Notre Dame (102,315) and the smallest crowd at Royal-Memorial Stadium since the 2015 Kansas State game (88,283). Maybe it was Labor Day weekend. Or the 11 a.m. kickoff. Or post-Harvey fallout. Or Texas’ 16-21 résumé the past three years. The Longhorns ranked eighth nationally in attendance last year.
— RICHARD TIJERINA
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