BEVO BEAT

Our four Texas-San Jose State pregame questions — answered

Posted September 9th, 2017

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Saturday morning, we looked at four questions that Texas was facing ahead of its matchup with San Jose State.

Here’s how they played out?

1. Who started at quarterback?

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Sam Ehlinger, as expected.

The freshman who went 23-6 as a starter at Westlake is now 1-0 as a Longhorn. He got the call about an hour before kickoff when it was announced that Shane Buechele, the sophomore who’s started the last 13 games and threw for 375 yards, wouldn’t be able to go; his bruised shoulder suffered last week kept him out of practices this week. Ehlinger was 15 of 27 for 222 yards and a touchdown and produced 48 rushing yards on keepers.

The assumption is that Buechele will be back for the USC game.

2. Did Texas shut down the Spartans’ top receiver?

Yes.

Bailey Gaither was averaging 17.3 yards per catch and already had three receiving touchdowns heading into Saturday. But he finished with only one catch, for 9 yards. Spartans quarterback Montel Aaron went deep to him twice but both were slightly overthrown.

Last year Texas allowed big days to Oklahoma’s Dede Westbrook (10 catches, 232 yards and three touchdowns), Cal’s Chad Hansen (12-196-2) and Oklahoma State’s Malen McCleskey (4-109-2). And in the opener, Maryland’s D.J. Moore had seven catches for 133 yards and a touchdown.

3. Did either Collin or Kirk Johnson star against their hometown team?

No.

The Johnson brothers, who starred at San Jose Valley Christian High School, grew up going to Spartans games. But Collin Johnson had only two catches for 50 yards and Kirk Johnson didn’t get into the game as a running back. One of their old high school teammates, San Jose State defensive lineman Cameron Woodard, had three tackles.

4. Were Texas’ special teams … special?

No.

Reggie Hemphill-Mapps, who returned a punt 91 yards last week, was suspended for the first half and Texas used Armanti Foreman all day on returns. He fumbled his first one but recovered it himself. And the problems continue for Joshua Rowland, who missed a 43-yard field goal attempt to pair with his 42- and 44-yarders he missed last week.

There wasn’t the catastrophic breakdowns of last week, when Texas had a field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown, lost a fumble on a kickoff return and gave up long returns. But the Longhorns certainly didn’t shine on special teams Saturday.

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