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Third and Longhorns: Inside Texas 56, San Jose State 0

Posted September 9th, 2017

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A deeper look inside Texas’ 56-0 win over San Jose State:

WHY TEXAS (1-1) WON: There was a reason why the Longhorns were such big favorites. Texas ran the ball with relative ease, controlled the line of scrimmage, stifled the Spartans defensively and avoided the pratfalls — turnovers, missed tackles, special teams breakdowns — that spoiled the season opener. Lots of yards, lots of points and a shutout win … all of which must be taken with a grain of salt as this all came against a Mountain West team. Next up: Sixth-ranked USC.

WHY SAN JOSE STATE (1-2) LOST: The Spartans were unable to sustain drives — and, thus, unable to score points. That’ll lead you to a shutout loss every time. Texas stuffed the running game, redshirt freshman quarterback Montel Aaron wasn’t effective, top receiving threat Bailey Gather had only one catch and fumbled a kickoff return and the Spartans committed two turnovers.

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THE EYES OF TEXAS: … were on three specific Spartans — Aaron, who rallied San Jose State for a win over Cal Poly last week by throwing for three touchdowns; cornerback Andre Chachere, an all-conference defender who had four interceptions last season; and running back Zamore Zigler, the team’s leading rusher.

How did they do?

Aaron was 12 of 23 for 104 yards and threw a pick-six to Holton Hill. Chachere had a quiet day, finishing with one tackle; and Zigler had five carries for 8 yards, averaging 1.6 yards a carry.

malik-jefferson-texas-football
Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson (46) stops San Jose State running back DeJon Packer (35) from gaining a first down during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, September 9, 2017. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

 

GAME BALLS

Offense: Chris Warren III. We knew Texas would want to focus on running the ball with Warren and Kyle Porter rather than rely on Ehlinger. That worked. Warren had 16 carries for 166 yards and two touchdowns, including a 41-yarder.

Defense: Malik Jefferson. Tempting to give it to Holton Hill, who had a pick-six score for the second straight game, but Jefferson has led the team in tackles two straight weeks and had a shutout-saving stop on fourth-and-1 from Texas’ 10.

THIS AND THAT

Cheers:

1. Sam Ehlinger may get most of the attention, but the Texas defense pitched its first shutout in 33 games and the first shutout at home since a 45-0 win over New Mexico in 2012.

2. Watch out, Michael Huff. Holton Hill’s third career pick-six leaves the junior cornerback only one shy of Huff’s career mark.

3. Against Maryland, offensive coordinator Tim Beck let Warren run it six times and Kyle Porter eight. They combined for 52 yards and didn’t score. But on Saturday they each got 16 carries, which they turned into 238 yards and three scores. Warren became the 51st player in school history to top 1,000 yards for his career and Porter produced his first career rushing score and set career highs for carries and yards.

Jeers:

1. Joshua Rowland missed his third field goal try of the season, this one from 43 yards out. Last week he missed 44- and 42-yarders, and one of those was blocked and returned for a touchdown.

2. Armanti Foreman caught Ehlinger’s first career touchdown pass, a shovel-pass from 1 yard out. Before that, he dropped two balls that likely would have gone for touchdowns and fumbled (but recovered) a punt return.

3. Kudos to Reggie Hemphill-Mapps for finishing second on the team in receiving again, but we wonder what he could have done had he not been suspended for the first half. That kept him off punt returns, too; last week he returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown.

TEXCETERA: This was the first-ever meeting between Texas and San Jose State. (The Spartans, according to our history books, have never scored on the Longhorns.) … The Longhorns now are 14-1 all-time vs. Mountain West teams. … This was Tom Herman’s first win at Texas. He’s now 23-5 all-time as a head coach. … The 623 yards of total offense were the most for Texas since last year’s Texas Tech game and it ranks 15th on the school’s all-time list. … Sam Ehlinger made his first career start; it’s the first time since 1976 (Mark McBath) and 1977 (Sam Ansley) that a freshman quarterback has started for UT in back-to-back seasons. Ehlinger’s the 10th true freshman to start a game at Texas and only the eighth to win a game.

ON DECK: USC (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Central, Fox)

Don’t get too caught up in all the Texas-USC rematch hype. Both programs are in different places than where they were 11 years ago. But the Trojans, ranked sixth in the country before their Saturday night showdown with Stanford, have a Heisman Trophy candidate leading them and are expected to win the Pac-12. So maybe it is 2005 all over again. Still, Texas at least heads west with some momentum.

The post Third and Longhorns: Inside Texas 56, San Jose State 0 appeared first on HookEm.

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