BEVO BEAT

Texas notebook: After a rocky start to the season, ‘The kicker’ has a big make

Posted September 29th, 2017

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AMES, Iowa — Texas fans finally saw something that Tom Herman insisted even his grandmother could see: The Longhorns have a kicker.

Texas’ final score Thursday night was Joshua Rowland’s 49-yard field goal. His longest kick of the season put the Longhorns up by two scores with 13:25 left.

It was a welcomed sight. One year after the Longhorns’ kicking game made the wrong kind of headlines in 2016 losses to Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Kansas and West Virginia, Rowland — a top-rated junior college kicker who signed in February — struggled in his debut against Maryland when he missed from 42 yards out and had a 44-yard attempt blocked and returned for a touchdown. One week after that, he missed a 43-yarder against San Jose State.

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After those three misses, Herman backed Rowland by telling reporters that “if you or if my grandma was at practice, she could tell you who the starting kicker should be because the kid had that good of a fall camp.” Thursday night, Herman maintained both his shtick of refusing to call Rowland by his name and a belief in what Rowland was showing at UT practices.

“The kicker, he’s been nails in practice,” Herman said. “Until issues in games become habitual, we’re going to go with what the guy has done in practice. That goes for every position, and he came through.”

Rowland is now 2 for 5 on his field goal attempts. He hit a 39-yarder against USC.

A heavy heart for Joe: Senior wide receiver Lorenzo Joe suited up Thursday night, two days after the death of his brother Brayden.

The cause of death of the 21-year-old has not yet been announced. A memorial service will be held Saturday in Abilene.

Joe started for the third straight game and was the first target of Shane Buechele. He finished with one catch.

“It’s really awful for LoJoe, and that’s a good buddy of mine. I hate that for him,” Buechele said. “What really sticks out to me is he’s been here, He’s been at practice since he heard about it. He’s at this game. That shows how strong he is as a person, how strong his family is.”

Spreading it around: Texas entered this week with three receivers accounting for the bulk of its catches. The Longhorns, though, showed off a deep receiving corps that was expected to be a strength of its offense.

Buechele had 19 completions thrown to 11 different players. Collin Johnson, Armanti Foreman and Reggie Hemphill-Mapps, who went into the game with 43 of UT’s 71 catches, were limited to five receptions and seven targets. Sophomore Lil’Jordan Humphrey led UT with four catches for 36 receiving yards.

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