Texas notebook: It was Senior Night, but some juniors possibly bid farewell to DKR as well

Posted November 25th, 2017


Texas said goodbye to 13 seniors before kickoff on Friday night. But a few notable Longhorns juniors also may have played their last games at Royal-Memorial Stadium as well.

Junior linebacker Malik Jefferson and junior punter Michael Dickson both were non-committal after the 27-23 loss when asked about their futures. Jefferson led the team with 10 tackles; Dickson, the nation’s leading punter and Ray Guy Award finalist, averaged 50.9 yards per punt. They’re both NFL draft prospects, as is junior left tackle Connor Williams.

Williams, an All-American who returned last week from an early-season knee injury, was not made available to the media for a second straight week. As the Longhorns charged onto the field before the game, Jefferson and Williams carried out the American and Longhorn flags.


After the game, Jefferson took his time leaving the field. As he exited, he kissed his hand and then touched a Longhorns logo.

He was later asked if this was his final home game.

“Possibly. I have no idea, actually,” Jefferson answered. “I just don’t want to take any regrets or miss any opportunities that I have for this stadium and the love of these fans.”

Said Dickson: “I’ve been trying to focus on each game, to be honest. I don’t think that saying if I’m leaving or staying would benefit my punting in any way. I’ll see after the season.”

A handful of Texas juniors who arrived as part of the 2014 signing class also took part in the pre-game ceremony recognizing the seniors. Two of those juniors started at guard against the Red Raiders — right guard Jake McMillon and left guard Terrell Cuney. Head coach Tom Herman said he wasn’t sure if this was indeed it for McMillon, but said he was more certain that it was Cuney’s last game at the stadium.

McMillon told reporters afterward that he would only “answer questions about the game.” He graduated this past spring with a degree in corporate communication.

Alex Anderson, another junior offensive lineman who redshirted in 2014, also was honored before the game. As he ran out to greet Herman, he was holding a picture of his late mother, Ramona.

Texas cornerback Kris Boyd (2) gets his hands on a pass intended for Texas Tech receiver Derrick Willies (11) on Nov. 24, 2017. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

PBU U: Junior cornerback Kris Boyd broke up five passes. He also intercepted his second pass of the season, which came at the expense of ex-Gilmer teammate McLane Carter. His 44-yard interception return set up a first-half touchdown.

Boyd’s five pass breakups fell one short of a school record set by Aaron Ross in 2006.

Texas safety DeShon Elliott, who was named a finalist for the Thorpe Award on Monday, broke up four passes. Cornerback Davante Davis also logged an interception, which led to a field goal.

Texas kicker Joshua Rowland (49) attempts a field goal against Kansas State on Oct. 7, 2017. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Back from the bench: Joshua Rowland handled the place-kicking duties for Texas. He was 3 of 3 on his field-goal attempts, successfully hitting from 19-, 20- and 40-yards. He also was perfect on his two extra-points.

Rowland was benched two weeks ago after he had missed half of his 14 field goals. His replacement, senior Mitchell Becker, then missed a 44-yard attempt against Kansas.

Friday’s field goals were UT’s first since Rowland made an 18-yarder against Baylor on Oct. 28.

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