SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Here are three quick Nuggets from the first half.
WHERE WAS J. GRAY?
Charlie Strong spoke all offseason about the leadership ability of running back Johnathan Gray and the desire to make him a focal point of this offense. Well, Gray didn’t even receive his first carry until the final minute of the first quarter. He finished the first half with just three carries for 18 yards. It’s difficult to get a rhythm at that position without carries. Gray is the team’s most experienced offensive player. This should be a 20-carry game for him.
OFFENSIVE LINE UNDER FIRE
Welcome to big-time football, Connor Williams and Patrick Vahe. To be fair, the entire Texas offensive line was dominated in the first half and the goose egg on the scoreboard was a direct result of the ineptitude of this unit. The quarterbacks had no time to throw and the high-tempo attack hasn’t bothered Notre Dame one bit.
MALIK JEFFERSON COULD BE A STAR
Freshman linebacker Malik Jefferson has star quality and he flashed several times in an otherwise disappointing first. Jefferson showed great instincts in the run game and had the highlight hit of the first half on Notre Dame running back Josh Adams.
Looking ahead to the third quarter, the Horns need to get their running game going and make some kind of splash in the special teams or this could become one embarrassing season opener. At this point, Texas just needs to avoid getting humiliated. Get on the scoreboard in the third quarter and see what happens.
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