UT linebacker Malik Jefferson picks up a Rice fumble and runs it back for a touchdown in the third quarter at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Saturday September 12, 2015. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Football

Horns up, Horns down

Posted September 12th, 2015

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Horns Up

  • Jerrod Heard became a fan favorite in his first career start. He ran for 50 yards on a first-quarter scramble (officially 35 yards after a penalty) and then threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Armanti Foreman. Heard played with the confidence he displayed in the spring. Texas has its quarterback.
  • Daje Johnson electrified the crowd with an 85-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter. Duke Thomas followed with a 56-yarder to set up another score.
  • Burt’s first two career catches have gone for 117 yards and a touchdown. It’s safe to say he is Texas’ big-play threat in the passing game.

Horns Down

  • Despite the huge margin on the scoreboard, the Horns struggled to get off the field on third down. The Owls converted 14 of 21 third downs, which is an unacceptable number if Texas is beat better teams down the road.
  • Safety Jason Hall corralled an interception in the end zone in the second quarter, but fumbled the ball back to Rice after returning it to the 35. Good effort, bad ending.
  • Punter Michael Dickson continues to struggle. After two 28-yard punts last week in South Bend, he shanked a 17-yarder that would have led to Rice points late in the first half if not for a red zone interception by Dylan Haines. To his credit, Dickson did come back with a 59-yarder in the third quarter.

Best offensive play
The 69-yard touchdown pass from Heard to Burt to open the third quarter was one of the prettiest plays this fan base has witnessed in years. Perfect throw, great catch.

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Best defensive play
Freshman cornerback Kris Boyd blew up an option pitch and classmate Malik Jefferson scooped up the fumble and returned it 26 yards for Texas’ first defensive touchdown since Haines returned a pick 74 yards against Iowa State last year.

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