Football

Texas countdown to football: 5 opening day performances to remember

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Posted September 2nd, 2016

The football season is approaching fast, and Texas fans are getting excited. Counting today, there are 3 days until the start of the football season. To help celebrate, we’re counting down five things every day until the start of the season.

We started this list with five opening-season wins to remember way back in late July. Now, just days away from the season, we’re looking at the best performances on opening day.

Here’s the thing: Texas, especially during the Mack Brown era, destroyed teams in Week 1. There were a lot of impressive performances, but mostly it was spread out among the offense and many backups played. In fact, most season-openers in Texas history have been blowouts, but someone has to do the running, throwing and catching. And there have been some great performances.

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We’re only looking at games where Texas won, but  here are five season-opening performances to remember: 

5. Jamaal Charles, 2005

9/3/05 Ralph Barrera/AMERICAN-STATESMAN; Texas vs. Louisiana Lafayette, Austin, TX.--With large holes opened by his lineman RB Jamaal Charles runs for good yardage during first quarter action.
9/3/05 Ralph Barrera/AMERICAN-STATESMAN; Texas vs. Louisiana Lafayette, Austin, TX.–With large holes opened by his lineman RB Jamaal Charles runs for good yardage during first quarter action.

Running back Jamaal Charles rushed just 14 times in a 60-3 blowout of Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 3, 2005. He made the most of those carries. The future All-Pro rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown. That’s 9.6 yards per carry. He also had a catch for 18 yards. Vince Young threw an interception in this game, otherwise his 13-for-17 with 173 yards and three touchdowns may be in the running (OK, probably not) to be on this list.

4. Jordan Shipley  2009

05 SEPTEMBER 2009- AMERICAN-STATESMAN/RODOLFO GONZALEZ- University of Texas' #8, Jordan Shipley races to the end zone for a second quarter touchdown catch against the University of Louisiana Monroe during first half action held at Darrell K Royal -Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, September 5, 2009.
05 SEPTEMBER 2009- AMERICAN-STATESMAN/RODOLFO GONZALEZ- University of Texas’ #8, Jordan Shipley races to the end zone for a second quarter touchdown catch against the University of Louisiana Monroe during first half action held at Darrell K Royal -Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, September 5, 2009.

Against another Louisiana School, University of Louisiana-Monroe, Jordan Shipley started his senior year with eight catches for 180 yards and a touchdown. In the second quarter he caught a 78-yard touchdown from Colt McCoy. Like Young in 2005, McCoy threw a pick in the game, otherwise he actually would be a nice fit on this list. McCoy threw for 317 yards and two touchdowns.

3. Steve Worster, 1970

ORG XMIT: TXWAC101 Former Texas fullback Steve Worster stands in front of a painting of him while talking with reporters during induction ceremonies at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday, March 4, 2009, in Waco, Texas. Also inducted were Rolando Blackman, Bill Bradley, Lee Roy Jordan, Abe Lemons, Kyle Rote, Jr. and LaDainian Tomlinson. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune-Herald, Duane A. Laverty)
Former Texas fullback Steve Worster stands in front of a painting of him while talking with reporters during induction ceremonies at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday, March 4, 2009, in Waco, Texas. Also inducted were Rolando Blackman, Bill Bradley, Lee Roy Jordan, Abe Lemons, Kyle Rote, Jr. and LaDainian Tomlinson. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune-Herald, Duane A. Laverty)

A meaningful game for once. Texas was the defending national champions in 1970 and opened the season against California. The year before in Berkeley Texas won 17-0. In 1970, Texas won 56-15 as the winning streak reached  21 games. Worster scored three first quarter touchdowns as the Longhorns were firmly in control the rest of the way. Worster finished with just 43 yards on seven carries, but nearly half of his carries were scores.

2. Ricky Williams, 1997

9/6/97 Staff Photo:Sung Park...Norris Crawford of Rutgers looks on as Ricky Williams and James Brown celebrate their first touchdown at the first half of play at Royal Memorial Stadium.
9/6/97 Staff Photo:Sung Park…Norris Crawford of Rutgers looks on as Ricky Williams and James Brown celebrate their first touchdown at the first half of play at Royal Memorial Stadium.

Against Rutgers to start the season, junior running back Ricky Williams rushed for 163 yards on 19 carries (8.2 yards per carry) and three touchdowns. He had a  74-yard touchdown run to start the second quarter. Texas actually trailed at home to Rutgers after the first quarter, but Ricky’s run changed that.

1. AJ “Jam” Jones, 1980

College Football: Texas A.J. Jones (24) in action, diving into endzone for touchdown vs Oklahoma at Cotton Bowl Stadium. Dallas, TX 10/10/1981 CREDIT: Heinz Kluetmeier (Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) (Set Number: X26122 TK2 R3 F12 )
College Football: Texas A.J. Jones (24) in action, diving into endzone for touchdown vs Oklahoma at Cotton Bowl Stadium. Dallas, TX 10/10/1981 CREDIT: Heinz Kluetmeier (Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

Talk about a season opener. Texas began the year with heated rival Arkansas at home. They led 23-10 early in the fourth quarter, but the Razorbacks made the Horns sweat out the final three minutes after a late score with three minutes left before winning 23-17. It was AJ “Jam” Jones who was the star for the Longhorns. He rushed for 165 yards with two touchdowns on 29 carries. He also caught two passes for 9 yards.

 

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