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.
We’re only looking at games where Texas won, but here are five season-opening performances to remember:
5. Jamaal Charles, 2005
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
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
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
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
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.