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Five key plays: Texas 69, Kansas State 31

Texas running back Roschon Johnson (2) gets past Kansas State defensive back Brock Monty (24) in Manhattan, Kan., on Dec. 5, 2020.

There were 133 snaps taken in Texas' 69-31 win at Kansas State on Saturday. Here are five that ended up making a big difference:

1. Just the beginning

After winning the coin toss, Texas deferred and held Kansas State to six yards over the game’s first three snaps. The UT offense then got to work on what would become the highest-scoring day of the Tom Herman era.

Texas leaned on Sam Ehlinger on its opening possession and the senior quarterback completed his first five passes. It was Bijan Robinson’s feet, though, that finished what Ehlinger’s arm started. On the seven-play drive’s only run, Robinson scored from 12 yards out.

The touchdown was a first for Robinson, the Longhorns' five-star freshman. And he wasn’t the only UT freshman who accomplished a “first” on Saturday. Jordan Whittington also scored his first career touchdown. Jerrin Thompson and David Gbenda intercepted their first passes. And center Jake Majors and Thompson, a safety, made their first starts.

2. Deuce is loose

Robinson wasn’t the only fabulous freshman running back in Saturday’s game. Kansas State was able to counter Robinson’s production with Deuce Vaughn, a Round Rock native and son of a former UT assistant coach. With two impressive touchdown runs, Vaughn helped keep the score relatively close in the first half.

Vaughn finished with 14 offensive touches. He produced 125 rushing yards and 45 receiving yards.

3. Longhorns’ lone loss

Saturday did feature a setback for Texas. Late in the second quarter, senior Derek Kerstetter dislocated his ankle while blocking for Ehlinger. He was carted off the field and taken to an area hospital.

A popular captain and 37-time starter, Kerstetter was able to return to the stadium by the game’s end. In the locker room, he led the Longhorns in their postgame singing of “Texas Fight.”

4. Robinson and Roschon

The game’s biggest highlight was likely Robinson’s 75-yard touchdown run on the second play of the second half. Texas then returned to the end zone on its next offensive snap after a 98-yard kickoff return by D’Shawn Jamison set up a short score by sophomore Roschon Johnson.

Both Robinson and Johnson had three touchdown runs on Saturday. Robinson finished with 172 yards on just nine carries. Johnson ran 14 times for 139 yards.

Texas last boasted two 100-yard rushers in the same game in 2016. This marked the ninth time that two Longhorns rushed for at least 125 yards.

5. Fine with 69

Texas capped its scoring with Cameron Dicker’s 21-yard field goal with 7:48 remaining. The 69 points were the 11th-most ever scored by Texas. The Longhorns had previously topped 60 points once under Herman. 

Texas finished with 608 yards of offense. This was the 31st time in school history that UT accumulated at least 600 yards of offense.

On Saturday, Texas scored on 11 of its 14 possessions. The Longhorns punted twice and Dicker also missed a short field goal two plays after Kerstetter’s injury.