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Texas report card: Alamo Bowl grades reflect the Horns' 55-23 Buffs beatdown

Texas linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, left, and defensive back Jahdae Barron celebrate a fourth quarter fumble recovery against Colorado in the Longhorns' 55-23 Alamo Bowl victory. Overshown was named the game's defensive MVP.

Texas' final game of the 2020 season was a memorable one:

The Longhorns improved to 4-0 in bowl games under Tom Herman with their 55-23 win over Colorado in the Alamo Bowl.

They scored 124 points over their final two games.

They did it without a handful of players who have been so key for years, starters and team captains like Samuel Cosmi, Derek Kerstetter, Brennan Eagles, Joseph Ossai, Caen Sterns and Chris Brown.

And they did it without Sam Ehlinger, who missed the second half with a shoulder injury. Texas led 17-10 at halftime.

It was an impressive performance on offense, defense and special teams. Thus, the report card for the Colorado game is pretty impressive, too:

QUARTERBACKS: A

The Alamo Bowl served as an introduction to quarterback Casey Thompson. The sophomore impressed in his first extended playing time as a Longhorn, replacing Ehlinger to start the second half. He immediately showed off his arm strength, which allowed offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich to call for deep shots. Thompson finished the game 8 of 10 for 170 yards and four touchdowns.

Before his injury, Ehlinger was 10 of 16 for 160 yards and a touchdown. Hudson Card was 1 of 2 for five yards in cleanup duty. Texas actually played four quarterbacks in the game.

Go figure: It was Ehlinger's 43rd career start. And probably his last.

Season average: B

RUNNING BACKS: A+

True freshman Bijan Robinson is a star. He emerged as the future of the Texas offense over the last third of the season. He put an exclamation point on his first season with an MVP performance in San Antonio. Robinson rushed for 183 yards and a touchdown with a long of 66 yards — the best bowl performance ever for a Longhorns freshman running back. He also caught two passes for 37 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Roschon Johnson added 32 yards and a score on 10 carries. As a team, Texas averaged 7.6 yards per carry. The Longhorns surpassed 300 yards rushing in the win.

Go figure: Robinson had five plays of 20 or more yards — runs of 27, 50, 66 and 21 yards and a 23-yard touchdown catch.

Season average: B- 

WIDE RECEIVERS: B

The group came alive when Thompson checked into the game because it allowed the group to run deeper routes that Ehlinger doesn’t excel at throwing. The ability to throw the deep ball alleviated the need to run precise routes. The receivers could simply run straight down the field. Joshua Moore led the team with five catches for 86 yards and a pair of touchdowns. True freshman caught a 73-yard touchdown pass. Jordan Whittington and Al’Vonte Woodard added three catches each.

Go figure: Moore's nine touchdown catches this season tied for the seventh-most ever for a Longhorn.

Season average: C+  

TIGHT ENDS: B

The tight ends didn’t light up the stat sheet, but the group should be credited with helping the Longhorns amass 300 yards rushing. Cade Brewer caught two passes for 59 yards, including a long of 38. Malcolm Epps had a 20-yard run.

Go figure: Brewer and Jared Wiley finished the season seventh and eighth on the team in receptions.

Season average: C

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: A

Texas had to shuffle in three new starters on the line for the bowl game, and the young guys impressed. Jake Majors is a potential three-year starter at center, a position that's improved with the freshman in there in favor of Kerstetter, who was better as a right tackle. Andrej Karic has big shoes to fill at left tackle after the departure of Cosmi, but the true freshman from Southlake Carroll held his own against Colorado. Tyler Johnson started at right guard. Heis the highest-rated offensive line recruit to sign with the Longhorns in the Herman era. The group allowed three sacks. Two of those came in the first half with Ehlinger still in the game.

Go figure: The 638 yards of total offense were the most ever for Texas in a bowl game.

Season average: C+

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: B+

While Robinson and Thompson staked claims to star status heading into 2021, true freshman defensive tackle Alfred Collins made defensive fans salivate. He moves incredibly well for a young man checking in at more than 300 pounds. The Bastrop native was the highest-rated defensive prospect in Texas’ 2020 recruiting class and is already living up to the hype. He tallied five tackles and an interception. Reese Leitao, a former tight end, was tied for the team lead with six tackles. Keondre Coburn recorded five. True freshman Vernon Broughton recorded the team’s only sack. 

Go figure: Collins recorded his first career start and first career interception.

Season average: B

LINEBACKERS: B

The linebacker position appears to be in good hands heading into 2021. Former five-star safety DeMarvion Overshown continues to improve as a linebacker. He tied for the team lead with six tackles. He also recorded an interception, recovered a fumble and hit the quarterback twice. David Gbenda and Jaylan Ford each recorded four tackles. Juwan Mitchell missed the first half due to a targeting ejection in the regular season finale, but emerged in the second half with three tackles.

Go figure: Overshown had either a pass breakup or an interception in eight of the last nine games.

Season average: B- 

DEFENSIVE BACKS: B

Colorado's two quarterbacks completed only 14 of 33 passes for 196 yards for zero touchdowns and two interceptions. Jerrin Thompson, a freshman from Lufkin, tied for the team lead with six tackles, including a team-high five solo stops. B.J. Foster and Chris Adimora tallied five stops each. Jalen Green, who moved from cornerback to safety during bowl preparation, had two tackles. Josh Thompson and D’Shawn Jamison each broke up a pass. 

Go figure: Overshown's two interceptions this season were more than any Longhorns defensive back. Sterns, Brown, Adimora, Josh Thompson and Jerrin Thompson each had one.

Season average: C+