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How the Texas Longhorns graded out in their season-opening win over Louisiana

How Texas graded out in Saturday's 38-18 season-opening win over No. 23 Louisiana:

Quarterbacks: A-

Hudson Card looked solid, less so like a redshirt freshman who'd completed only three college passes before Saturday but more like a heady quarterback who's been here for awhile. His numbers were fine, but what stood out was his decision making and ability to extend plays and drives. His scramble on fourth-and-6 in the first quarter led to Texas' opening touchdown. Later he threw the ball away on third down rather than force anything, knowing that Cameron Dicker was in range. Roschon Johnson's leaping first-down catch-and-run for a first down was a memorable play, but he got the ball only because Card evaded a pass rush by flipping it to him right off the line. Check-downs were common. In the first half, he was hit while throwing and the ball came out awkwardly; he pounced on it, and while a video replay determined it to be an incomplete pass, it was still a smart play. He showed strong zip on short and intermediate throws, looked to have a good connection with Jordan Whittington and was particularly effective throwing over the middle. Casey Thompson came on to manage the fourth quarter and threw a touchdown, too.

Go figure: Card was 14 of 21 for 224 yards and 2 TDs, and added a rushing score.

Golden:Sarkisian played the right Card with Texas' quarterback decision

Texas wide receiver Jordan Whittington  (4) celebrates his fourth quarter touchdown against Louisiana with teammates Texas wide receiver Marcus Washington, left, and Texas running back Bijan Robinson at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Saturday September 4, 2021.

Running backs: A-

Get this: In his last three games, Bijan Robinson has rushed for 458 yards, averaged 206 total yards a game, averaged 11.7 yards per carry and has produced eight touchdowns. Can he keep that up over a 12-game schedule? The sophomore got 24 touches and produced 176 yards of offense. He showed off his speed, power, ability to catch the ball, bounce off tackles and make plays. He went down awkwardly in the third quarter on an 18-yard reception, but came back to finish the game.

Go figure: Robinson produced runs of 17 and 19 yards and had catches of 18, 28 and 18 yards.

More:Bohls: Another big day from Bijan Robinson makes Steve Sarkisian's Texas debut a smashing success

Wide receivers: B-

Whittington saved the day for this position group. He had a career day — granted, the former five-star recruit has played in only a handful of games so far — and really had some clutch grabs in his seven catch, 113-yard, one touchdown day. The first pass that went to him was incomplete, but he then grabbed all seven of his next targets, four of them converting first downs on third-down catches and another a 14-yard touchdown. Xavier Worthy flashed with a 34-yard catch after a nifty move, but that was about it. Card overthrew Joshua Moore on four throws, but Moore did recover a fourth quarter fumble to keep a touchdown drive alive.

Go figure: Only 11 of the Texas' 18 receptions went to wide receivers. The rest were to running backs and tight ends.

More:Texas vs. Louisiana: Our five pregame questions facing the Horns — answered

Tight ends: C-

Cade Brewer made the most of his one one catch. It was a perfectly placed six-yard dart from Card that went for a touchdown in the first half. And it led to a cool moment, as we saw Card — a Lake Travis product — throw a touchdown to Brewer, another Lake Travis product, and then Cameron Dicker — yep, you guessed it — trotted out to kick the extra point. Unfortunately, Brewer's score was the lone catch by a tight end. Nothing from Jared Wiley. We didn't see Ja'Tavion Sanders.

Go figure: Brewer caught a touchdown in the season opener for the second straight year.

Offensive line: B-

There were some nice moments all across the line. Jake Majors, Derek Kerstetter and Junior Angilau sprang Robinson for a nice 17-yard gain to the right in the first half. That play came on a second-and-1, when Sarkisian could have called just about anything. And Denzel Okafor was key in a big second-half gain from Robinson, who clearly got help in his big day. But Texas gave up three sacks, there were holding penalties called against both Kerstetter and Okafor, and Angilau left in the second half with a knee injury. There's room for improvement and Texas will face bigger defensive fronts than Saturday.

Go figure: In all, the Horns gave up two sacks and five tackles for loss.

More:Texas Longhorns vs. Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football video highlights, score

Texas defensive back Anthony Cook celebrates with a coach after the Longhorns recovered a Louisiana fumble in the fourth quarter of the Longhorns' 38-18 win over No. 23 Louisiana.

Defensive line: C

If this one game is an indication, the defense will be led by its blitzing, energetic linebackers. Saturday was a case of quality, not quantity, for the defensive line. Notre Dame transplant Ovie Oghoufo's nice all-around game (seven tackles, one sack, 1.5 tackles for loss) paired with Keondre Coburn's blocked extra point, Moro Ojomo's pass breakup (Texas' only one of the day) and Jacoby Jones' quarterback hurry (Texas' only one of the day).

Go figure: The Ragin' Cajuns averaged 2.7 yards per run.

Linebackers: B

Luke Brockermeyer, making his first start, had a career-high 10 tackles, including half a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. He always seemed to be in on a tackle, though he wasn't because DeMarvion Overshown also was everywhere — a team-high 13 stops, half a sack and half a tackle for loss.

Go figure: Overshown has recorded either an interception or pass breakup in 10 of his last 13 games, dating back to the 2019 season.

Secondary: B-

No interceptions, no pass breakups. But Texas wasn't burned by Louisiana's passing game and no Ragin' Cajun had more than five catches. D'Shawn Jamison was shaken up in the second half. Darrion Dunn forced a fourth quarter fumble and Jerrin Thompson recovered it, quashing a promising Louisiana drive. Josh Thompson had an obvious roughing the passer penalty on a late hit in the fourth quarter. Teams with much bigger passing threats at quarterback await.

Go figure: Louisiana's longest reception of the day went for 26 yards.

Special teams: B

Dicker, the kicker, also handled punting duties in place of Ryan Bujcevski, who's still on the mend. He missed a 48-yard field goal early but then later nailed one from 49. Saturday, though, saw others make nice contributions on special teams. Coburn blocked an extra point up the middle, and when the Cajuns then tried to catch the Longhorns napping on a surprise onside kick, BJ Foster recovered it. The Horns recovered another onside kick in the fourth quarter. And one of Card's nicest plays probably wasn't even noticed by many: as the place-holder, he had a good recovery from a bad snap on an extra-point kick early in the fourth quarter. Jamison's 83-yard punt return for a touchdown early in the game was called back by an illegal block in the back penalty.

Go figure: Dicker looked just fine punting — two of them, one for 50 yards, the other for 53.