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3 takeaways as Texas trounces Texas Tech: Longhorns' offense too potent for Red Raiders

What a start to Steve Sarkisian's (what could be short-lived) career in Big 12 play. The Texas offense could not be stopped, especially in the first half when all five Longhorn drives resulted in touchdowns. Four of the five drives were 75 yards or longer, and Texas averaged 7.7 yards a play.

At the end of the game, the Longhorn offense put up 63 points and 639 yards in the 70-35 win over Texas Tech Saturday at Royal-Memorial Stadium.

The Texas defense contributed to the point total with a first-half pick-six off of Texas Tech starting quarterback Tyler Shough. Shough was injured on the play, and back up Henry Colombi played well, leading the Red Raiders to 28 points while he was in the game.

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Takeaways from today's game:

Texas running back Bijan Robinson (5) looks to score a touchdown against Texas Tech during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Austin, Saturday, Sep., 25, 2021.

Bijan Robinson should be a top Heisman candidate

The sophomore from Arizona topped the 100-yard total offense mark by the middle of the second quarter. After scoring the Longhorns' first touchdown with a 38-yard pitch and catch on fourth down, Robinson dazzled the home crowd with bursts in the hole, spin moves and showed his strength with a couple stiff-arms.

By halftime, Robinson had 150 yards off of offense and one lead block on a Roschon Johnson wildcat keeper for the last score of the first half.

Robinson's final numbers on the day: 18 rushes for 137 yards plus two catches for 54 yards and one touchdown.

It was the sixth time in the past eight games that Robinson has rushed for more than 100 yards.

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Texas takes the field before an NCAA college football game against Texas Tech in Austin, Saturday, Sep., 25, 2021.

Casey Thompson sealed his name as the starter for the season

The redshirt sophomore from Oklahoma had his first start of his career last week versus Rice, which offered no resistance to the Longhorns in the 58-0 rout. Thompson looked comfortable all afternoon for Texas versus Tech, going through his progressions, sometimes hitting his third or fourth read. When a play broke down in the second quarter, he picked up 11 yards on a third-and-7.

Thompson made a mistake in the third quarter – throwing an interception in the end zone on a covered Jordan Whittington, but other than that he played a clean game and seems to have a grasp of Sarkisian's potent offense.

Thompson completed 18 of 23 passes for 303 yards and five touchdowns. He gave way to back up Hudson Card at the end of the third quarter with the game out of hand.

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Longhorns' offensive line is going to be OK

After not being able to move an Arkansas defensive front three weeks ago in Fayetteville, Casey Thompson and all of the Texas running backs looked really comfortable behind the starting five of Christian Jones, Jake Majors, Denzel Okafor, Junior Angilau and Derek Kerstetter.

In run blocking, Texas bulled its way to 336 yards, 137 of them coming from Robinson. Johnson finished with 64 and two touchdowns. And this was all done against a Red Raider defense that had only been giving up 57 yards per game coming into the matchup.

Thompson had ample time to find his second and third reads during most passing plays.

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Up next for Texas football

TCU.

Last year's 33-31 loss to the Horned Frogs at DKR sent the Longhorns spinning. Texas was ranked ninth in the country heading into that game, but dropped to No. 22 the following week. Keaontay Ingram infamously fumbled the ball at TCU's goal line with 2:32 left, essentially sealing Texas' fate; he eventually lost his starting job to Robinson and then transferred to USC. And Texas followed this heartbreak with an even bigger heartbreak the following week, an overtime loss to Oklahoma.

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It's another 11 a.m. kickoff next Saturday at venerable Amon G. Carter Stadium in Forth Worth — where Texas hasn't won since Mack Brown's final season. Texas is 1-6 vs. TCU since that 2013 win, including three straight losses in Fort Worth.

It'll be on ABC again as well. Other Big 12 matchups: Kansas at Iowa State, Oklahoma at Kansas State, Texas Tech at West Virginia and Baylor at Oklahoma State.

Texcetera

Former Manor running back Tahj Brooks picked up an injury and was not able to play for Texas Tech in his homecoming to Austin. He was the Red Raiders' leading rusher after three games.

Josh Thompson's touchdown was also Texas' first pick-six for a touchdown since DeShon Elliott went the other way against Baylor in October 2017. 

How the scoring went:

1st quarter — Texas 14, Texas Tech 0

Texas: After receiving the opening kick off and driving to the the Texas Tech's 38-yard line through a variety of passes, coach Steve Sarkisian called Bijan Robinson's number on fourth-and-4. Robinson caught a swing route and went the distance. Quarterback Casey Thompson had 77 yards passing on the drive.

Texas: Ground and pound for Texas' second scoring drive. After a dump-off pass to Robinson for a first down to start the drive, Texas used a mix of Robinson, Roschon Johnson and Casey Thompson on the ground that was capped by a Johnson 3-yard touchdown run.

2nd quarter — Halftime: Texas 42, Texas Tech 14

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders were stopped near midfield and decided to punt on a fourth-and-7. Texas blocked the punt and returned it for a score, but the Longhorns were flagged for lining up in the neutral zone. Tech decided to roll the dice on fourth-and-2 and converted. A mix of runs and passes finished the drive that ended in a 6-yard Tyler Shough quarterback keeper for a touchdown.

Texas: Roschon Johnson picked up a first down on a fourth down attempt at Texas Tech's 45-yard line to keep the drive going. Casey Thompson squibbed out of the pocket on third-and-7 to pick up a crucial 11 yards and a first down to set up a Thompson 1-yard keeper for a touchdown a few plays later.

Texas: Cornerback Josh Thompson timed the route correctly as he slipped inside Tyler Shough's pass to Erik Ezukanma in the flat, nabbed the interception for the Longhorns' 27-yard pick-six.

Texas: After Texas Tech fails to convert on fourth-and-7 at its own 40-yard line, the Longhorns cap off a touchdown off of a turnover with a 23-yard Casey Thompson to Xavier Worthy strike.

Texas Tech: Taking only four plays after the Texas score, back up quarterback Henry Colombi uncorked a 40-yard touchdown strike to Myles Price to finish off an easy 75-yard drive.

Texas: Roschon Johnson took a 7-yard direct snap, followed the block of Bijan Robinson and broke the plane of the end zone. The touchdown capped a nine-play (seven runs, two passes), 84-yard drive to essentially end the half

3rd quarter — Texas 63, Texas Tech 28

Texas: After a 43-yard punt return by D'Shawn Jamison, the Longhorns only needed two plays to punch it in from the Texas Tech 7-yard line as Jordan Whittington took a jet sweep 5 yards in for the score.

Texas Tech: Colombi hit wide receiver Loic Fouonji down the right side of the field with a 69-yard pass where two Texas defensive backs ran into each other to take them out of the play.

Texas: Another drive, another one dominated by the running backs. After a 33-yard rush from Robinson and an 11-yard tote by Johnson, the Longhorns capped off another touchdown drive with a 3-yard pass from Thompson to Worthy.

Texas Tech: One play, one touchdown for the Red Raiders. Colombi hit Kaylon Geiger in stride down the left sideline for 75 yards to inch 7 points closer.

Texas: Three plays, three passes. One touchdown. Texas' offensive line gives Thompson all the time he needs to hit Worthy in the middle of the field as he breaks a couple of tackles for a 62-yard touchdown.

4th quarter — Final: Texas 70, Texas Tech 35

Texas: Hudson Card took over quarterback duties at the end of the third quarter, and marched the Longhorns. Six runs, 60 yards, capped by a 1-yard Keilan Robinson plunge pushed the Longhorns to 70 points.

Texas Tech: Colombi led the Red Raiders down the field against a Texas defense that was playing soft, connecting on a bunch of 7- and 8-yard passes before hitting Dalton Rigdon for 38 yards on fourth down that took the Raiders down to the 2-yard line. Third-string quarterback Donovan Smith ran it in from the 1-yard line to cap the drive.