Texas Longhorns (49) Joshua Rowland makes the extra point during the Orange and white spring football game at the Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2017 RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Football

Spring game notebook: Rowland kicks off Texas career with three field goals

Posted April 15th, 2017

Advertisement

One of three early enrollees in the Longhorns’ locker room, kicker Joshua Rowland made his debut at Texas’ spring game.

Rowland was successful on three of his four field-goal attempts Saturday. He was good from 36, 28 and 31 yards, and that last kick came after Texas coach Tom Herman iced him with a timeout in a situational drill. Working with deep snapper Jak Holbrook and holder Michael Dickson, the rising junior’s only miss was from 49 yards.

Considering the springtime stakes, however, Herman wasn’t necessarily impressed.

“The kicking game? It’s fine,” said Herman, who added that the Longhorns work more on punting than kicking. “There’s kids they pull out of the stands that can make a field goal (or) PAT with nobody rushing and the game’s not on the line. We put them in as adverse situations as possible throughout the course of practice, but you never know.”

Only time will tell how Rowland responds on more pressure-packed plays. Former kicker Trent Domingue missed crucial kicks in three-point losses at Kansas and Kansas State last fall, and a blocked try didn’t help in a 24-20 loss to West Virginia. Rowland was signed in February after he booted 25 field goals in two seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Texas Longhorns (7) Shane Buechele runs for the first down against the Texas defense during the Orange and white spring football game at the Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2017 RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Situational Shane: Texas staged a couple of two-minute drives for quarterback Shane Buechele, and the sophomore-to-be led the first-team offense to points on both possessions.

With 1:50 to work with in the first half, Buechele engineered a six-play scoring drive starting from his own 30 that featured three pass completions, two rushes and a sack. Two of his throws were directed at Collin Johnson, who beat teammate Eric Cuffee for a 17-yard gain and a 29-yard touchdown.

Toward the end of the scrimmage, the offense was given the football at its 36 with 80 seconds to go. Buechele went only 3 for 6 on that drive, but a 37-yard pass to Jerrod Heard set up a 31-yard kick for Rowland.

“We’ve had a little bit of success doing some of that through spring, so it wasn’t surprising,” offensive coordinator Tim Beck said.

The first-string defense shut down a Sam Ehlinger-guided offense during its two last-minute drills. Ehlinger, a freshman from Westlake High School who enrolled early, went 0 for 6 with a sack in those situations.

Texas Longhorns (44) Breckyn Hager looks on during the Orange and white spring football game at the Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2017 RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Injury update: Five of Texas’ six scholarship running backs were spectators Saturday as Roderick Bernard (knee), Tristian Houston (ankle), Kirk Johnson (hamstring), Kyle Porter (ankle) and Chris Warren III (hamstring) sat with injuries.  Tight end Andrew Beck (foot), cornerback Davante Davis (shoulder), safety Jason Hall (hamstring) and center Zach Shackelford (ankle) also were listed on the pregame report.

Linebacker Breckyn Hager entered the weekend with a shoulder injury and was limited to one series. Texas, though, did not need to update its injury report after the spring game. In fact, the first words out of Herman’s mouth during his postgame press conference were “excited that we came out of it injury-free. That’s fairly unusual for a spring game.”

Texas Longhorn legend Michael Griffin competes against a student during the Orange and white spring football game at the Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2017 RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Get him a scholarship: The halftime entertainment featured fans competing in skill competitions against former Longhorns stars. Colt McCoy (accuracy throw), Tim Crowder (sled push) and Michael Huff (40-yard dash) posted easy wins, but UT student Justin Betancourt ended up being undefeated.

Betancourt teamed with fellow student Mitchell Doerr to best DBU products Aaron Ross and Michael Griffin in an obstacle course. He then went after an ex-receiver, beating Marquise Goodwin in a catching contest. Not to get it twisted, Betancourt was aided by Griffin slipping during his run and a bad throw to Goodwin. A win is a win, though.

Comments