If there was any question as to who the best player on the Texas offense is, junior wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey settled the debate on Saturday night.
Humphrey led the Longhorns with seven catches for 86 yards in the 24-10 win over Iowa State. His 27-yard touchdown catch gave Texas a 21-point lead at the end of the third quarter. And his 20-yard reception in which his legs churned through a pile of Cyclones defenders kept alive a 94-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter.
“He’s our best player. I don’t think anybody would blink or anybody on that offense think any differently,” head coach Tom Herman said. “You’re talking about an offense that has some really good players, especially even at his position. … But he’s just so versatile, he’s so aggressive.”
— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) November 18, 2018
Humphrey’s 86-yard night against the Cyclones closed out a week in which he wasn’t named a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, which is given to the nation’s top receiver. Four other Big 12 receivers made the 11-player cut, though. Still, a spot in the UT record books may be a consolation prize for him.
On that 27-yard touchdown, Humphrey also broke the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Only eight other players have done that in school history. Texas last had a 1,000-yard receiver in 2014 when John Harris went for 1,051.
“That dude is a super hero,” said Tre Watson, the Texas running back who led all players with 93 rushing yards. “His game speaks for itself. It’s a blessing to have somebody like that, and being able to see it in person is crazy.”
Humphrey has said he’ll play in UT’s bowl game regardless of whether or not he enters the NFL draft. That leaves him with two, and likely three, games to break UT’s single-season receiving record. In 2009, Jordan Shipley had 1,485 receiving yards. No other Texas receiver has ever gone over 1,200 yards. Humphrey now has 1,033.
Humphrey also now has 70 receptions, which is tied for the fifth-best single-season mark at Texas. Shipley had 116 in that 2009 season.
Long drive: Texas pieced together four scoring drives, each one covering at least 69 yards. The longest drive went 94 yards in the second quarter that was capped by Keaontay Ingram’s 19-yard touchdown catch. It was the longest scoring drive for UT since the Longhorns drove 96 yards against Iowa State in 2016.
Texas ran 10 plays on the 94-yard drive. Sam Ehlinger missed Devin Duvernay downfield on the first play of the drive, but Humphrey converted a third-and-6 play with a catch and Cyclones-carrying 20-yard gain. The star of the drive, though, was Ingram.
The freshman touched the football on the final six plays of the possession. He ran four times for 38 yards. He also had two catches.
“That’s the game that we want to play,” tight end Andrew Beck said. “Their defense tries to get people in that situation to make them drive the ball and assume that they’re going to make a mistake. We’ve been pretty good all season about driving the ball and staying on the field and executing on long drives like that.”
Early departures: Texas recognized its senior class in a pregame ceremony. The last of the 26 names called was Beck, a two-year captain. Texas started things by recognizing four players who are classified as juniors on the roster.
Defensive back Chase Moore, defensive linemen Edward Pequeno and deep snapper Michael David Poujol are all juniors who walked on at Texas. Linebacker Cameron Townsend, however, was a member of UT’s 2015 signing class. He redshirted in 2015 and mostly played on special teams over the past three seasons.
Texcetera: This was the 500th game in stadium history; UT is now 376-114-10 all-time there, a winning percentage of .762. … Ehlinger has now attempted 295 consecutive passes without an interception, a school and Big 12 record. His 31 total touchdowns this season are tied for the third-most in school history. … Watson needs 33 rushing yards to reach 2,000 for his career.