Football

On one catch, Lil’Jordan Humphrey defines the ‘culture’ at Texas

Posted October 6th, 2018

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DALLAS — Texas coach Tom Herman was joined by three of his players at the post-game press conference after Texas’ 48-45 win over Red River rival Oklahoma.

The moderator announced that Herman would make an opening statement, then introduced the players: Quarterback Sam Ehlinger, defensive end Charles Omenihu and wide receiver “Jordan Humphrey.”

“Lil’Jordan,” Herman interrupted, later adding, “I’m a stickler for names.”

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Humphrey, despite the mixup, certainly made a name for himself on Saturday. He had nine receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown and also added two passes on trick plays, one of which resulted in a 2-yard touchdown, his first career touchdown pass. Additionally, Humphrey was responsible for what Herman called the “play of the game.”

Facing third-and-21 at Oklahoma’s 46-yard line on the first drive of the second half, Texas called for a screen pass to Humphrey, who was met by a pack of Sooners defenders but kept churning his legs. With the help of an offensive lineman or two, Humphrey wasn’t tackled until he’d reached Oklahoma’s 27.

That set up a manageable fourth-and-2, which Ehlinger converted. After Humphrey fought off a defensive hold to catch a 15-yard pass to convert another third down, Ehlinger scored on a 5-yard run. That gave Texas a 31-17 lead.

“If there’s one compliment a coach can get from people that understand football and have put the pads on or put a whistle around their neck or have become experts of the game, is that you guys played really hard,” Herman said.

He thanked Humphrey for “showing everybody what our culture is about.” The junior receiver simultaneously received a fist bump from Omenihu. Humphrey said after catching the ball, he just tried to remember what he had been coached to “get vertical.”

“I take a lot of pride in (yards after catch),” Humphrey said. “I think it can show you how tough you can be.”

Texas wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey (84) throws a touchdown pass against Oklahoma in Saturday’s 48-45 win. It was his first career scoring pass. (Photo by Nick Wagner/American-Statesman)

Junior Collin Johnson was the recipient of Humphrey’s touchdown toss in the first quarter. Humphrey took the direct snap and lofted a pass to an open Johnson as the Sooners attacked the line of scrimmage. Humphrey later completed an 8-yard pass to Ehlinger and has now thrown six times in his career.

“We had that play and he hit me,” Johnson said. “That was a pretty fun moment.”

Humphrey became the first Longhorn to have a touchdown pass and reception in the same game since David Ash did it in the 2011 Holiday Bowl.

While his effort and arm were both praised afterward, Humphrey also did his day job. He became the ninth UT player to record 100 receiving yards in the 113-game history of  the Texas-Oklahoma series.

Humphrey, who attended nearby Southlake Carroll, established career highs in both catches and receptions. That performance bested a seven-reception, 109-yard game against Tulsa earlier this season. (He also had a 109-yard game against TCU in 2017). Humphrey now leads Texas in receptions (35) and receiving yards (535).

He also has one culture-defining highlight on his résumé.

“It’s a culture. That’s literally what we do,” Johnson said. “Smash-mouth football, that’s all we know. Just hitting and going out there and playing football the way it’s supposed to be played. That play was the epitome of that.”

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