Texas 56, NMSU 7: Horns start slow, but romp in opener

Posted August 31st, 2013



Texas 56, New Mexico State 7.

Jalen Overstreet has left his mark on this opener, scoring his second touchdown of the fourth quarter on a 38-yard run with just a little more than a minute left in the game.


Overstreet, the former quarterback, is averaging more than 10 yards a carry. He’s got nine attempts for 92 yards and the two scores.



There’s 6:12 left.

It’s Texas 48, New Mexico State 7.

The Longhorns have taken David Ash (20 of 28, 343 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs, 8 carries, 91 yards, 1 TD) out and Case McCoy in, but continue to put points on the board.

Redshirt freshman Jalen Overstreet, who the Longhorns have converted from quarterback into a tailback, scored from 1 yard out.

It capped a long 12-play, 88-yard drive that featured six first downs and took 3:48 off the clock. Joe Bergeron handled most of the running duties on the drive.



There’s 11:51 left in the game.

It’s Texas 42, New Mexico State 7.

Texas has scored again, this time on a 25-yard pass from David Ash to Mike Davis, who made a brilliant grab, then slipped his foot just inside the endzone.

The Aggies were flagged for pass interference on the play, too. Texas declined.

Texas’ scoring drive: 4 plays, 64 yards, 3 first downs along the way, 1:06 off the clock.

Ash continues to have a big, big night. He’s 20 of 28 for 343 yards and 4 touchdowns and 2 picks, and has a career-high 91 yards rushing on 8 carries.



There’s 8:11 left.

It’s Texas 35, New Mexico State 7.

Another big play for Texas. David Ash flitted a short pass to Malcolm Brown, who then sped down the right sideline untouched for a 74-yard touchdown.

Texas, a 42-point favorite, is rolling.

And Ash, who struggled for most of the first half, is 16 of 21 for 306 yards and three touchdowns, and has 81 yards rushing and a touchdown.



10:27 left.

It’s Texas 28, New Mexico State 7.

Another drive, another quick strike. David Ash has scored on a 55-yard run down the right sideline, helped along by a nice downfield block from Jaxon Shipley that took two would-be tacklers out of the play.

Texas’ drive: 4 plays, 88 yards, 1:28 off the clock.

The drive was set up by a shoestring interception by Adrian Phillips, who wiped out a NMSU scoring drive at the 12-yard line.



It’s Texas 21, New Mexico State 7.

The Longhorns, who struck so quickly at the end of the first half with those two David Ash touchdown passes to John Harris and Daje Johnson, have struck quickly again in the third quarter.

Johnson, thanks to a pair of nice blocks by Johnathan Gray and Mike Davis, has scored on a 24-yard touchdown run around the left side.

Texas was helped by good field position; the Aggies opened the third quarter with an onside kick, which was recovered by Leroy Scott near midfield.

So far, Johnson’s the star of this game. He’s rushed five times for 60 yards and a touchdown and has 3 catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.


 Texas leads New Mexico State, 14-7.

After a draw of a first quarter, 15th-ranked Texas fell behind 7-0 on Andrew McDonald‘s 11-yard touchdown pass to Josuha Bowen. It was a beautiful throw, and Mykkele Thompson gave up the catch, with 2:28 left.

Dalton Santos‘ 23-yard return of the ensuing kickoff set Texas up with good field position. David Ash hit John Harris on a 54-yard catch and run, tying the game 7-7. That “drive” took 34 seconds and went 57 yards. On two plays.

New Mexico State seemed content to run out the clock, but the Longhorns stopped them on three straight plays, calling timeouts each time.

Texas got the ball back with 1:08 left in the half, and Ash found Daje Johnson in the slot. Johnson then sped down the midlde of the field for a 67-yard score, putting Texas up 14-7 to close out the half

It’s been a rough half for Ash, who is 12 of 17 for 187 yards and 2 TDs. He’s thrown two interceptions. His stat line improved greatly at the end, thanks to the two touchdowns and 121 yards that came on those two plays.

Earlier in the half, the overthrew a wide open Mike Davis for what should have been a 47-yard touchdown. And then he missed another touchdown to Davis when he floated a pass into the endzone that was picked off.

Some first half stats to ponder:

First downs: NMSU has 11, Texas 8.

Rushing: The Aggies are out-rushing the Horns. NMSU has 27 carries for 91 yards, to Texas’ 12 carries for 69. Johnson has 3 carries for 32 yards, Johnathan Gray 4 for 20, Ash 4 for 16 and Malcolm Brown 1 for 1. No first-half carries for Joe Bergeron.

Passing: Ash is 12 of 17 for 1887 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions. McDonald is 17 of 20 for 105 yards, 1 TD.

Receiving: Johnson leads Texas, with 3 catches for 67 yards. Jaxon Shipley has 3 catches of the short variety (25 yards), and Davis has 2 catches for 31.

Total yards: Texas has 256, NMSU 196.

Turnovers: Texas has three (2 interceptions, 1 lost fumble by Davis). NMSU has 1 (a Reggie Wilson-forced fumble that was recovered by Quandre Diggs). Of note: Anthony Fera uncorked a 68-yard punt that was downed at the 1 by Bryson Echols. Texas will get the ball to start the second half.


 Fifteen minutes to kickoff.

What are you most interested in seeing tonight, or finding out about these Longhorns?

Here are things I’m watching:

How many touches will Daje Johnson get?

Texas can line him up at running back (where he rushed 27 times for 203 yards and a touchdown last year), or receiver (19 catches, 287 yards and a TD), or return kickoffs (4 returns, 83 yards). Last year, he had 50 touches, or an average of 3.8 a game.

Would like to see him get 8-10 a game. He’s a playmaker.

How will Anthony Fera look?

Last year was a let-down, and the transfer from Penn State battled a groin injury all season. This year, he’s the kicker and the punter. He averaged 42 yards a punt his final season as a Nittany Lion. Remember when Texas always seemed to have a clutch kicker?

How will the defensive line perform?

Alex Okafor is gone. Jackson Jeffcoat is back. There are questions — again — at defensive tackle. Will Malcom Brown emerge?

Will Jordan Hicks and/or Steve Edmond assert themselves?

Texas needs its outside and middle linebackers to finally be the defensive forces so many of us thought they’d become.

Third downs, third downs, third downs.

How will Texas fare on third downs in its new up-tempo offense?

Will there be a pass rush?

Jeffcoat is a sack specialist. Will it be only him tonight, or will others — like Cedric Reed, or Brown, or Chris Whaley, or a linebacker or defensive back — apply pressure too?

What’s the team’s attitude?

Texas is a 42-point favorite. Will the Longhorns act like it?

Will the Longhorns tackle?

No other team — literally — missed more tackles last year than Texas. That’s got to get better.


Thirty-five minutes to kickoff.

For those of you watching at home — Longhorn Network, meet Time Warner. Time Warner, meet Longhorn Network — there are nine Longhorns who’ll be wearing different numbers than last year.

They are:

DAJE JOHNSON: Was 27. Now is 4.

JOSH TURNER: Was 25. Now is 5.

MARCUS JOHNSON: Was 80. Now is 7.

ANTHONY FERA: Was 9. Now is 4.

BRYSON ECHOLS: Was 16. Now is 15.

WILLIAMS RUSS: Was 14. Now is 19.

TIMOTHY COLE: Was 24. Now is 30.

KENNEDY ESTELLE: Was 68. Now is 77.

BRYCE COTTRELLE: Was 52. Now is 91.


We’re about an hour away from kickoff at Royal-Memorial Stadium.

It’s a beautiful day. Come kickoff, it should be around 98 degrees with a 7-mph wind, coming from the southeast.

Players are on the field — helmets on, but no pads — warming up, going through some catching drills.

Injury update:

Wide receivers Jaxon Shipley (recovering from offseason hip surgery, and coming off a hamstring injury during preseason camp) and Marcus Johnson (who sprained his knee earlier this month) both are considered probable for tonight’s game.

Longhorns you won’t see, because they’ve been ruled out:

Linebacker Demarco Cobbs (knee)

Wide receiver Bryant Jackson (foot)

Tight end Miles Onyegbule (leg)

Safety Josh Turner (hip).

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