Texas 38, Longhorns 14.
Who beat whom? Doesn’t matter. We’re talking intrasquad scrimmage here. But Charlie Strong’s first Orange-White spring game — or scrimmage, anyway — is in the books.
There were no new injuries. That’s good news. Texas is already beaten up enough.
The offense, as we expected, looked like it was far from a finished product.
The first-team defense forced three turnovers, including a pick-six by Mykkele Thompson.
Tyrone Swoopes, in his first big chance, under-impressed. He ended the day much stronger than he began it — at one point, he was 2 of 9 for 9 yards and an interception, but after that point, he went 15 of 21 for 220 yards and 3 touchdowns — but had two bad misses on what should’ve been easy touchdown throws to a wide open Jaxon Shipley.
We’d heard that Malcolm Brown has had a strong spring. He certainly had a strong spring game. He ran with purpose and power and finished with 82 yards on 20 carries
SOME KEY STATS:
QB Tyrone Swoopes: 17-30-229, 3/1
RB Malcolm Brown: 20-82-1
RB Jalen Overstreet: 17-68
WR Jaxon Shipley: 6-95-1
DE Cedric Reed: 2 sacks
WHO LOOKED GOOD?
Malcolm Brown did. He’ll be the starter come fall.
Jalen Overstreet did. He had a nice cut to the outside on his first carry, juking Malcolm Brown at the line.
Dalton Santos did. If he’s going to battle Steve Edmond for the middle linebacker’s spot, then consider Saturday a win for him. He was active early. He forced Swoopes into an interception by making the quarterback alter his throw. He later broke up a third down pass over the middle, forcing a punt.
Malcom Brown did. He had two sacks and took up a lot of space in the middle.
Shipley did. Does he ever drop a pass?
PLAYERS WHO HAD AN INTRIGUING DAY:
Montrel Meander. At 6-3, 186, he looks good on the outside. He separated himself nicely from Duke Thomas and went up high to make a tricky sideline catch inside the 5. It was an early wow moment and a 31-yard play. He later had an impressive incompletion on another sideline route. Trey Holtz’s pass was out of bounds, but Meander went up to catch it and snagged it as he was at his highest point in the air. Good form.
The form, however, wasn’t so good on another particular play in which he did one thing really well — making a nice move at the line on Quandre Diggs to get open downfield — but then couldn’t find Miles Onyegbule’s high pass in the sun. The ball literally bounced off Meander’s helmet.
Bryson Echols. The backup cornerback made a couple of nice plays, including a big hit on Kendall Sanders that separated the receiver from the ball, turning a catch into an incompletion.
But did Echols really need to give Malcolm Brown a late pop in the endzone — after Brown was already a couple of steps in?
Josh Turner. Had the hit of the day, plus picked off a pass.
Overstreet ran hard. Whether his nice spring game will translate into more carries this fall, however, is another thing. Probably not, though there are certainly enough bubbling issues with Texas’ running backs — Johnathan Gray’s Achilles, Joe Bergeron’s status with Strong and the coaches and the assumption that Brown wouldn’t want to carry too big a load on his own — to think that if they ask him to, he can contribute.
Play of the game: On the final play of the first half, Swoopes launched a Hail Mary into the endzone, which Daje Johnson came down with for a long touchdown and 24-7 lead at the break.
Hit of the game: Turner’s fumble-inducing hit on Sanders.
Best pass play: It wasn’t the Hail Mary. It was Swoopes’ touchdown throw to Shipley in the second half, as Swoopes split two defenders and placed the ball perfectly for Shipley to get it.
Best run play: Brown got the final stats credit for a touchdown run up the middle in the second quarter. But it was his offensive line that made it happen. Taylor Doyle, Sedrick Flowers and Kennedy Estelle all sealed off their defenders, allowing Brown the space to gather his head of steam for the score.
There were longer runs, but that one stood out because of the blocking. That’s what the coaches are talking about when they bring up a power running game.
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