It’s halftime at Royal-Memorial Stadium. No. 10 Texas, which is a 20.5-point favorite tonight, is controlling Louisiana Tech, 24-0.
Things are playing out nicely for the Longhorns, who look well on their way to exorcising those season-opening losses to Maryland the past two years. Sam Ehlinger is keeping his runs to a minimum and has three touchdown passes. The running game isn’t wowing us, but Keaontay Ingram is averaging 7.4 yards a carry. The defense is flying around and this one looks like it’s on cruise control.
Ehlinger took a good hit late in the first half and looked a little shaky immediately after. Texas kicked a field goal on fourth down while Ehlinger went to the bench. But the junior quarterback came back out for Texas’ final drive.
Texas: Devin Duvernay 4-yard pass from Sam Ehlinger (Cameron Dicker kick, 12:40)
Texas: Johnson 6-yard pass from Ehlinger (Dicker kick, 13:20)
Texas: Brennan Eagles 28-yard pass from Ehlinger (Dicker kick, 10:26)
Texas: Dicker 43-yard field goal (2:56)
What’s happened so far
1. Well, it’s obvious that getting Devin Duvernay involved early was high on the priority list for tonight’s game plan. The senior receiver touched the ball in six of the first eight plays, including a 36-yard kickoff return to open the game. He had four catches, including a touchdown, and a run on the opening drive.
For the game so far, Duvernay has six catches for 27 yards and the TD.
2. Keaontay Ingram handled rushing duties for most of the first half, with a couple of Jordan Whittington carries and a Roschon Johnson appearance thrown in.
3. Ehlinger has taken one deep shot — a 45-yard jump ball to Collin Johnson, who almost pulled off a circus catch. Ehlinger has seven carries for 25 yards. He’s taken two big hits so far.
4. Texas went for it on fourth-and-3 from Tech’s 40. Ehlinger zipped a completion to Johnson on a slant to the right, but the ball popped loose as Johnson was being tackled at the 25. The Bulldogs recovered.
5. The Longhorns have forced two turnovers, a fumble recovered by Brandon Jones and a Joseph Ossai interception.
6. This one could be 24-6. The Bulldogs have missed two field goals.
Stats that matter: Ehlinger is 20 of 26 for 173 yards and 3 TDs. Ingram has seven carries for 52 yards. Collin Johnson has three catches for 48 yards and a TD, Jake Smith has three catches for 27 yards and Eagles has two grabs for 34 yards and a TD. Jeffrey McCulloch leads the team with six tackles, followed by four tackles each from Caden Sterns, B.J. Foster and Joseph Ossai.
What to watch for in the second half: Let’s keep an eye on the Texas running game. Roschon Johnson got his first carry with three-and-a-half minutes left in the half. It was the only carry so far for the freshman quarterback who’s playing the role of third-string running back tonight. Perhaps Ingram will see fewer carries and we’ll get more Whittington and Roschon Johnson.
Louisiana Tech will get the ball to start the third quarter.
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