Visits to paydirt from all three phases for the Longhorns were the highlight and difference in Texas’s 52-10 Saturday night win over Louisiana-Monroe in Austin. Texas (1-0) showed glimpses of explosiveness in a Steve Sarkisian-led offense with the debut of former #1-recruit, Quinn Ewers. After a slow start and an early interception, Ewers (16/24, 225 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) settled into the offense with the help of a sustained attack out of the backfield that opened up the passing lanes for the redshirt freshman quarterback.
The first score for the Longhorns for the 2022 season was on a blocked punt by fifth-year senior D’Shawn Jamison, recovered by Keilan Robinson and returned for the touchdown to give Texas a 7-0 lead under two minutes into the contest.
Explosive punt returns from speedster sophomore receiver Xavier Worthy gave the Longhorns great field position throughout the night that aided in the tempo and hurried scoring of the potent Texas offense.
A Balanced Rushing Attack
Alongside the debut of Quinn Ewers being anticipated, the performance of junior running back Bijan Robinson was one of high interest. The preseason All-American selection contributed to the Longhorn cause with 71 yards and one rushing touchdown on ten carries. Robinson also tallied 40 yards and one touchdown on three receptions on the night. However, the Texas running attack was one by committee, with five more Longhorns getting the nod for touches and positive yardage. Running backs Roschon Johnson and Jonathon Brooks visited the endzone with sixteen- and nineteen-yard runs, respectively. With a young quarterback for Texas, continued contribution from a talent loaded running back room will be key for the Longhorns.
The Texas defense stood firm against a Warharks offense that showed potential with a variety of chunk plays in the game. ULM’s only points for the first three quarters came early on a Calum Sutherland 25-yard field goal in the first quarter. In addition to a blocked punt which lead to a touchdown for Texas on special teams, D’Shawn Jamison contributed with a third quarter interception returned 69 yards to the endzone.
Later in the fourth quarter, ULM’s Zack Martin broke free for a 23-yard run against Texas’s lower defensive strings, bringing the score to 52-10. In an overall performance, a lightly tested Texas defense held the Warharks to 167 passing yards, and 92 yards on the ground.
Next up for Texas: vs. #1 Alabama
There is no doubt that the measuring stick for Texas will be on full display this Saturday as the Longhorns welcome the Crimson Tide to Austin. Alabama, fresh off of a big 55-0 blanking of Utah State, will roll in with confidence with the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, Bryce Young, as the signal caller. Young contributed to Alabama’s big win with five passing touchdowns, in addition to 100 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The chess match, without a doubt, will come in Steve Sarkisian’s offensive schemes against Nick Saban’s defense. The Longhorns must come out firing on all cylinders and have full, near perfect performances from the entire cast. Quinn Ewers and the young offensive line will be tested early and often against arguably the best defensive front in the country. Texas’s defense, however, will need to contribute in every measure against a talented Crimson Tide offense to give Texas any chance to move to a 2-0 record.