Texas scored on the game's first possession, capitalizing on a 46-yard kickoff return by D.J. Monroe that started the drive at the Longhorn 44. After a 15-yard Fozzy Whittaker burst gave Texas a first-and-10 at the Longhorn 29, the Texas drive stalled. Cody Johnson was tackled for a loss of a yard and quarterback Garrett Gilbert twice threw incomplete. The second pass, a throw into the end zone for Mike Davis, was nearly intercepted by Quandre Diggs, though Davis was able to slap the ball from the cornerback's hands. Texas settled for a 45-yard Justin Tucker field goal and a 3-0 lead.
Gilbert wasn't as lucky on his next attempt. After a Jackson Jeffcoat sack forced a punt, Gilbert's next pass was intercepted by cornerback Bryant Jackson, putting the Longhorns in business at the Texas 40. Quarterback Case McCoy, working against the wind, took 10 plays to stick the ball into the end zone, making three key passes. The first, an 11-yarder to Desean Hales, gave the Longhorns a first down at the Texas 30. The second was an under-thrown deep ball to receiver Darius White for 24 yards, erasing a third-and-22. And on third-and-goal from the Texas 11, McCoy rifled the ball on a slant to walk-on receiver Patrick McNamara to give the second-teamers a 7-3 advantage.
That lead didn't last long. Texas co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin has said that he wants to see the quarterbacks bounce back from negative plays, and Gilbert did that in a big way, hitting 3-of-3 passes for 25 yards, including a 14-yard pass on a throw-back pass to Darius Terrell, in leading Texas back down to score in six plays. This drive was capped off by a five-yard touchdown run from Cody Johnson, reclaiming the lead for good.
Gilbert led another scoring drive just before halftime. On a key third-and-10, Gilbert hit Hales for a 20-yard first down. Three plays later, facing a third-and-6, Gilbert threw a strike over the middle to John Harris for 16 yards to the Longhorn two. Texas couldn't punch the ball in, and Tucker kicked his second field goal, this one from 28 yards out, as time expired for the half.
In the third quarter, McCoy captained another scoring drive, this time for the Texas team. After lofting a beautiful 30-yard completion to Davis, McCoy hit Jamison Berryhill for 23. The running game took care of the final 12 yards, including a four-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Hills on third-and-2, making the score 20-7.
Texas tacked on one final score in the fourth quarter, this one courtesy of quarterback Connor Wood and running back Traylon Shead. Wood solved a third-and-9 by rushing for an 11-yard gain, while Shead ran for six on a third-and-one three plays later. Hills continued the strong running with a seven-yard gain on third-and-4, and Shead finished the drive with a two-yard plunge.
The first team was dominant, as expected, putting up 287 yards to the backups' 58. The backup offensive line had the most trouble, allowing 12 tackles for loss and six sacks. After the game, Texas coach Mack Brown admitted that he wanted to hold a team-wide draft, but was unable to because of the lack of depth on the offensive line.
"I thought the one offensive line was good," Brown said afterward. "Our second offensive line has not had a chance all spring."
Texas defensive end Alex Okafor grabbed four of those sacks, and said he hadn't ever had a performance like that.
"Not even in high school," Okafor said when asked if he'd had that many sacks in a game before.
Sacks were counted by one-hand touches, and not all of them would have been sacks in actual game play. The Longhorns had four sacks of their own, led by 2.5 sacks by defensive end Reggie Wilson.
Discounting yardage lost from sacks, Texas rushed for 120 yards on 22 carries, or 5.5 yards per carry.
Most importantly, Brown said that none of the players suffered any serious injuries, and the coaches will have 86 plays to review personnel.
Brown, always the optimist, looked at the bright side afterward.
"It's great to be undefeated."
TEXAS — Justin Tucker 45 FG, 11:20 1Q
LONGHORNS — Patrick McNamara 11 pass from Case McCoy (William Russ kick), 14:55 2Q
TEXAS — Cody Johnson 5 run (Tucker kick), 11:51 2Q
TEXAS — Tucker 28 FG, 0:00 2Q
TEXAS — Jeremy Hills 4 run (Tucker kick), 2:22 3Q
TEXAS — Traylon Shead 2 run (Tucker kick), 3:59 4Q
* The Quarterbacks
Case McCoy finished 9-of-11 for 124 yards and the game's only touchdown pass. Garrett Gilbert was 8-for-15 for 76 yards with the game's only interception. Connor Wood was 8-for-14 for 82 yards. David Ash received two drives, both with the second team, and went 2-for-3 for five yards. He was sacked twice.
But Texas's coaches have said all along that the battle would be decided by the player who moves the team from Point A to Point B. In that regard, McCoy still carried a slight edge, leading two scoring drives that accounted for 14 points. Gilbert actually led one more scoring drive (three), but scored one less point (13), as Texas was twice held to field goals. Wood led one scoring drive that resulted in seven points.
Afterward, Brown declined to comment on any individual quarterback's performance.
"We're not going to evaluate them until the fall," Brown said. "We're not going to walk out of here tomorrow and say this guy's going to be the starting quarterback."
* Vanilla vs. Rainbow Chip
Safety Blake Gideon said that the defense only showed "about 5 percent" of its overall package Sunday. Brown agreed with that assessment, stating that the defense mostly ran one coverage, and added that it was probably the only time all spring that Texas used its base defense. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz called the defense "vanilla."
If that was the flavor of the defensive ice cream, the offense was filling up on rainbow chip. On Texas's first touchdown drive, the Longhorns used a throw-back pass to Gilbert, who passed the ball to an open Terrell for 14 yards. Just two plays later, Harsin called a reverse to receiver Mike Davis, who ran for 11.
Afterward, Gideon said that the offense was tough to defend, because it took whatever the defense gave up.
* Spring Game Terror
Hales was at it again. The receiver who earned oohs and ahhs with his performance in last year's spring game turned in another great performance, leading all receivers with a combined six catches for 62 yards on the day. His day included a pair of big third-down catches that continued scoring drives.
After the game, Brown said that Hales had demonstrated D.J. Monroe-like explosiveness in the spring, and was somebody that the coaching staff would try to get into space.