Aaron Ross ties school record: Defensive back Aaron Ross tied a UT record with his third career punt return for a touchdown with a 46-yard sprint with 8:10 left to play in the second quarter. Ross broke a pair of tackles on the touchdown scamper. Ross and Jim Moore, who played for Texas in the early 1970s, now share the school record with three career punt returns for scores. Rice freshman Jonathan Arceneaux of Tyler was carted off the field with an injured left leg following the play. Ross turned 24 on the eve of the Rice game.
Jermichael Finley sighting: Redshirt freshman tight end Jermichael Finley, who many have predicted will ultimately be the best at his position at UT before his career is over, caught the first ball of his career on the Longhorns' second drive. After starting the game for the first time in his career, Finley was on the receiving end of a McCoy pass for 21 yards and a first down on the left sideline.
Bothersome penalties: Texas obviously racked up impressive numbers against Rice, but compiled some dubious numbers when it came to penalties. The Longhorns were flagged a record 19 times for 148 yards in the ballgame. The previous record for penalties in a game for Texas came in 1978, also against Rice, when they were penalized 17 times. The penalties first hurt the Longhorns on their third drive of the game, but the Longhorns managed a 46-yard Greg Johnson field goal despite their difficulties. Finley was twice flagged for penalties on that drive – one a holding call that nullified a 22-yard shovel pass from McCoy to Charles, and the other an illegal procedure from the Rice 13 yard-line. Texas then jumped early again in the drive, prompting the referee to call the infraction on "three players" on the Texas offensive line. In the post-game press conference, Mack Brown joked that "you really have to work" to have three players to jump at the same time.
Brief injury scare for McCoy: McCoy took a couple of hard hits early in the third period, the last of which resulting in the redshirt freshman getting up slowly from the turf. Texas trainer Kenny Boyd attended to McCoy briefly on the sideline, and reported that the signal caller simply had the wind knocked out of him. McCoy finished the game with seven completions in nine attempts for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Jordan Shipley's hamstring is just fine: Heralded receiver Jordan Shipley displayed his speed on a 40-yard reverse on the first drive of the game for Texas. He got a wipeout block from fellow receiver Nate Jones and flew down the right sideline for the big gain. In the third quarter, he scored the first touchdown of his college career on a 38-yard post pattern, with McCoy dropping a perfect pass into his bread basket. That pass play was made more difficult as McCoy was hit hard after he released the ball, resulting in a personal foul penalty against the Owls.
Playing time for Snead: Jevan Snead got his first playing time since the first game against North Texas on the opening drive of the second quarter. He looked good in drilling an 18-yard pass to Finley over the middle to the Rice 3 yard-line. Alas, the drive came to an end when Young lost a fumble while flying toward the end zone. Snead entered the game again with 4:23 left to play in the third quarter, and quickly the Longhorns suffered three penalties, two false starts and one delay of game infraction. The Stephenville native appeared to have also thrown an interception early in the fourth period when Brandon King picked him off, but a Rice holding penalty nullified that swipe. Snead might have had a touchdown run in the fourth period, if not for running into umpire Rich McMahan at the Rice 12 yard-line. Snead finished the game with three completions on three attempts for 39 yards. He also rushed six times for 61 yards, the longest an 18-yard jaunt.
Henry the highlight: Henry Melton doesn't carry the football much for Texas, but when he does, something exciting usually happens. His six-yard touchdown run in the fourth period was a graphic example. The 270-pounder ran right, broke three tackles, reversed his field and scored after running left, leaving Rice defenders, and a dislodged Owl helmet, in his wake.
Paydirt for Crowder: Defensive end Tim Crowder certainly earned his touchdown in the second quarter. While Frank Okam held onto Joel Armstrong, Crowder simply pulled the ball from his hands in the Rice end zone for the score. After the game, Crowder said a defensive touchdown in something he wanted to accomplish at Texas and finally has the "gorilla off his back."
No kick returns for touchdowns…again: The Longhorns have gone 61 games without allowing a kickoff return for a touchdown, and no opponent has returned a punt for a score in 88 games.
New 40 streak: Texas had a 12-game streak in which it has scored at least 40 points broken last week by Ohio State. A new streak was started in Houston.
Opening drive streak intact: The Longhorns have now held their opponents scoreless on the opening drive in the last 19 consecutive games.
The kicking game: Johnson had successfully booted 36 straight extra points entering the game against the Owls. After Saturday's scoring fest, that streak now sits at 43. Johnson also may have solidified his position as the top field goal kicker in his battle with Hunter Lawrence, as he hit a 46-yard field goal with 27 seconds left to play in the first quarter. That field goal – which tied his career longest – shot through the uprights and into the net.
Opening drives impressive: Texas has now held opponents scoreless on their first drive of the game for 18 consecutive games (entering the Rice game).
Runs = wins: Texas is 73-1 when outrushing opponents in the Mack Brown era.