Game Observations

Penalty distribution, freshman performances and more are among Inside Texas' Ross Lucksinger observations from Saturday's game.

Here are some random observations from the Longhorn's 52-7 blowout of the Rice Owls:

-Texas was penalized a school-record 19 times on the night, the next closest being the Horns 17-penalty night against Rice in 1978. Nine of the penalties were false starts. Here's the distribution of false-start penalties throughout the game.

Kasey Studdard
Jermichael Finley
Three players (astoundingly) at the same time
Cedric Dockery
Tony Hills
J'Marcus Webb
Chris Hall
Charlie Tanner
Finley, again

Finley was actually penalized the most out of all the Texas players, picking up four flags during the game (two for false-starts, two for holding). But the award plaque should go to WR Myron Hardy, who's holding penalty which brought back Chris Ogbonnaya's touchdown run was the 18th penalty of the game and broke the old record.

-Rice was not without their own penalty problems, committing 13, they were just overshadowed by Texas in yet another category. But they did have a key false-start of their own as well.

On third and inches, the Owls lined up in goal line formation to push the ball ahead for the first, but, not just the defensive line, the entire Texas defense suddenly shifted to the right, causing a jump on the line and pushing Rice back to a 3rd and 6. After a Joel Armstrong incompletion, Rice punted again.

-A wide receiver reverse, cool….um, where was that last week?

-Towards the end of the first half, Colt McCoy hooked up with Limas Sweed for a 16-yard touchdown pass that put Texas ahead 38-0. Turns out, I'm one of only a handful of members of the media who actually saw Sweed's touchdown catch…because almost everyone else was at the back of the press box watching the end of the Oregon-Oklahoma game (truth be told, once Limas caught the TD, I immediately join my colleagues in time to see the blocked field goal to end the game).

-Despite the depth on this team, quite a few true freshmen are getting playing time, including safety Robert Joseph who got a welcome-to-the-next-level-moment. While covering a kickoff, Joseph was leveled by a blind-side block that lifted him off his feet. The Rice game also marked the first appearance of Sergio Kindle. The linebacker got into the game in the fourth quarter and registered an assisted tackle. DE Lamarr Houston got a sack, LB Jared Norton got an assisted tackle, OT J'Marcus Webb played significant time at tackle and, of course, Jevan Snead took over the Texas offense on Texas' first offensive play of the second quarter.

-Rice running back Quinton Smith changed his jersey half time. During the first half, Smith had his jersey ripped and for the rest of the game wore a No. 47 jersey with no name on the back.

-I had to change the lead sentence to my game story on Saturday because I was going to write that "Texas rushed for (blank) times as many yards as the Rice Owls." At the time, it was the fourth quarter, Rice had 3 rushing yards and Texas had over three hundred, so I figured the number would be somewhere in the vicinity of 100 times as many yards, which sounds nice. Then the Owls decided to start going backwards and ended up with –12 to the Horns' 330. Well, I can't very well write that Texas rushed for –27.5 times as many yards as Rice. That's confusing and doesn't have much pop. Come on, Major. Let's move in a forward direction. Difficult when you're in the first year of transitioning a team that went 1-11 to a completely different offense without your starting quarterback. Still…

-Michael Griffin has an innate ability to time anything on special teams plays. Whether it's blocking a kick or covering a punt Griffin is always around the ball at the right time. Both this week and last he was right on top of the opposing punt returner every single time he caught the ball.

-Adam Ulatoski (one of the few offensive linemen NOT penalized for a false-start) rotated in and out of the game from the beginning, which was a change from last week as Texas never subbed a single O-Lineman the entire game against Ohio State.

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