The running game: Texas fans concerned about the Longhorns' ability to run the ball came away from Saturday's game with mixed emotions to say the least. Yes, Jamaal Charles finished the game with good numbers: 112 yards on 27 carries and scored a touchdown on an 11-yard run with 3:09 left in the third quarter. Yet on the first Texas drive of the second half, Texas was stiffed at the cusp of the Arkansas State goal line. With first down and goal on the three yard-line, the Longhorns failed to get into the end zone on four rushing plays. As a team, Texas rushed for 121 yards on 38 carries, a paltry 3.2 yards-per-carry average.
Charting McCoy: Colt McCoy's night started with him completing his first eight passes, and two of those went for touchdown. His finals numbers were 22 completions in 33 attempts for 224 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. His interception total could've been worse – in the first half, Arkansas State defensive backs dropped a pair of his tosses that hit them in both hands. McCoy has now thrown at least two touchdown passes in 11 of his 14 starts.
Pittman update: Starting receiver Billy Pittman has been suspended for three games after the UT compliance office determined that he violated the NCAA's amateurism rules by borrowing a car this summer from a friend.
Big play costs Texas: Arkansas State faced a fourth down situation late in the game, trailing 21-6, but while sacking Leonard, Texas linebacker Robert Killebrew was flagged for a facemask, and the Indians were able to complete a 93-yard drive, culminating in a two-yard touchdown run by running back Reggie Arnold. Twice Texas suffered 15-yard, fourth-down penalties that kept Arkansas State drives alive.
Onside kick scare: Trailing 21-13 inside of a minute left to play, Arkansas State looked to have successfully recovered an onside kick, which would've given them the ball with great field position and a chance to tie the game. However, officials flagged the Indians for an illegal formation, much to the chagrin of the visiting team. After a five-minute discussion, the Indians tried the kick again, but it was recovered by Texas defensive back Brandon Foster.
Indians were offensive: Arkansas State didn't score a bushel of points, but the Indians were impressive on offense, beginning with poised sophomore quarterback Corey Leonard. The Louisianan was calm throughout, and hurt the Longhorns on numerous occasions with both his arm and his legs. Leonard finished the game completing 23 of 36 passes for 257 yards, and he carried the ball 16 times for 35 yards, his rushing totals hurt by sacks. Running back Reggie Arnold, another sophomore, picked up 68 yards on 11 carries. However, Texas played effective goal-line defense to hold the Indians to a single touchdown.
The Cosby Show: Quan Cosby looks to be the primary kickoff and return man for Texas right now. Cosby returned the opening kickoff 38 yards to the Texas 44 yard-line, and finished the game with three kickoff returns for 75 yards. He also return one point for 30 yards.
Thanks, Indians: The Indians are likely bemoaning several lost opportunities. Twice in the first half they missed field goals, and they also dropped a pair of easy interceptions. Leonard drove the Indians inside the Texas 20 yard-line late in the third period, and facing a fourth and three situation, Leonard fumbled the snap from center. Leonard also hit J.T. Jordan in the hands in the first half which would've given Arkansas State the ball deep in Texas territory, and Jordan dropped the ball. Six times Arkansas State penetrated the Texas red zone and managed to score only 13 points. The Indians also self-destructed with penalties, particularly in the first half when they were flagged nine times for 60 yards.
Limas numbers: Receiver Limas Sweed has now caught a pass in 19 straight games. He snared a 35-yard touchdown from Colt McCoy for Texas' first score of the season in the first quarter against the Indians. He finished the game with five catches for 93 yards.
Oh no, Orakpo: Defensive end Brian Orakpo injured his right knee with nine minutes left to play in the first half and did not return. He was blocked in his knee, but fortunately for him his leg flew up into the air and was not planted. He was taken to the sideline, his knee was iced and he walked gingerly to the locker room.
Nate Jones in the house: Texas receiver Nate Jones appeared to benefit the most from the absence of receivers Jordan Shipley (hamstring injury) and Pittman (suspension). Jones finished the game with nine catches for 72 yards. Jones almost had a touchdown with 6:22 left in the game when McCoy's pass to him deep in Indians' territory was just out of reach; Jones was wide open on the play and would've scored on a slightly-better thrown ball.
Young defensive backs: Trailing the entire game, the Arkansas State offense threw the ball often against Texas, gaining 270 yards. Deon Beasley started the second half at cornerback for Texas in place of Foster, who started the game. Foster almost intercepted a ball in the end zone late on the Indians' final scoring drive, and also helped Texas survive late by recovering the Indians' onside kick at the end of the game, taking a wicked shot in the process.
Cobb introduction: Antwan Cobb certainly took advantage of his first action as a Longhorn. He's a redshirt freshman running back from Pflugerville, and in his first game he caught a 16-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter from Colt McCoy.
First play – wide open: Texas opened the game offensively with no backs in the backfield and five wide receivers.
Hunter handles the new rules: Texas kicker Hunter Lawrence didn't appear to be too fazed by the new kickoff runs that forces teams to kickoff from their 30 yard-line. Lawrence's three kickoffs were all deep and high.
Bad stretch for Texas: On four possessions stretching from the end of the first half into the second half, Texas' positions went punt-interception-interception-stopped on downs.
Sun Belt dominance: If the Longhorns ever decide to leave the Big 12, perhaps they should join the Sun Belt Conference. Texas is now 12-0 versus the conference, with nine wins over North Texas, two against Louisiana-Lafayette and the win Saturday.
Longhorns love openers: Texas is now 95-17-3 in season openers. Mack Brown has now won 11 of his last 12 openers as a head coach, and is 9-1 at Texas. The Longhorns have outscored opening opponents 474-106 in Brown's 10 openers at Texas.
Home cookin': Texas is 48-5 in home games under Brown.
Upon further review…
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