Texas Downs ULM, 59-20

Austin, TX – When the Texas Longhorns took the field on Saturday night without three players who were ruled academically ineligible for the opener, the Horns have plenty of things to prove. After just one half of play, the Horns had opened up a 38-10 halftime lead in route to a handy 59-20 victory over the ULM Warhawks.

The Longhorns opened the season exactly how Mack Brown, Greg Davis, and Will Muschamp would have scripted it. The defense caused a turnover on the second play of the game and senior buck end Sergio Kindle recovered the fumble at the ULM 23 yard line. In just four plays, the Longhorns were on the board on a Cody Johnson 1-yard plunge.

Then the Longhorn defense forced a quick three and out which set up a nifty 10-play, 64-yard touchdown drive which was again capped by another Johnson 1-yard touchdown run.

When the defense returned to the field for ULM's third series and forced another three and out, the script had to have been complete for the first eight minutes and thirty seconds. Two offensive series equaled two touchdowns. Three defensive series equaled no first downs, six yards on eight plays, and a forced turnover.

From there, things started to look a little more like an opening game. The offense turned the ball over on its next possession on a Vondrell McGee fumble which was returned all the way back to the Texas 8 yard line. The defense was up to the challenge and only surrendered one yard before a 24-yard ULM field goal cut the lead to 14-3.

After the teams traded punts and the action slowed briefly, the Longhorns uncorked a 9-play 64-yard drive for its third touchdown. It was also Cody Johnson's third 1-yard touchdown run on the night. But just when it looked like the ‘Horns were ready to put the game on ice, the Warhawks struck back on the ensuing drive with an 80-yard touchdown strike as quarterback Trey Revell broke the pocket to his right and Luther Ambrose got behind the defense for a quick 75-yard score. In the blink of an eye, the lead was trimmed to 21-10.

But before the crowd could even get unsettled, speedy D.J. Monroe took the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for the distance to extend the lead back to 18 points. Monroe would also provide a spark in the backfield as he averaged over seven yards per carry. He finished with 64 yards on nine rushes.

The Warhawks would not get any closer as the Longhorns extended the lead to 38-10 by halftime in part due to a 78-yard touchdown strike from McCoy to senior Jordan Shipley. Shipley would finish the game with eight catches for 180 yards and that one touchdown.

In the third quarter, the Longhorns pushed the lead to 45-10 on a 14-yard John Chiles touchdown catch, and then on the first play of the fourth quarter, scored another touchdown to go up 52-10. This time it was Vondrell McGee on a 4-yard run to make off for two earlier fumbles. Heisman candidate Colt McCoy's night was done as he finished 21-29 for 317 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.

From there, the second and third teamers finished out the tally. For Will Muschamp's charges, the last two ULM drives resulted in 150 yards of offense and ten points which will not please the head man as he reviews the film. The good news is that for the offensive back-ups, they were able to move the ball down the field methodically under true freshman back-up quarterback Garrett Gilbert. In his lone drive, he was 4-5 for 46 yards. He also added a 12-yard scamper for his first collegiate touchdown.

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