EditorsNote: Fixed spelling of Hebert in 10th graf
Sam Ehlinger tossed four touchdown passes and the Texas defense made the plays when it needed to as the 10th-ranked Longhorns breezed past visiting Louisiana Tech 45-14 in Austin, Texas, on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
Ehlinger hit on 28 of 38 throws for 276 yards in three quarters. His longest pass of the night was for 28 yards, and he rushed eight times for 34 yards.
Texas won its season-opener for the first time in three tries in coach Tom Herman’s tenure. The Longhorns’ ranking in the Associated Press poll is their highest in the preseason since 2010, the year following their BCS championship game loss to Alabama.
Things will get a lot tougher next Saturday for the Longhorns when they host No. 6 Louisiana State.
J’Mar Smith passed for 331 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns for Louisiana Tech (0-1). The Bulldogs’ kicker, Bailey Hale, missed a pair of 43-yard field goals in the first half, allowing Texas to dominate the scoreboard.
Texas began the game with a 57-yard march in seven plays, capped by a 4-yard TD pass from Ehlinger to Devin Duvernay with 12:40 to play in the opening period.
The Longhorns added to their lead early in the second quarter on a 6-yard Ehlinger-to-Collin Johnson scoring pass, and then expanded it to 21-0 at the 10:26 mark of the second on Ehlinger’s 28-yard TD toss to Brennan Eagles.
Texas pushed its lead to 24-0 via a 43-yard field goal by Cameron Dicker with 2:56 to play until halftime.
Eagles hauled in a 25-yard TD pass from Ehlinger on the Longhorns’ opening drive of the second half to build the Texas lead to 31-0. Then Keaontay Ingram bulled 1 yard for a score and a 38-0 lead late in the third quarter in the final series for the Texas starters.
The Bulldogs finally found the end zone early in the fourth quarter when Smith hit Malik Stanley with a 5-yard TD pass. Smith later connected with Griffin Hebert from 12 yards to end the Louisiana Tech’s scoring.
Texas backup quarterback Casey Thompson rushed for a 2-yard touchdown in the waning minutes.
—Field Level Media