Thoughts on UTEP versus Texas

UTEP v Texas

The sunburn that remains on my arms this Monday evening reminds me that it was hot Saturday afternoon. Real hot. The weather report said the high was in the mid-90’s, but it felt like it was at least ten degrees hotter than that.

The official attendance of 101,144 is a bit confusing. There were certainly never that many in the stands at any one time. It’s possible that several tens of thousands of people were hiding in the shade under the stands, however.

And a huge percentage of the people who were there left at the half. I can’t say I completely blame them. For a while, I wasn’t sure I would make it all the way to The Eyes of Texas. Fortunately, the Wife shamed me into manning up.

As the stands emptied, we moved over to the fifty yard line of the east side upper deck. The concession people came around with ice cold towels, which was a nice touch.

UTEP v Texas

Oh, and there was a football game going on. Not a very close one, though. The Texas Longhorns won going away, 64-7.

The offense got off to a quick start overall, although Colt McCoy had one horrible play that the UTEP Miners returned for a touchdown.

And weak blocking by the offensive line initially slowed down the running game at first. I’m starting to think that the o-line plays better when they start cycling in the second teamers.

Still, the Longhorns broke 300 yards in both rushing and passing. A mediocre seven of fourteen on third down is bolstered by going two of two on fourth.

Three turnovers by the Longhorn offense is bothersome. Fortunately, the Longhorn defense had five takeaways.

About that Texas defense…

UTEP was held to only 53 yards and seven first downs. They were one of twelve on third down. They made 0.4 yards per rushing attempt and 1.7 yards per passing attempt. The only UTEP points came on McCoy’s pick-six.

I don’t care who we were playing. That is domination, pure and simple.

UTEP v Texas

Special teams was a mixed bag, but seems to be improving. We gave up nearly twenty yards of return each time we kicked off, but DJ Monroe also returned a kickoff for a touchdown after McCoy’s interception.

Back on the offensive side for individual statistics, the running-back-by-committee approach continues. New starter Tre’ Newton had only 25 yards on nine runs, but he did have a nice touchdown. Fozzy Whittaker and Vondrell McGee both had solid games.

Jordan Shipley was his usual amazing self with ten catches for 122 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 52 yard punt return.

Dan Buckner pulled in six catches for 71 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Five other Longhorns recorded receptions.

McCoy went 28 of 35 for 286 yards and three touchdowns. Good to see him back in the 80% completion rate neighborhood.

UTEP v Texas

Garrett Gilbert came in for the second series of the third quarter. He went five of six passing for 49 yards. Again, the coaches let him run the real offense.

Emmanuel Acho was the top producer on the defensive side of the ball, recording seven total tackles (six solo). Sergio Kindle has two solo tackles and a forced fumble, and seemed to be all over the field.

But the best moment of the game, I think, was the father in front of us explaining to his eight year old daughter that the last lines of Texas Fight are “Give ’em hell! Give ’em hell! Make ’em eat chips!”

So, we’re 4-0 and heading into our bye week. The defense is looking stout and the offense is starting to click (albeit with continued concerns). The special teams play is beginning to look more like “special teams” and less like “special ed”.

We’ve got a week to heal, a warm up game against Colorado, and on to Dallas for Oklahoma. With undefeateds dropping left and right, if we win out, we’re headed to Pasadena.

Here are links to some of the media I recorded at the game:

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