It took a nearly the entire first half, but at the end of the day, I and other UT fans alike were able to breathe easy and take in the full first Saturday of college football without the embarrassment of a loss to New Mexico State.
It was a strong day from top to bottom across the college football landscape. College Gameday was great as always with Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit on a show that went on for four hours. I’m hoping that’s just because it was opening day and not a normal thing this season. On a side note, what would it take to get Gameday to come here? Anyway, Corso did the old fake-a-roo with his head gear pick, making the pro-Clemson crowd think he was picking their Tigers, but instead picking the Georgia Bulldogs. His prediction would be wrong, but more on that later.
The first set of games weren’t too bad. Ohio State came out and dominated for the most part against Buffalo. The Buckeyes went undefeated last season, but had a postseason ban and couldn’t play in the Big 10 title game and the national championship game. What bugged me the most, however, was the fact that they went for the two-point conversion on their first two scores–against Buffalo. Not really sure what that says about them and head coach Urban Meyer.
Texas A&M may have some more work to do on a defense that will more than likely be their Achilles’ heel. They let Rice of all teams score 31 points and gain over 500 yards. With only a couple of weeks until the big game at home against Alabama, A&M is going to have to sure up that defense a lot. Otherwise, it could be a long night come Sept. 14.
The middle set of games really was nothing of note, but the late games were great as expected. Alabama dominated Virginia Tech from the start of the game and opened up the season like national champions should. The Clemson versus Georgia game was a great one. Both teams matched each other score for score and Clemson managed to squeak out a 38-35 win and possibly put them on a route to the national championship game.
The game up in Arlington between LSU and TCU got really exciting late as TCU scored early in the fourth to cut the deficit to 30-24 and then got a break with a bad punt from LSU. But they had to settle for a field goal and then LSU scored a touchdown right after to put the game on ice.
And then there was the Texas versus New Mexico State game. It wasn’t pretty really throughout much of the first half. Mike Davis’ fumble on UT’s first possession killed the momentum and appeared to stall out the offense for a while. Meanwhile, the defense was strong and the tackling was more consistent. Even still, New Mexico State scored first. But on the ensuing drive, David Ash found John Harris for a 54-yard touchdown pass. Texas then forced New Mexico into a four-and-out and used great time management. Ash found Daje Johnson for a 66-yard touchdown pass and went into the half up 14-7.
The second half was much better for the Longhorns. They scored on their first three possessions of the second half, including a 55-yard run from Ash that looked similar to another quarterback in this state. In all, UT had four touchdown scores of 50 or more yards and the defense pitched a shut out in the second half.
I’m going to chalk up the slow start to first game nerves. No matter who you’re playing, you’re always going to have some nerves going into that first game. But they found their rhythm and completely dominated the second half. Now, if they can dominate the entire game at BYU next week, then we’re talking.
But until then, let’s light this tower.
— Jacob Martella (@ViewFromTheBox) September 1, 2013