Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Defense starts slow, Vaccaro sparks team

Elisabeth Dillon

Senior safety Kenny Vaccaro had a excellent game in Texas’ season opener. He had five tackles and an interception.

After the Texas offense went three and out to start the game, the Cowboys responded with a 56-yard opening drive that resulted in a field goal.

During the Cowboy’s second drive, Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith sent a pass down the left sideline to Robert Herron.

Both Carrington Byndom and Adrian Phillips missed the tackle, and Herron took advantage and ran for 82 yards and a touchdown.

“It’s probably good that the defense gave up some big plays tonight ’cause that will get their attention for next week,” head coach Mack Brown said.

The Cowboys finished the first quarter with 178 total yards, not exactly the start the Longhorns were hoping for.

“Honestly, we need to get our head out of the magazine and start fast and play hard,” senior safety Kenny Vaccaro said.

In the next three quarters, the defense only gave up 167 more yards.

Vaccaro creates shift in game

Senior safety Kenny Vaccaro was key in shifting the Longhorns’ momentum after the defense struggled during the first quarter of the game.

Vaccaro intercepted a pass from Smith in the second quarter, and the offense capitalized when Jaxon Shipley scored on a 16-yard touchdown reception.

“I thought the turnovers were a lot of the momentum that helped us get started,” Vaccaro said.

Later that quarter, a quarterback pressure by Vaccaro led to an interception by Byndom. Again, the Longhorns would score, with D.J. Monroe running in for a touchdown.

“Kenny Vaccarro is a great player, he’s not a good player. He can do some really good things to help us,” Brown said.

The running backs are back

With four of the team’s five touchdowns being scored on the run, Texas’ backfield looks to be as dominant as last year.

Both Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron ran more than 100 yards and the Longhorns had 280 total rushing yards.

The two running back leaders took advantage of the holes that the improving offensive line created for them.

Bergeron came to life in the fourth quarter when he had a 54-yard run from the Texas nine and then finished off the drive with a 17-yard run for a touchdown.

“We feel like that we can run the ball well right now, and should be able to run it against anybody,” head coach Mack Brown said.

Freshman Johnathan Gray had a few reps, but only gained nine yards.

“When you are running the ball, you are not going to get the big runs every time,” Bergeron said. “You have to pound them, and eventually, they will give up.” 

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Defense starts slow, Vaccaro sparks team