In his second career start, sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes led the Longhorns to a 10-3 lead over No. 12 UCLA at halftime.
Swoopes completed his first 11 passes of the game and finished the half 13 of 15 for 123 yards and a touchdown.
The touchdown toss came on a play-action pass at the goal line, as Swoopes bootlegged right and completed a two-yard throw to junior tight end M.J. McFarland in the back corner of the end zone.
Wide receiver Jaxon Shipley started for the Longhorns, despite suffering a head injury against BYU, and led Texas’ receiving corps with six snags for 52 yards. Senior running back Malcolm Brown had 47 yards on seven carries in the first two quarters.
The Texas defense caught a huge break early on in the first quarter when Bruin quarterback Brett Hundley went down with an elbow injury and did not return.
Safety Jason Hall, a true freshman, was all over the field for the Longhorns, recording three tackles and a sack in the first half. He also ran into the UCLA kicker twice on special teams.
Despite the halftime lead, the game got off to a rough start for Texas.
After UCLA won the coin toss and chose to defer, Longhorn captain Desmond Jackson chose to kickoff anyway, meaning the Bruins will receive the ball to start both halves.
Jackson got an earful from head coach Charlie Strong, who appeared to be just as confused as everyone else, after the coin toss.