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

Texas football has weight taken off in rout of Kansas State

Ryan Lam

A swarm of white bolted from the sideline out to the turf and circled around the injury cart where Derek Kerstetter lay vertical with a towel over his head. Another one covered his dislocated ankle and fractured fibula.

Kerstetter’s gruesome injury, which occurred moments before, brought both his Texas teammates and the Kansas State football team to their knees Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas. Eyes stayed glued on the cart as it drove the senior offensive lineman off the field and claps echoed throughout Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

That was in the second quarter of the game, when the Longhorns had already scored 31 points — 11 more than they could muster up over four quarters in their loss to Iowa State on Nov. 27. Texas scored many more after that to beat the Wildcats 69-31.

The Longhorns didn’t bounce back immediately after Kerstetter went down. After the weight of the situation set in, junior kicker Cameron Dicker missed an easy 30-yard field goal, and Texas punted for the first time all afternoon.

“We realized that Derek wouldn’t want us to be playing that way,” senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger said. “He’d want us to go out and win for him, so then I think we turned it around and  were playing for him.”


After halftime, freshman running back Bijan Robinson scored immediately, charging 75-yards to the end zone to put Texas up 38-17. When he wasn’t dancing across the field or muscling through the Wildcat secondary, Robinson smiled big on the sideline. The freshman carried the ball nine times for 172 yards and scored two other times Saturday afternoon.

A sense of optimism has come to characterize the Texas football team in the 2020 season, which has been one of heartbreak and disappointment. Before they put their heads back up after Kerstetter’s injury, the Longhorns soldiered on through another week of practice to prepare for a game that wouldn’t have much at stake. 

“The sun always comes up,” Robinson said. “We know we’ve been having some up and downs this season, and last week didn’t turn out the way that we wanted it to be, but (head) coach (Tom) Herman just said, ‘Last week was last week. God presents a new day every day.’” 

Fellow running back sophomore Roschon Johnson scored three touchdowns of his own to top off his 139-yard performance. Johnson willed his way into a group of Wildcat defenders to put Texas up 45-24 in the third quarter.

While the defense gave up 125 yards to Kansas State freshman running back Deuce Vaughn, the Longhorns played their most complete game all season. They scored the most points a Texas team has posted in a matchup since the 2005 Big 12 Championship, when UT topped Colorado 70-3.  

Ehlinger said the team finally played to its potential and did what he always knew Texas was capable of. Herman said the players were able to let loose. 

“We had released all of the pressure off of ourselves. We had a great week of practice, fun week of practice,” Herman said. “We were bouncing around, enjoying each other like we never have around here.”

The Longhorns were comfortable and in control against Kansas State, and they haven’t been since they blew out UT-El Paso on Sept. 12. Most games have been a battle. No longer chasing a Big 12 title, the teammates said they played for each other. 

Then, Kerstetter returned from the hospital to lead the team in “Texas Fight” postgame.

“It was tear-jerking, to say the least, how much love and admiration and respect this team has for him,” Herman said. 

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Texas football has weight taken off in rout of Kansas State