Revisiting Texas Football: Breaking down 5 plays from Texas vs Texas Tech

Toby Ughanze , Sports Reporter

Texas’ dominating 70-35 win over Texas Tech featured many standout plays, including the Longhorns’ first defensive touchdown of the year on a pick-six. Here are the top five plays to revisit from Saturday’s game:

1. Robinson makes them miss

A little over three minutes into the game, Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian made a bold call on 4th-and-4 and kept his offense on the field.

In the play, wide receiver Jordan Whittington motioned over, which drew his defender with him and revealed that Texas Tech was in man coverage. Quarterback Casey Thompson recognized the coverage and threw a quick pass to his open running back emerging from the backfield, Bijan Robinson, on a wheel route.

Robinson caught the ball to easily get the first down, but he wanted more. Two Tech defenders rushed over to attempt to tackle him, but Robinson made a smooth cut upfield to make the first defender miss.

He easily blew past the next ankle tackle and could not be caught by anyone in the open field for the 39-yard touchdown reception. Texas jumped out to an early 7-0 lead off of the bold 4th-down call.


Courtesy of ABC

2. Texas defense picks up 6

With a favorable 21-7 lead over Texas Tech, Texas was in its base defense against the Red Raiders’ trips formation on the right.

When the ball was snapped, cornerback Josh Thompson took a few steps back to survey where the receivers were intending to run. The wide receiver in front of him did a quick stop route which made Tyler Shough, Texas Tech’s quarterback, think he was open.

Shough quickly threw it to the designated receiver on the play, but Thompson easily read where Shough was intending to throw it and jumped the route.

No Tech players came close to bringing him down as the senior cornerback easily strolled into the end zone, giving Texas a commanding 28-7 lead over Texas Tech and its first defensive touchdown of the season with the pick-six.

The interception was also Thompson’s second of his career and his first of the 2021 season.


Courtesy of ABC

3. Thompson throws in tight window

The first half was winding to a close and Texas had the ball, looking to score again. Roschon Johnson motioned behind Casey Thompson, but no one on Tech’s defense moved, signaling that the Red Raiders were  playing zone coverage.

Thompson received the snap and stepped back in the pocket. The offensive line did a great job giving him ample amount of time in the pocket — one example of the line’s big improvement in pass protection from the first two weeks against Arkansas and Louisiana.

Thompson observed the field, looking for one of his many open receivers. When he saw something he liked, he stepped up in the pocket and threw one of his most impressive throws of the season.

The ball went through the hands of a diving Joshua Moore, but Whittington made one of his most impressive catches this season by making a diving catch and snatching the ball before it hit the ground.

This play gave Texas enough momentum to get another score before halftime, giving the Longhorns a decisive 42-14 lead heading into the locker room.


Courtesy of ABC


4. Thompson trying to make something out of nothing

Texas had a stranglehold on the game at this point: The score was 42-14, so the Longhorns only needed to play conservative and smart football to win the game.

The offensive line did its job extremely well again by covering all the blitzing defenders, giving quarterback Casey Thompson time to throw. Tight end Cade Brewer was open streaking on the in route, but Thompson refused to look his way.

The quarterback was set on getting the big touchdown on the 3rd-and-15 play instead of taking the underneath pass for the easy three points.

He scrambled outside the pocket to the left side of the field in an attempt to extend the play with his legs, then proceeded to perform one of the worst sins a quarterback could do: He threw an endzone heave off his back foot.

The under-thrown ball, intended for wide receiver Jordan Whittington, was easily intercepted by a Texas Tech defensive back.

The pick did not affect the outcome of the game, but similar mistakes, if Thompson continues to over-extend plays, could cause a fatal Texas turnover in the future.


Courtesy of ABC

5. Worthy spinning out of traffic

The game was getting out of hand at this point, and the Longhorns had been eating clock with their bruising run game and stable of talented running backs.

But on this play, Texas faked the run in play action to make the defense commit to the run game that had been gashing the entire Tech defense the whole night.

The offensive line displayed yet another blocking clinic, giving Casey Thompson an adequate amount of time to watch the play develop.

He stepped up between a pair of Tech rushers that collapsed the pocket, keeping his composure and throwing a laser pass to a surging Xavier Worthy in the middle of the field. The athletic freshman wide receiver then spun out of a tackle and put on the jets heading straight for the end zone.

His acceleration was too much for the Tech defenders, and he strutted into the endzone for the 62-yard reception. The touchdown gave him his 3rd score of the day, making it his biggest game in his brief Texas career so far.