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

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Texas defeats Rice 37-10, with strong defensive showing in season opener

Assad Malik/The Daily Texan
Redshirt freshman quarterback, Quinn Ewers, attempts a pass during the Orange and White spring football game on April 23, 2022. The game showcased the talents of Ewers and sophomore quarterback Hudson Card as they competed for the starting position this fall.

On a sweltering September afternoon at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, No. 11 Texas defeated Rice 37-10 in its first game of the season. 

Texas struggled offensively in the first half, going 3-9 on third down and 0-2 on fourth down, and was forced to settle for three field goals. Junior kicker Burt Auburn had a near perfect day, going 3-3 in the first half. 

“The one thing I really like about this team is that we’re very versatile,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “Today was indicative of that. … Our defense played a fantastic football game, and there’s not a lot of talk about how good we are defensively.”

In the first half, two was the magic number for the Texas defense. It held Rice to negative two rushing yards and intercepted and sacked Rice quarterback JT Daniels twice each. Senior linebacker Jaylon Ford and sophomore defensive back Austin Jordan each grabbed their first pick of the season. In the second half, senior linebacker Jett Bush recovered a Rice fumble, giving the Texas offense the ball back in the red zone. 

“We came out strong on defense and really brought the heat,” Ford said. “Just being able to go out there and get our hands in the dirt brings huge amounts of energy, not just for the defense, but the crowd is in it when the offense gets the ball back.”

Texas had its first half offensive struggles, but the halftime adjustments were key to Texas finding its rhythm. Sophomore running back Jonathon Brooks showed his ability to run after contact and scored Texas’ only first half touchdown, a 37-yard receiving touchdown midway through the first quarter.

Ewers struggled with long balls, going 0-4 on deep passes, but finished 19-30, throwing for 260 yards and three touchdowns. He also found success with his legs, running for 12 yards and one touchdown. 

“We’re not a huge quarterback run team,” Sarkisian said. “We have to have wrinkles of that to keep people honest, and Quinn utilized that today on the touchdown run.” 

Texas’ receiver core gave a strong showing with Adonai Mitchell, the highly touted transfer from Georgia, hauling in three catches for 26 yards and one touchdown in his first game as a Longhorn. Junior wide receiver Xavier Worthy hauled in seven catches for 90 yards. Junior tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders also hauled in a touchdown. 

The Texas defense thwarted any type of offensive attempt from Rice, holding the Owls to 176 total yards and only allowing 51 plays to Texas’ 75 and 458 yards. 

Next week, Texas will travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to take on the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide. 

More to Discover