The Longhorns’ commitment to David Ash paid immediate dividends in the team’s first game of the season. Ash’s decision making seemed to improve after a full offseason lining up with the starters, as he completed 20 of 27 pass attempts for 156 yards with a touchdown. The sophomore did not take many shots downfield, but he did not turn the ball over in the air either. The Lobos’ quarterbacks were not especially impressive in their season opener against Southern, as B.R. Holbrook and Cole Gautsche combined to go 7-10 for just 70 yards passing. Gautsche pitched in 88 yards on the ground in the win, but their overall impotency passing the ball gives Texas the edge.
Both teams were extremely efficient running the ball in week one. The Longhorns were led by Joe Bergeron, who rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, and Malcolm Brown, who tallied 105 yards and a score in 14 attempts. Overall, Texas recorded 280 yards and four touchdowns on the ground with a 6.0 yard rushing average. The Lobos rushed for 347 yards and five touchdowns in their first game, with 10 players registering at least one rushing attempt. None of these players were able to match the individual rushing totals of Bergeron or Brown however, and few teams can boast a duo with such explosive big play abilities.
Jaxon Shipley picked up where he left of last season against Wyoming, leading the Longhorns with seven catches for 45 yards. He also made an impressive diving catch for the lone touchdown through the air for Texas, and he was effective in earning extra yards on several plays. Mike Davis also had 40 yards on four receptions for the Longhorns and could be used as a downfield threat again this week. The Lobos are a run-oriented offense that put little emphasis on throwing the ball, and no receiver had more than 24 yards or two receptions in their first game.
Neither the Longhorns nor the Lobos allowed a sack in week one, and both teams rushed the ball very well. Few match the experience of the Texas line. David Ash regularly had enough time to find an open receiver and was able to complete 74.1 percent of his passes. The Lobos’ line was even more impressive, as it led the way for a potent rushing attack that tallied 347 yards and a 6.8 yard average. Four players ran for at least 65 yards, with each of those players averaging at least 7.5 yards per carry.