Austin American-Statesman - - LONGHORNS FOOTBALL - By Danny Davis daniel­d­ Con­tact Danny Davis at 512445-3952. Twit­ter: @aas­danny

There were 149 snaps taken in Texas’ 31-16 win over No. 17 TCU on Sat­ur­day. Here are five that ended up mak­ing a big dif­fer­ence:

1. TCU strikes first

Backed by a 5-for-5 pass­ing per­for­mance from Shawn Robin­son, TCU drove 46 yards over eight plays on the game’s open­ing drive. Texas de­fend­ers Gary John­son and Bran­don Jones even- tu­ally stuffed TCU run­ning back Sewo Olonilua on a third-and-3 rush­ing at­tempt, and TCU set­tled for a 46-yard field goal by Jonathan Song.

Texas has started on de­fense in each of its four games this sea­son. The Long- horns picked off Tulsa quar- ter­back Luke Skip­per on the first play of a 28-21 win on Sept. 8. Mary­land, USC and TCU, how­ever, have com- bined to score 17 points on their open­ing drives.

2. Go­ing for it

Against TCU, Texas twice kept its of­fense on the field for a fourth-down con­ver­sion at­tempt. In the sec­ond quar­ter, a give near mid­field to Daniel Young back- fired when the sopho­more was met at the line of scrim­mage. The Longhorns, how­ever, had bet­ter suc­cess in the first quar­ter.

On its sec­ond pos­ses­sion, Texas faced a fourth-and-4 at the TCU 41. UT quar­ter­back Sam Eh­linger kept the drive alive with an 8-yard pass to Collin John­son. Six plays later, run­ning back Tre Wat­son rum­bled into the end zone on a 3-yard run.

Wat­son’s touch­down gave Texas its first lead over TCU since a 30-7 win in 2013.

3. An­other high­light against TCU

The Frogs en­tered half­time with a 13-10 lead thanks to a back-shoul­der catch by Jalen Reagor in the first half ’s wan­ing sec­onds. Reagor’s hands might have pro­vided the af­ter­noon’s top high­light had it not been for John­son, who one-upped Reagor with a spec­tac­u­lar catch with 45 sec­onds re­main­ing in the third quar­ter.

With Texas be­hind 16-10, John­son beat TCU cor­ner- back Jeff Glad­ney on a post route. A div­ing John­son caught up with Eh­linger’s 31-yard pass. The catch and Cameron Dicker’s en­su­ing ex­tra point put Texas up by a point, and the Longhorns never trailed again.

This was not the first time that John­son had scored on Glad­ney. In last year’s 24-7 loss at TCU, John­son out­leaped the all-Big 12 honor- able men­tion hon­oree for a 33-yard touch­down catch.

4. Turnover time

TCU went to the air af­ter John­son’s touch­down catch, but Texas safety Caden Sterns bested Robin­son for his sec­ond in­ter­cep­tion of the day. (Sterns thwarted a trick-play pass thrown by re­ceiver KaVon­tae Turpin in the sec o nd quar­ter). Sterns ap­peared to score on a 35-yard re­turn, but a re­view con­firmed he stepped out-of-bounds at the TCU 2. On the next play, Eh­linger ran into the end zone.

Sterns’ in­ter­cep­tion was UT’s third turnover of the third quar­ter. Jones recorded an in­ter­cep­tion and re­cov­ered a fum­ble that was forced by de­fen­sive line­man Mar­qez Bim­age. Robin­son was re­spon­si­ble for all three turnovers, and UT turned two of those into touch­downs.

5. Put it away

Down by eight points, TCU wasted a 14-play drive when it missed a 41-yard field goal. Texas then killed six min­utes off the clock on a 10-play pos­ses­sion that was capped by Lil’Jor­dan Humphrey’s 38-yard touch­down catch. As­sisted by Eh­linger buy­ing time with his feet and a down­field block from John- son, Humphrey recorded his team-lead­ing 21st catch on the play.

Humphrey has caught a touch­down pass in three straight games. That ties him with eight other play­ers for the sev­enth-best streak in school his­tory. Jor­dan Ship- ley scored in a school-record eight straight games (2008).


TCU quar­ter­back Shawn Robin­son com­mit­ted three turnovers, two of which led to Texas touch­downs.

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