KEY PLAYS IN THE GAME
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.