The stadium was once most commonly empty and the Texas avid gamers beat a short trail off the sphere when it was once in every single place fairly than lingering for the normal making a song of “The Eyes of Texas.”
About the one factor standard for the No. 14 Longhorns Saturday night time after months of coronavirus disruptions and social justice calls for and protests was once that they in the end were given to take the sphere in opposition to UTEP.
Even that was once a little bit bizarre making an allowance for what number of groups are not enjoying this season and the way some which are have already had video games postponed.
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However Texas made brief and simple paintings of the Miners (1-1) as Sam Ehlinger threw a career-high 5 touchdowns within the first part of a 59-Three romp that trainer Tom Herman known as “cathartic.”
“This one is particular, the way in which that we did it,” Texas trainer Tom Herman stated. “We had 0 COVID problems main as much as this recreation … Hope it remains that approach.. Truly happy with the way in which our staff treated their trade main as much as this recreation.”.
Ehlinger threw a 78-yard landing to Joshua Moore at the first play. The second one-leading passing in program historical past completed with 426 yards. He left the sport halfway throughout the 3rd quarter with Colt McCoy’s single-game information for yards (470) and touchdowns (six) simply inside achieve had he stayed at the box.
Moore’s first landing since 2018 got here on an within direction when he burst previous one diving defender and outran two extra with a very simple trail to the tip zone. Ehlinger’s ultimate landing move got here on a 6-yard toss to walk-on Kai Cash within the ultimate seconds of the primary part.
Texas’ authentic time table had the Longhorns visiting protecting nationwide champion LSU this weekend, in a rematch in their 2019 vintage. However that recreation was once scrapped because the Large 12 and Southeastern Convention retooled their schedules amid the coronavirus pandemic.
With social distancing regulations and bounds in position, Texas introduced a crowd of 15,337 at a stadium that in most cases holds on the subject of 100,000. The college required scholars the use of a distinct pupil season price tag package deal to move a fast COVID-19 check on Friday earlier than they may cross to the sport. The college paid for the exams and reported 95 positives out of one,198 administered. No different price tag holders had been required to be examined.
“Clearly, it did not really feel standard, however I’m grateful to be in the market with my teammates,” Texas junior protection Caden Sterns stated. “It felt actually excellent to get in the market.”
Whilst the gang was once small, it nonetheless gave a full-throated sing-along to the “The Eyes of Texas” earlier than the sport. The tune had got here below intense scrutiny over the summer time amid social justice protests on campus and across the nation.
Some Texas athletes, integrated Sterns, had demanded the varsity drop the tune on account of its historical past involving minstrel displays and actors in blackface many years in the past. The college management met different calls for to rename some campus constructions and different measures, however refused to drop the tune.
As soon as the sport began, Texas was once dominant. The Longhorns led 45-Three via halftime and rolled up just about 700 yards of overall offense. Texas did not permit a sack in 47 move makes an attempt and the protection allowed best 233 overall yards in new coordinator Chris Ash’s debut.
The “Eyes of Texas” was once performed once more after the sport ended. As a substitute of amassing to sing it, maximum avid gamers straight away began streaming to the locker room tunnel with out preventing. Texas avid gamers wore a “WeAreOne” patch on their jerseys.
“I don’t know that that was once any roughly voice or demonstration,” Herman stated of the fast go out from the sphere. “We had been simply announcing our excellent video games and pleasantries to the opposition and it was once over and now we’re heading to the locker room.”
UTEP: The Miners got here in feeling beautiful excellent after a season-opening victory that matched their win overall of every of the former two seasons. However they had been overpowered on the line of scrimmage and crushed via Texas’ velocity whilst Longhorns receivers zipped thru and across the UTEP secondary.
Texas: Ehlinger continues to be the engine that may power the offense below new coordinator Mike Yurcich, however he is were given some new guns, They come with a quick-tempo assault that strikes even sooner than the rest Texas has used in recent times. A landing move to tight finish Cade Brewer and 2nd quarter TD throws to graduate transfers Brenden Schooler and Tarik Black display he is were given a large number of objectives to make a choice from regardless of shedding his best two receivers from a yr in the past.
“I am hoping we will proceed to unfold the ball round to these guys,” Ehlinger stated. “There’s an excessive amount of ability to not.”
Texas has nowhere to head however up. No longer everybody forward of Texas performed this weekend, however of the ranked groups that did play, the Longhorns had been a number of the maximum spectacular. They crushed an inferior opponent and have shyed away from any severe missteps.
UTEP: The Miners host Soccer Championship Subdivision opponent Abilene Christian on Sept. 19
Texas: The Longhorns take per week off earlier than going at the highway to Texas Tech to begin the Large 12.