Freshmen step out
By Mark Rosner
Freshman wideout Jaxon Shipley displayed his speed by dashing 20 yards up the left sideline to the end zone on a reverse in the second quarter. But Shipley wasn’t fast enough to make the officials miss him stepping out of bounds at the Rice 8 for a gain of 12 yards. The Texas Longhorns scored on a field goal by Justin Tucker.
In the third quarter Shipley later made a leaping catch for a 36-yard touchdown. Three freshmen touched the ball on that play. Quarterback David Ash handed to senior Fozzy Whittaker, who gave the ball to John Harris, a red-shirt freshman wideout. Harris, a high school quarterback, lofted a pass to Shipley in the end zone.
Rice band, A&M, SEC
The famous Rice Marching Owl Band came out at halftime and formed the letters SEC, Texas A&M’s home next summer. The S was in the form of a dollar sign.
TD follows turnover
The Longhorns’ first takeaway of the season led to their first touchdown. Texas, trying to generate turnovers after gaining 12 fewer than opponents last season — ranking 116th in the country — recovered a punt in the first quarter at the Rice 20. Adrian Phillips came up with the ball, and the Longhorns scored on a 1-yard run by Cody Johnson.
Defense halts drive
Rice put together a decent drive on its second possession, moving from its 35 to the Texas 16. Then, on third and two, running back Jeremy Eddington attempted to rush over left tackle. Longhorn cornerback Carrington Byndom smothered him for an eight-yard loss. The Owls settled for a field goal.
Missing the game
Longhorn backup defensive tackle Ashton Dorsey missed the game. The 295-pound sophomore was suspended for violating team rules. Senior safety Christian Scott served the first game of a three-game suspension after his arrest for misdemeanor assault.
First late hit of season
Blake Gideon produced the first late hit for the season for the Longhorns, slamming Rice quarterback Taylor McHargue out of bounds for a 15-yard penalty in the third quarter.
Ready to run
Longhorn co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin made good on his vow to create opportunity for D.J. Monroe, the undersize running back-receiver. Monroe had five carries for 41 yards by early in the fourth quarter, including a 17-yarder that led to a touchdown by Fozzy Whittaker and a 27-9 Texas lead with 13 minutes left in the game.
On the sidelines
Former Longhorn receiving tandem Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby were on the sidelines together Saturday night.
Coach Mack Brown is now 13-1 in season-openers at Texas. None of the 14 opponents was nationally ranked. The Longhorns’ only defeat was against North Carolina State, 23-20, in 1999, Brown’s second season.
Rice field goals
Rice kicker Chris Boswell attempted just one field goal in his final six games last season. He converted three against the Longhorns on Saturday.