With plenty of attention surrounding the future of the Big 12, the fact that there was actual football being played seemed at times like sort of an afterthought on Saturday.
In action this opening weekend, though, was the alleged source of all the Big 12’s instability issues, Texas, who defeated Rice 34-9 in a game broadcast on the Longhorn Network.
The ESPN-UT lovechild has plenty of carrier issues to work out between now and, well, becoming a possible member of Pac-
12 16 networks, but in the short term, the network needs to put a competitive football team on the field to satisfy viewers.
Unfairly or not, that starts with some sort of improvement out of incumbent quarterback starter Garrett Gilbert. The junior turned in a decent effort by throwing for 239 yards and a score; most importantly, though, no interceptions! Yay!
UT fans also got a first look of freshman running back sensation Malcolm Brown, who coincidentally led all rushers with 86 yards on 16 carries.
The Longhorns had to shake off a rusty first quarter before Bryan Harsin‘s offense began putting up touchdowns instead of field goals. The expectations for improvement are high in Austin, but there’s still a degree of patience that needs to be exercised for a team breaking in two new coordinators.
Especially when the top 3-4 teams of the Big 12 are top-25 programs.