One probably can’t blame Texas for looking ahead to their mega-matchup with LSU next week in Austin but Tom Herman is unlikely to be a fan of his team’s rather sluggish early start to the 2019 season against Louisiana Tech on Saturday night.
The Longhorns did not seem to be in any danger of pulling a Tennessee in the matchup against the CUSA program but did not exactly scream being a top 10 program either in easing into their 24-0 lead heading into halftime.
That’s not to say UT didn’t have their moments through the first two quarters, just that they were far from as sharp as they should have been given the level of competition. QB Sam Ehlinger was efficient however in throwing for 173 yards and three touchdowns, including one apiece to top targets Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson. The signal-caller also rushed for 31 yards but was helped out by tailback Keaontay Ingram, who looked pretty healthy in racking up 52 yards on the ground.
Though Texas’ defense gave up nearly five yards per play in the half, they also had their moments in recovering a fumble, pulling down an interception, notching a sack and forcing several third down stops.
The Bulldogs may not have gotten on the scoreboard but they certainly were playing fearless against one of the Big 12 favorites. Quarterback J’Mar Smith threw for 139 yards (one pick) and was the focal point of the LaTech offense despite not having much room to operate. He kept the changes moving with several third down conversions however and spread the ball around to six different receivers by the break.
We’ll see how the rest of this one plays out but it doesn’t seem like Herman and company are truly rounding into form just yet to kick off their 2019. The good news is they have a second half to correct that and truly put the pedal to the metal down on Saturday night.