Texas shook off a slow start, including a rare defensive breakdown that allowed Wyoming to turn a 7-yard pass into an 82-yard touchdown, to score the final 14 points of the half and take a 21-9 lead into the break. The Longhorns opened the game cautiously on offense, and made some uncharacteristic defensive mistakes in the first quarter, falling behind the Cowboys 9-7 as Cowboys quarterback Brett Smith got off to a terrific start and Wyoming's defensive line held Texas' running game in check.
The second quarter belong to Texas, however, as the Longhorn defense started to swamp Smith with pressure, leading to back-to-back interceptions by the sophomore quarterback. Texas converted both interceptions into touchdowns, the first on a 16-yard post pass from David Ash to Jaxon Shipley, the second on a great second effort run by DJ Monroe to score on 3rd and Goal from the 5. Nick Jordan's 31-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter gave Texas its 24-9 halftime margin.
First Half: Three Key Plays
David Ash to Mike Davis for 11 yards on 3rd and 6. Following a three-and-out on its opening drive, Texas looked like it might do so again on its second possession as well, but on 3rd and 6 and under pressure David Ash coolly stepped up in the pocket and flushed to the right, but instead of running the ball and likely falling short of the first down, Ash kept his head up and found Mike Davis for a critical 11-yard conversion. Texas would go on to score its first touchdown of the game on the drive.
Brett Smith to Robert Herron for 82-yard touchdown. Adrian Phillips and Carrington Byndom arrived at Wyoming receiver Robert Herron at the same time, but neither wrapped him up, safety Josh Turner got caught behind a block, and Herron was off to the races for an 82-yard score.
David Ash to Jaxon Shipley for 16-yard touchdown. Jaxon Shipley showed why he's Texas' ace receiver and David Ash made the right read and threw an on-time, on-target ball to Shipley for his first passing touchdown of the season. The sophomore quarterback -- and UT offense as a whole -- got progressively better throughout the half and was starting to open things up and have its way with the Cowboys defense down the stretch of the second quarter.