It took a quarter for the Longhorns to adjust to live football, but after that opening stretch of uneven play, Texas controlled the remainder of the game, systematically exerting its will on both sides of the ball to wear down Wyoming and open the 2012 season with a 37-17 victory.
David Ash gave Texas the efficient, mistake-free play that it wanted, completing 20 of his 27 pass attempts for 158 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions, while the Longhorns running game took care of the rest, pounding out 280 yards and 4 touchdowns on 47 carries.
Wyoming certainly showed on Saturday night why it's likely to prove one of the better non-BCS teams in college football this year -- and quarterback Brett Smith is a damn impressive young player -- but the Longhorns passed their opening test with flying colors by proving that they could control and submit an overmatched opponent. It wasn't a particularly pretty or dominant performance, but it was strong in the ways that counted for this particular game and opponent, and a very encouraging way to open this promising 2012 season.
Apparently many Longhorn fans were looking for mid-season polish and overwhelming dominance. Personally, I was evaluating this season opener for specific, broad things, not as I would a performance in October. Did we look amazing? Not really, no.
But did we control a solid opponent in the ways that we really needed to see in order to believe that this team can grow into a contender for the conference title? Absolutely.
To me, the second question was the one that mattered tonight.
In any event, this is still your first post-game celebration thread of the year. How sweet it is. Football is back... and so is Texas.