On Tuesday, Texas Longhorns redshirt freshman quarterback Jerrod Heard promised that the Horns would be a "run-first, nasty, get-at-your-face" offense moving forward and Texas delivered in the first half against the Kansas State Wildcats to take a 16-6 lead into halftime in Austin.
Rainy conditions helped make the passing game more difficult for both teams, but favored the emerging Texas identity on offense as Heard and company gained 185 yards on the ground during the first half while completing only three passes, all three of which were push passes to senior wide receiver Daje Johnson accounted for all 33 yards gained through the air.
The 18 Wheeler package for Texas junior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes got stuffed several times, resulting in the odd stat line of -2 yards gained and two touchdowns for Swoopes on four carries.
The first three drives for the Horns were methodical affairs of 15 plays, 13 plays, and eight plays, resulting in a field goal and two touchdowns as Texas asserted physical dominance in the game. Unfortunately, head coach Charlie Strong's team left some points on the field when the 18 Wheeler package got stuffed close to the goal line to force the field goal on the first drive and a recovered sky kick in Kansas State territory didn't result in points after a failed 4th and 5 run by Heard.
A second poor snap by junior Kyle Ashby also resulted in a failed point-after attempt.
Kansas State was able to take advantage to score a touchdown on the half's final possession, using several chunks plays by quarterback Joe Hubener (one on the ground and one through the air) and a pass interference penalty by freshman cornerback Holton Hill to score a late touchdown.
The seven-yard touchdown pass from Hubener to Dominique Heath took advantage of a Texas coverage mistake between redshirt freshman cornerback John Bonney and junior safety Dylan Haines on a pick play, but the two-point conversion failed for the final first-half margin.
Hubener didn't look particularly sharp in the first half after he briefly left the game after taking a big hit from Texas sophomore Jason Hall on the first offensive snap for Kansas State, but he was able to complete some ugly passes to go 6-of-8 through the air for 61 yards.
Texas will receive the ball to start the second half.