During the Charlie Strong era in Austin, the Texas Longhorns are 0-11 when allowing the opponent to score first, but are well positioned to stop that streak against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish after using a short touchdown run by senior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes to take a 21-14 lead into halftime at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
A 54-yard run by Notre Dame’s Tarean Folston sparked the first drive of the game due to a missed tackle by junior Fox end Naashon Hughes. Wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown then finished it with a 13-yard touchdown pass on a fade route when cornerback Davante Davis was unable to get his head around in pass coverage.
And then Texas responded.
With freshman quarterback Shane Buechele taking the first snap for Texas, strong running by D’Onta Foreman and several completions to wide receiver John Burt set up a gorgeous 19-yard touchdown reception by Armanti Foreman on a perfect touch pass and catch:
The next five drives all resulted in punts for the two teams before the 18-Wheeler package with Tyrone Swoopes led an 11-play, 88-yard drive that took 5:13 off the clock. Two big third-down conversions by wide receiver Jake Oliver helped keep the drive alive — the second and third career catches for the fourth-year player.
Notre Dame responded by using a 3rd-and-13 conversion following a holding penalty to capitalize with a 30-yard touchdown pass from DeShone Kizer to St. Brown. By that point, it was clear that Kizer was the better option for the Fighting Irish, so look for him to play most of the second half.
With one more opportunity looming before halftime, Buechele threw another impressive touch pass, this time to former quarterback Jerrod Heard for a 68-yard gain that took the ball right down to the goal line:
Buechele with a bomb to Heard. #Hookem pic.twitter.com/bKOkgEn5WY— Hookem Football (@hornsfootball) September 5, 2016
It took three plays for the LOnghorns to score from the one-yard line, but an outside run by Swoopes helped provide the final margin before halftime.
During the first half, Buechele lived up to the substantial offseason hype with the two big passes and another throw by Burt that was dropped early in the game. All told, the freshman went 9-of-13 for 145 yards and a touchdown in his debut half while aided by 31 yards and a touchdown on seven carries from Swoopes.
This is your second-half open thread.