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fUTure19 Recap and Participation Tracker: Week 9 - TCU

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A few freshman mistakes turned out to be costly for Texas away from home on Saturday.

NCAA Football: Texas at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA redshirt rule, which made its debut last season, allows scholarship players to play up to four games without burning their redshirt. To keep track of how many games each freshman has appeared in throughout the season, I’ll list the number of games next to their names.

The seven freshmen participants from Saturday’s game included: WR Jake Smith, CB Chris Adimora, RB Roschon Johnson, S Tyler Owens, DE T’Vondre Sweat, TE Jared Wiley, WR Marcus Washington.

Injured/DNP — LB David Gbenda (4), LB Marcus Tillman (4), WR Kennedy Lewis (2), CB Kenyatta Watson II (2), RB Jordan Whittington (1), OT Javonne Shepherd (1), TE Brayden Liebrock (1).

fUTure19 Game Notes and Highlights

  • In place of the several injured Texas safeties, Tyler Owens made his first career start at safety, opposite of Montrell Estell. He was heavily involved in the action from the start. Owens leveled TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor on Brandon Jones’ interception, but was flagged for a personal foul penalty to negate a 25-yard return. Although Owens made an excellent football play on that block, college football’s new blindside block rule no longer allows initiated contact from outside the opponent’s field of vision. That penalty turned out to be an early momentum-changer for TCU, as it flipped the field 40 yards and Ehlinger threw an interception two plays later.

It’s hard to fault Owens for the two passes TCU connected over the top against him. Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan made two beautiful throws and TCU’s wide receivers made plays on the ball. That’s just better offense. More of that is also probably on Orlando for bringing minimal pressure while leaving his freshman safety in a one-on-one matchup around the sticks.

Outside of that, Owens chipped in on two tackles and played his tail off for it being his first career start.

  • On the first play following Jones’ interception, Jake Smith dropped a possible touchdown on a beautiful deep ball pass from Ehlinger. Smith ran a nifty route to create separation, but he couldn’t quite center himself over the shoulder to make the catch. Of course, Ehlinger threw that costly interception on the next play.

Smith’s struggles as punt returner also continued on Saturday — he was dropped for a seven-yard loss on his lone return.

  • While being limited to only five carries, this was Roschon Johnson’s least productive game as a Longhorn to date.

Texas’ pass heavy gameplan, especially when trailing, limited Johnson’s involvement on offense. Keaontay Ingram looked good up until Gary Patterson made his defensive adjustments in the second half. TCU started to sell out on runs up the middle and weren’t fooled by passes downfield.

Trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter, Johnson cut the deficit to 30-27 with a two-yard touchdown run.

  • Marcus Washington saw more action at wide receiver in the absence of Brennan Eagles. This marks his fifth in-game appearance of the season, so he can no longer redshirt.
  • Jordan Whittington is expected to return to action against Kansas State next Saturday.