The Texas Longhorns overcame another flat, uninspiring start and ran away from the Texas Tech Red Raiders on their way to a 49-24 win on Senior Day. Thanks to Roschon Johnson’s big game on the ground and contributions from multiple other freshmen, Texas put together their most efficient offensive performance in over two months. It was encouraging to see the freshmen class end this disappointing regular season on a high note.
Jake Smith and Marcus Washington were in for the majority of the second half at wide receiver. With Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay graduating after this season, the development of Smith and Washington over the offseason will be crucial heading into Ehlinger’s senior season. He’ll be breaking in a new group of wide receivers, likely in a new offensive system.
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 eight 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, CB Kenyatta Watson II (4).
Injured/DNP — LB David Gbenda (4), LB Marcus Tillman (4), WR Kennedy Lewis (2), RB Jordan Whittington (1), OT Javonne Shepherd (1), TE Brayden Liebrock (1).
fUTure19 Game Notes and Highlights
- Wiley got the start at tight end and hauled in his first career reception — a 15-yarder on an in route to move the chains. Wiley’s presence as a run blocker was notable throughout the game. It makes you wonder why he wasn’t out there initially over Leitao after Cade Brewer went down with an injury.
- Smith hauled in a 26-yard touchdown pass from Ehlinger on a well ran route to the corner of the end zone. This was a big one for Smith, as it ended his seven game scoring drought.
- With Keaontay Ingram banged up with an ankle injury, Johnson took over the workload at running back in his absence. He ran for 105 yards on 23 carries and had three touchdowns from one-yard out. Johnson’s instincts and confidence as a runner improved as the game went on. It’s amazing what a double-digit workload can do for a running back — something Johnson hasn’t seen in over month.
- Cornerback Kenyatta Watson had a key pass breakup on 4th and goal while matched up against 6’6 receiver T.J. Vasher. Watson played the fade ball really well — he turned his head around, extended his arms, and made a play on the ball. That’s the type of technique that Texas’ defensive backs have been lacking all season. The future certainly looks bright for Watson.
True freshman CB Kenyatta Watson II saves UT defense from a TD. pic.twitter.com/we5MTfYwsL— Kaelen Jones (@kaelenjones) November 29, 2019
As Watson’s reached the four-game mark, Texas will have a decision to make on whether to redshirt him or give him more valuable reps at cornerback in their bowl game.
- Chris Adimora was out there in the secondary with Watson in the second half. He had two solo tackles.
- Marcus Washington eluded three tacklers on his way to a 15-yard gain — his only reception of the game.
- Defensive end T’Vondre Sweat recovered his first career fumble.
- Tyler Owens had a solo tackle.