Freshmen Jake Smith and Roschon Johnson reached pay dirt for the second straight game during the 36-30 win for the Texas Longhorns over the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday night. Due to injuries, cornerback Chris Adimora came to the rescue late and ended up being the hero for Texas. Along with their production, eight total freshmen contributed towards the Longhorns first conference win of the season.
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 week four included: WR Jake Smith (4), CB Chris Adimora (4), RB Roschon Johnson (4), S Tyler Owens (4), DE T’Vondre Sweat (4), LB Marcus Tillman (4), WR Marcus Washington (3), WR Kennedy Lewis (2).
Injured/DNP — LB David Gbenda (3), TE Jared Wiley (3), RB Jordan Whittington (1), CB Kenyatta Watson (1), OT Javonne Shepherd (1), TE Brayden Liebrock (1).
fUTure19 Game Notes and Highlights
- Linebacker Marcus Tillman, Jr. suffered a third-degree MCL sprain on kickoff coverage and will miss the remainder of his freshman season after having surgery on Monday. This is unfortunate especially because Tillman was starting to prove himself as a linebacker and he’s one of three freshmen that consistently start on kickoff coverage. On a more positive note, Tillman being ruled out for the rest of the year means he’ll be able to salvage his redshirt this season. Fellow freshman David Gbenda may replace him on special teams and as a backup linebacker.
- Early in the fourth, Roschon Johnson punched in his first career rushing touchdown from two yards out to extend Texas’ lead to two possessions for the first time all game. Although he only averaged 3.3 yards per carry, half of Johnson’s production came on this nifty run up-the-middle.
Such a natural. Look at the vision here by RoJo. He sees the safety from way out. pic.twitter.com/jEh8ERzjqR— EricInsideTexas (@EricNahlin) September 24, 2019
As a safety started to inch towards the box, Johnson patiently shielded himself behind an offensive lineman, gave a quick right-to-left juke, and exploded through the inside hole for a 15-yard gain. He’s been extremely impressive as a running back just over a month into the position change.
- Smith hauled in his fourth touchdown of the season after running an excellent route to break free from a defender after creating separation by making a quick in-and-up cut. As Ehlinger timed the route to perfection and placed the ball right into his chest, Smith’s quickness caused Oklahoma State’s safety help over the top to be late.
His muffed punt inside the 10-yard line proved to be costly, though. Besides that mistake, he’s been limited with space to work with on punt returns all season long, so now may be the time for Texas to practice putting a sure-handed guy like Devin Duvernay back there instead.
Look at this cut from Jake Smith. Sheesh. pic.twitter.com/sB1oK5fjX4— Max Olson (@max_olson) September 22, 2019
- Given all the injuries throughout the secondary, Adimora was forced to play on both defense and special teams to close out this game. While he had never taken a practice rep with the onside kick recovery unit before, he was the one that eventually recovered Oklahoma State’s last-gasp onside kick attempt to secure the win.
Not only did he help seal a victory, but the freshman from California also impressed at cornerback. Adimora had a crucial one-handed pass break up near the goal-line to save a touchdown. Along with his contribution on special teams, Adimora remains a valuable depth piece in the secondary going forward. He’s likely to see more action at cornerback against West Virginia after Texas’ bye week.
- Without Collin Johnson playing, wide receivers Marcus Washington and Kennedy Lewis each saw limited action on offense.