It may not have been pretty after quarterback Sam Ehlinger left the game against the Baylor Bears, but the Texas Longhorns found a way to get it done and head into their bye with a win. When the offense seemed to sputter in spots Saturday, a few individual performances emerged on both sides of the ball to help Texas stay afloat and stem the Baylor onslaught.
RB Keaontay Ingram — 19 carries, 110 yards (5.8 ypc)
Fans have been clamoring for Texas to feed freshman running back Keaontay Ingram, and when he got the ball against Baylor he made the most of it. Ingram became the first Texas freshman running back with 100 yards since Chris Warren III went for 276 against Texas Tech in November of 2015, and the first running back to go for 100 yards since Warren accomplished it against San Jose State a year ago.
Ingram has also quietly positioned himself to have one of the best freshman seasons in school history. Even though 54 freshman running backs have had 100-yard games, Ingram is just 97 yards from becoming the 10th true freshman to rush for 500 yards in a season. If Ingram hits his 67.17 yards per game average over the next five games, he’ll finish the season with 738 yards on the year, the eighth-best season from a freshman running back, right behind Malcolm Brown’s 2011 season.
WR Collin Johnson — 11 receptions, 132 yards, touchdown
A year ago, the big pass catcher led the team in receiving. Like most of the Longhorns receivers, however, he did not seem to live up to expectations. This season, Johnson has emerged as a consistent playmaker and a matchup nightmare for opponents on Saturdays. His 11 catches Saturday ties him with five players — including Roy Williams and Jordan Shipley — for the sixth-most in a game in school history. His touchdown reception against Baylor is his fourth-straight game with a receiving touchdown, the fifth-longest streak in school history.
In less than three years with Texas, Johnson has now amassed 1,643 receiving yards, just 199 yards shy of Tony Jones for No. 10 on the school’s career receiving yards list. If he can manage four more touchdown receptions before the end of his season, he’ll tie Williams and Wayne McGarity for the seventh-best season in school history, and tie McGarity and Lam Jones for the tenth-most in a career.
Charles Omenihu — Three tackles, two sacks for nine yards
The senior defensive end truly is making the most of his choice to return for his fourth year in burnt orange and has been nothing short of spectacular for Texas in the last three games. His two sacks against the Baylor Bears bring his season total to six — five of which have come in the last three games. Omenihu has literally accounted for half of the Texas sacks on the season and for 42 of the team’s 85 sack yards.
Only one other Texas player has more than one sack this year - linebacker Gary Johnson has two sacks for nine total yards on the year.
Omenihu has been able to directly affect the Longhorns defense getting off of the field by bringing down the quarterback. Four of his six sacks have come on third or fourth down, with an average of 9.5 yards to gain for the first down.
The Longhorns now head into their bye week with a clear priority — get healthy and rested to close out the last five regular-season games. With four top 10 losses on Saturday, including West Virginia losing to Iowa State to leave Texas as the only team undefeated in Big 12 play, the Longhorns truly hold their season goals in their hands.