Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw for 426 yards and touchdowns to five different receivers, all in the first half, as the No. 14 Longhorns stampeded past visiting UTEP 59-3 on Saturday in Austin, Texas.
Ehlinger was 25 of 33 through the air over the first two quarters while staking Texas (1-0) to an overwhelming advantage in its season opener. Ehlinger, the Longhorns’ Heisman Trophy candidate, hit Joshua Moore for a 78-yard score on the game’s opening play and never looked back.
Tight end Cade Brewer hauled in Ehlinger’s second TD pass, from 20 yards away, before Roschon Johnson plunged in for a 1-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter. Ehlinger then hit Brenden Schooler, a grad transfer from Oregon by way of Arizona, for a 40- yard score.
By the end of the half, Ehlinger added TD tosses to Tarik Black, a grad transfer from Michigan, and a fifth scoring pass to walk-on Kai Money from 6 yards away.
Cameron Dicker kicked a 32-yard field goal for the Longhorns while Gavin Baechle countered with a career-long 47-yard FG for UTEP, both in the second quarter.
Nine different receivers caught passes for Texas in the first half as the Longhorns outgained UTEP 498-121 over the first two quarters before turning over the game to their reserves. Texas ended up with a 689-233 offensive edge.
Ehlinger posted the third best passing yardage day in school history, and had a career-high in scoring passes, and he did it in one half. The senior signalcaller played the first series of the third quarter before heading to the bench.
Longhorns backup quarterback Casey Thompson threw the first two TD passes of his career in the second half, finding Brennan Eagles for a 35-yard scoring hookup in the third quarter and Marcus Washington for a 17-yard touchdown with 13 minutes to play.
The Longhorns racked up a school-record 481 passing yards, eclipsing the program’s single-game mark set in 1987 (476 vs Houston).
The Miners (1-1) were led by Gavin Hardison’s 141 passing yards and Deion Hankins’ 34 yards on the ground in 11 carries.
UTEP, who was a 43-point underdog out of Conference USA, has lost all six of the games its played against Texas in a series that dates back to 1930.
–Field Level Media