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Film breakdown: All nine touchdowns from the Orange-White Game

Joe Cookby:Joe Cook04/21/24


Spring games are displays that give fans enough to be excited about but lack the expanded use of the playbook so as not to tip off opposing coaches. The Orange-White game accomplished both those goals, as Texas scored nine total touchdowns, posted three interceptions, and let the famous back-up quarterback and his lesser-known understudy steal the show while the starter had just a handful of reps.

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Texas decided to keep score in the affair, and Orange won 35-34 over White with a last-second Arch Manning Hail Mary attempt finding Jelani McDonald‘s hands as the final whistle sounded. But that score matters little overall, as highlight plays grabbed the attention of onlookers in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and throughout the college football world.

While more in-depth analysis of player performances and overall trends from the spring game is to come on Inside Texas, here’s a look at the scoring plays — all nine of them! — from Saturday’s Orange-White Game

TD1: Alfred Collins pick-six

A quick look at the personnel reveals a lot of first-teamers on both sides of the ball. The first-team O-line is on the field, as is most of the first-team defense.

Quinn Ewers was only scheduled to get a handful of plays. Unfortunately for Texas’ starter, he didn’t make much out of them. Here, on the first play of the game, Texas runs a RPO. Michael Taaffe is dropping down into the box, and Ewers makes the right read to pull and try to get the ball to Johntay Cook.

But watch Gunnar Helm as he goes across the formation to the top of the screen. He’s knocked of his path that was taking him to Ethan Burke because Alfred Collins beats DJ Campbell straight up. Burke gets a free run as a result and bats down the ball while making sure not to make contact with QB1.

Collins then grabs the deflection and rumbles into the end zone for an exciting first play of the game, and for a nice reward for blowing the play up in the first place.

TD2: Trey Owens to Thatcher Milton for a 50-yard score

Rarely has a defender reacted so quickly to a negative play on the field while the play is still going on.

Trey Owens steps up in the pocket and looks into a back seven composed mostly of newcomers and third-teamers. Walk-on Thatcher Milton‘s route takes him in front of a few defenders, and Owens fires to No. 49.

True freshman Xavier Filsaime thinks the ball is about to get to him but Milton snatches the ball out of mid-air and easily runs to the end zone, leaving Filsaime wondering what happened during live action.

A mis-identified hands to the face flag eventually is correctly assessed against the defense, and Milton celebrates a TD from the newest quarterback on campus.

Inside Texas spoke at length during the Orange-White game preview about the importance of cohesion and communication in the secondary. As could be expected when there are a lot of players in their first semester in Austin on the field, there wasn’t enough cohesion to prevent a couple of talented third-teamers on offense from finding the end zone.

TD3: Arch Manning to DeAndre Moore for a 75-yard score

“He was wide open!”

“I could hit that throw”

“This proves nothing about Arch, still a JAG”

Who cares what the people say? That was sweet and how a quarterback should take advantage of a coverage bust.

Also, want to see why Steve Sarkisian uses motion so often? It’s because if there’s one lapse in communication by the defense on a change in the formation, it can result in six points for the offense.

Cook goes from the outside and the No. 1 receiver spot to the No. 2 spot. The defense is playing a three-deep coverage. Well, everyone except for Terrance Brooks. The giveaway that shows this one is on Brooks is Jaylon Guilbeau. He, along with every other second-level defender, take drops that indicate a three-deep coverage behind them. Even if it is a Match 3 coverage, there are enough teammates inside and in the middle of the field for Brooks to pass Cook off so he can stay on top of Moore.

That’s not what happens, and Moore runs free without being touched. Manning puts it right on the money and, unlike in last year’s spring game, Moore is able to easily haul it in and celebrate about 30 yards later in the end zone.

TD4: Arch Manning to Jaydon Blue for a 29-yard score

The offensive coach that Sarkisian is may have had his fingers on the scale a bit on this play, as Jaray Bledsoe isn’t just hopping in the way of the throw in a live game.

That said, there’s not much to this one except for Jaydon Blue running right past Morice Blackwell without much issue after Amari Niblack (interestingly split out wide) takes the corner away from the play.

Blue with a two-way go versus anyone is going to go poorly for the defender. Manning, like Owens a few minutes earlier, leads his receiver and has the pass-catcher snatch the ball out of the air before it reaches the waiting hands of the safety. Six points (that were set up by extremely tough running from CJ Baxter).

TD5: Trey Owens to Ryan Wingo for a 56-yard score

A group with a lot of walk-ons, freshmen, and third-stringers is playing three-deep coverage on 3rd and 13. Kobe Black draws the assignment of Ryan Wingo in the boundary. Black has to cover Wingo closely as any help from Filsaime in the middle of the field would take a while to arrive.

The plans are foiled rather quickly as Wingo gets an almost-free release up the sideline. That’s Owens’ first read and he pulls the trigger. His pass is perfectly placed. Black doesn’t have the makeup speed nor can Filsaime get there in time to disrupt the play. One of several highlight plays from Wingo, with more to come.

TD6: CJ Baxter one-yard rush

Despite Jaydon Chatman getting blown up by Justice Finkley, Baxter finds his way to the end zone. Nice passes from Manning to Cook and Isaiah Bond helped set up this score.

TD7: Cole Lourd to Reece Beauchamp for a 5-yard score

The plays leading up to this one featured some tough efforts from both Cole Lourd and Jordan Washington. A few minutes prior, Lourd underthrew a ball intended for a fellow walk-on that was intercepted by Black. However, that pick did not result in a touchdown for the White team.

With Washington, the freshman tight end made an acrobatic fourth-down catch that saw him leap and reach the football at its highest point before tumbling over the defender making the tackle. Washington got up right away and signaled first down in celebration.

The Orange team then got into a 4th and goal situation, and Lourd fired a ball through several defenders to find Reece Beauchamp, who held onto the pass despite a tough hit from Graham Gillespie.

Does this play look familiar? It’s one of Sark’s red zone favorites.

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Unlike in the opportunity above, the Longhorns completed a play that asks both quarterback and intended receiver to finish difficult tasks.

TD8: Arch Manning to Isaiah Bond for a 75-yard score

Up to this point, Bond had made some good plays but there weren’t a ton of “wow” plays. But this one late in the contest checked that box.

The defense brings five and asks the corners and linebackers to play with Derek Williams over the top (possibly just over the wide side of the field). Gavin Holmes looks to be in man coverage on Bond, but a poorly timed slip at the line of scrimmage makes the result of this play elementary.

Manning hits his open receiver, who has run past all 11 defenders, and Bond hits the end zone. There, he strikes his signature James Bond pose.

TD9: Trey Owens to Ryan Wingo for a three-yard score

Though Parker Livingstone may have ended the day without much fanfare, but he does his job on this goal line play to allow for Wingo to grab glory one more time.

Wingo and Livingstone switch, with Livingstone running Wardell Mack out of the vicinity where Owens’ throw will land. Livingstone also makes the slightest bit of contact with Jordon Johnson-Rubell, contact he might not have needed to make considering how open Wingo was.

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Owens, once again, makes a great throw and Wingo hauls it in for the spring-game winning score.

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