No. 21 Texas opened up the Steve Sarkisian era of Longhorn football with a win over No. 23 Louisiana. Hudson Card passed for 224 yards and two scores, Casey Thompson passed for 41 yards and one score, and Bijan Robinson had 24 touches for 176 yards and two scores.
Here’s how the game went down.
Both teams traded three-and-outs to begin the game, with the Ragin’ Cajuns three plays coming first. The Ragin’ Cajuns took advantage of their second drive thanks to chunk plays of 20, 16, and 10 yards, but Texas held up in the red zone after DeMarvion Overshown and Luke Brockermeyer recorded a sack when Louisiana was on the Longhorn 12. Louisiana kicked a field goal to take an early lead.
The ensuing possession was dominated by Bijan Robinson. Texas’ star touched the ball six times on an 11-play scoring drive, culminating in an 18-yard touchdown catch. Five plays prior, Hudson Card converted a 4th-and-6 with his legs to keep the drive alive.
Texas held again on the following possession and were set up to score again after a 34-yard Card to Xavier Worthy completion on the second play of the drive. However, Cameron Dicker missed a 45-yard field goal attempt in the early portion of the second quarter.
The Ragin’ Cajun offense again failed to get much going in the Texas heat, going five plays and out. In response, Texas marched down 66 yards on its next possession, setting up a 3rd-and-6 for the Longhorns. Card found fellow Lake Travis Cavalier Cade Brewer in the end zone to make it 14-6 Longhorns with 2:00 left in the half.
Louisiana added another field goal as the half closed out on the leg of Kenneth Almendares. The drive was saved by Louisiana running back Montrell Johnson’s three-yard run on 4th-and-1 from the Ragin’ Cajun 34 with under a minute left. UL quarterback Levi Lewis helped the Louisiana offense reach the Texas 31, setting up Almendares’ kick. Texas led at halftime, 14-6.
In contrast to the start of the game, both teams traded touchdowns to start off the second half. Card let an eight-play, 65-yard drive buoyed by a 41-yard completion to Jordan Whittington. The sophomore carried multiple defenders after contact to put Texas on the 11. Two rushes from Robinson later, the Longhorns scored to make it 21-6.
Louisiana followed up with a 12-play, 79-yard drive of its own. The Ragin’ Cajuns converted their first third down attempt of the game on the drive capped by a 27-yard rush around the right side by Chris Smith. The score remained 21-12 after Keondre Coburn blocked the point after attempt.
But the Longhorns pushed the lead back to 16 points after a six-play, 48-yard drive. Louisiana tried to catch the Longhorns sleeping, but BJ Foster was ready for the trickery and recovered the attempt.
Texas drove to the Louisiana 10 thanks to an 18-yard screen pass to Robinson, but he had the ball stripped when fighting for yards. The pile-up of Ragin’ Cajuns folded him awkwardly, but he was able to walk off under his own power.
Three plays later, Card scored his first career rushing touchdown with a three-yard rush.
Texas held the Louisiana offense once again following the score. When the Longhorns took the field with 1:10 left in the third quarter, Casey Thompson entered at quarterback for his first series of the 2021 season.
Like his counterpart, Thompson coordinated a touchdown drive of his own. He had some help from Keilan Robinson on the drive, who rushed for 41 yards and had a 25-yard rush put Texas on the Louisiana 19. After one more 5-yard rush from Keilan Robinson, Thompson found Whittington on a screen pass. He evaded two defenders and followed a block from Marcus Washington into the end zone to make it 35-12.
Desperately needing a score, the Ragin’ Cajuns tried to move the ball through the air. They converted one 4th-and-1 attempt with a completion, then completed a 26-yard pass from Levi Lewis to Jalen Williams to put the Louisiana offense into plus territory.
Several plays later, Lewis completed a short pass to Kyren Lacy, who spun out of several Longhorn tackles and made it to the end zone. The two-point attempt failed, making it 35-18 with 9:31 left.
Thompson received another series, beginning on the plus-49 following another failed onside. The Longhorns advanced 18 yards before calling on Dicker for a 49-yard attempt, which he knocked through.
Louisiana fumbled in Texas territory on the next drive, but forced a Texas punt with two minutes remaining. The Ragin’ Cajuns could not score upon receiving the ball, and ran out of time thanks to a Jett Bush sack to finish the game.