The Texas Longhorns ran all over the Rice Owls on Saturday after four different rushers reached the end zone against the former Southwest Conference rival, including three scores from Bijan Robinson.
After struggling out of the gate against the Arkansas Razorbacks last week, the Longhorns were hot out of the gate with Casey Thompson under center.
Texas started with the ball and Thompson led a 10-play, 69-yard drive that included a fourth-down completion to Xavier Worthy that put Texas on the 10-yard line. On 3rd-and-goal, Thompson handed off to Robinson for a six-yard score.
Rice went three-and-out on its first possession, and Texas received the ball starting on its own 39. However, Rice was able to cause problems for the Longhorn offensive line, and hit Thompson as he was attempting a throw. He was intercepted by Gabe Taylor to give the Owls a chance to equal the score.
The Owls moved down the field and even moved deep into the red zone thanks to a toss dive to Khalan Griffin for 31 yards. The Longhorn defense held, and Collin Riccitelli missed a 29-yard field goal that would have made it 7-3.
The Longhorns faced a 3rd-and-3 on the ensuing drive and lined up in the wildcat with Roschon Johnson behind the center. He took the snap, Cade Brewer cleared a path, and Johnson rumbled 72 yards for the score.
Rice went three-and-out on the next drive and lined up to punt. Keilan Robinson screamed off the edge to block the kick, and the ball rolled out of the end zone for two points to make it, 16-0 Texas, as the first quarter ended.
Even with the score trending the Longhorns’ way, there were some instances of poor run and pass blocking from the Texas offensive line. Bad plays were often followed by good plays, and vice versa. Still, Texas moved down the field and scored on a seven-yard rush from Robinson, capping a six-play, 65-yard march.
Rice tallied one first down in response before facing a 3rd-and-long. The Longhorn defense, which rotated often at all positions in the first half, sent the Owl offense back to the sideline thanks to a sack from Ovie Oghoufo.
Texas added another explosive run on the following drive when Robinson rushed 62 yards to the end zone to make it 30-0.
When Rice re-took the field, its third-string quarterback took control of the offense. He was unable to do much better than his two counterparts, and Texas received the ball with just under three minutes remaining. Thompson moved Texas to the Owl 20, and found Jared Wiley wide open for a touchdown to make it 37-0. Texas’ tight ends Wiley and Cade Brewer amassed four catches for 32 yards in the first half.
Trying to run into halftime, Rice handed the ball off to Griffin who burst through the hole for 14 yards. However, Jerrin Thompson knocked the ball three and Josh Thompson recovered the ball to give Texas one more opportunity to score before halftime.
The used that opportunity to go on a four-play, 44-yard drive ending with a back-shoulder touchdown pass from Thompson to Worthy to make it 44-0. The game was so far out of hand that backup kicker Bert Auburn took over PAT duties.
On its first drive of the second half, Rice took the ball and moved into Texas territory with several pass completions. Texas would hold when the Owls passed midfield, forcing a punt. D’Shawn Jamison dropped the punt, but it went straight out of bounds.
Texas gained 19 yards with Bijan Robinson before bringing Keilan Robinson into the game. Just as he did on special teams, Keilan Robinson shot out of a cannon on a handoff on offense and zoomed 65 yards to help Texas pass the half-century mark and make it 51-0 with 9:57 left in the third quarter.
Rice gained one first down by way of an offensive lineman falling on a fumble before punting the ball away again. When the Longhorn offense re-took the field, it was composed of all second-stringers including quarterback Hudson Card.
Card led a drive down field that was bolstered by several Keilan Robinson and Jonathon Brooks runs. He even converted a 4th-and-1 in the red zone to continue the Longhorn drive. With a 1st-and-10 on the Owl 17, Brooks took a handoff around the left side and found the end zone for his first career score. The drive lasted 13 plays, traveled 76 yards, and took 6:06 off the clock.
To begin the fourth quarter, Rice went three-and-out. On the legs of Jonathon Brooks and Gabe Watson, Texas moved down the field and kept the clock moving. Brooks had runs of 25, 6, and 5 during the drive with Watson adding rushes of 11 and 4. During this drive, Texas rotated in plenty of walk-ons at the skill positions.
A steady rushing attack put Texas into a 4th-and-4 inside the Rice 10, but rather than kick Texas elected to rush with Watson and was stopped short.
With the game completely out of reach, Rice drove to try and avoid the shutout. They could not, and Texas held the Owls out of the end zone even though they were less than 10 yards away.
Texas improved to 2-1 on the season, with Texas Tech heading to Austin next week.