- Max Olson, ESPN Staff Writer
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AUSTIN, Texas – Texas shook off a slow start and eventually blew away New Mexico State 56-7 in its season opener on Saturday. Here’s how it happened.
It was over when: Quarterback David Ash ran untouched for a 55-yard score down the sideline to put the Longhorns ahead 28-7 in the third quarter. A 74-yard score from Malcolm Brown just over two minutes later left no doubt.
Game ball goes to: Ash, who overcame two early interceptions to throw for 343 yards and a tie a career-best with four touchdown passes. He added 91 yards on eight carries and didn’t take a sack.
Stat of the game: Texas finished with a school-record 715 yards of total offense. Not a bad showing by new playcaller Major Applewhite, who broke the school record of 692 yards set in a 59-21 win in 1998 against Rice.
Unsung hero of the game: The Longhorns' offense stole the show in the opener, but defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat was sharp in his first game since last October. He tied for the team lead in tackles with seven, recorded a tackle for loss and broke up a pass.
Best call: Getting the ball in Daje Johnson’s hands. The sophomore has said he wants to be the Longhorns’ version of Tavon Austin or De’Anthony Thomas. He had that kind of impact Saturday. Johnson helped bust Texas out of its first-half slump with a 66-yard touchdown catch and finished with 129 total yards on nine touches.
What Texas learned: They just might have the big-play offense they envisioned and talked about all offseason. Sure, New Mexico State went 1-11 last season. But the Longhorns got rolling with scores of 54, 66, 24, 55 and 74 yards in the second and third quarters to pull away.