Darrell K. Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium was filled to capacity Sunday evening. 102,315 people gathered to watch Texas take on Notre Dame, a stadium record according to ESPN, and most of those people left the game ecstatic, as the Horns held off held off the Fighting Irish in overtime.
Coming into this game, Texas was 0-11 under Charlie Strong when the opponent scored first, tonight, that streak ended. With that first Irish score coming by way of a 13-yard touchdown pass from Deshone Kizer to Equanimeous St. Brown in the corner of the end zone. Texas responded with a Shane Buechele to Armanti Foreman connection and 19-yard score.
Notre Dame flipped between quarterbacks Kizer and Malik Zaire in the first half, before ultimately sticking with Kizer in the second half. That decision proved to be the right one, as the Junior from Toledo, Ohio picked the Texas defense apart to the tune of 215 yards and five touchdowns in the air, as well as 77 yards and an additional score on the ground.
Even with Kizer’s excellent performance, the quarterback on the other side, Shane Buechele, stole the show. Buechele, the first true freshman quarterback to start for Texas since 1944, was great throughout the game, accounting for 3 scores, 2 in the air, one with his feet, and 280 yards on 16 completions.
Texas led at the half, 21-14, after a Tyrone Swoopes 1 yard scamper. The momentum carried into the second half for Texas, as they led by as much as 17 points after a field goal that made it 31-14 Texas. Then, disaster struck for Texas, as the Fighting Irish scored three straight touchdowns to take a 35-31 lead.
The Irish’s lead lasted all of about seven minutes, before D’onta Foreman ran 19 yards to put Texas back on top. However, by the time Texas kicked the ball back off to Notre Dame, the game was tied. In one of the craziest plays all weekend, and probably the season, the extra point was blocked and returned for two points, tying the game at 37 late in the fourth quarter.
This college football season is brand new, and chaos has already showed up at your house, slashed your tires, and broken a window.
The tie held as the clock hit triple zeros in regulation.
Texas struck first in overtime, as Tyrone Swoopes ran in for his second score of the game. The lead was short-lived (noticing a theme here?) as Notre Dame responded with a 25-yard touchdown pass to tie it at 44 and send this one to double overtime.
Finally, in the second iteration of overtime, Notre Dame slipped up, settling for a 39 yard field goal on their possession. Tyrone Swoopes drove into the end zone just a few plays into the Texas possession to lock up the win for the Longhorns and cheers of “Swoopes there it is” rang out minutes after his heroic dive.
This win doesn’t make or break either team’s season, and while this doesn’t mean that “Texas is back”, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
|3rd down efficiency||7-16||8-18|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||2-2|
|Yards per pass||7.9||10.4|
|Yards per rush||4.5||4.0|
EMPTYING THE NOTEBOOK
There was some quality trash talk and sign game before this one, though this one is certainly my favorite:
Rudy killed Harambe. pic.twitter.com/TkqJ4ahJL4
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 4, 2016
Texas was braking in a brand new Bevo tonight, Bevo XV, and he got a big cheer pregame:
— Chip Brown (@ChipBrownHD) September 4, 2016
The scoring started off with this beautiful throw and catch:
Equanimeous St. Brown with his first TD. https://t.co/y2lOdvYCLO
— One Foot Down (@OneFootDown) September 4, 2016
And that catch was topped by Texas on the next possession with what might be the catch of the year to this point:
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 4, 2016
Always have to be aware on the sidelines:
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) September 5, 2016
Equanimeous St Brown had quite a few good plays, but this is likely the best:
EQUANIMEOUS ST. BROWN with an amazing TD for Notre Dame https://t.co/xFLnwC1EXj
— One Foot Down (@OneFootDown) September 5, 2016
Shane Buechele with a grown man throw to former quarterback Jerrod Heard:
— Bobby Kunz (@BONKunz) September 5, 2016
Another dime from Buechele to John Burt this time:
— Adam Biggers (@AdamBiggers81) September 5, 2016
Deshone Kizer dime:
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 5, 2016
Tyrone Swoopes, half man, half bulldozer:
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) September 5, 2016
And the game winner:
GAME WINNER pic.twitter.com/eoXcHF6g0v
— Patrick Mayhorn (@tweetsdonter) September 5, 2016
Welcome back college football, we missed you.