Things started strong for Texas in their season opener against Maryland. On the third play from scrimmage Holton Hill intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 31 yards for a pick six. However, what happened next, became one of the weirdest spectacles on a football field that you will ever see. In addition to the pick six, each team had a kicked blocked and returned for a touchdown, there was a punt return for a touchdown, two missed field goals, a penalty for two players wearing the same number on the field, two failed two-point conversions, and four failed fourth down conversions.
It was sloppy football on both sides, but while Maryland overcame their struggles, Texas did not.
On the Longhorn’s third offensive play from scrimmage, Buechele threw his own interception on third and 17. Maryland needed just five plays to tie the game as Tyrrell Pigrome ran it into the end zone from 25 yards out. Texas responded by driving down the field, but the offense walked off the field without any points after the field goal attempt sailed wide.
This time Maryland needed only three plays to drive 74 yards for a touchdown.
Buechele responded by leading the Longhorns down the field, but once again the drive stalled and the Longhorns looked to settle for a field goal. The Terrapins had other ideas and blocked the kick, returning it for a touchdown. It was 21-7, and now Texas was in a hole.
Maryland suffocated the Longhorns rush attack all game, and after forcing Texas to punt, once again drove the field for a touchdown, and after a failed 2-point conversion, Maryland led 27-7.
Texas was in trouble, but Maryland kept leaving the door cracked open. On the Terps next drive is was the Longhorn’s turn to block a field goal as Holton Hill took it to the house.
The Longhorns entered halftime down 30-14, but thanks to the defense and special teams, they had some life. If fans thought the first half was crazy, it was just a warm up for the third quarter.
Texas came out of the half and drove the field down to Maryland’s four yard line, but Texas just couldn’t stop shooting themselves in the foot. They went for it on 4th and goal and were turned away. Once again, Texas left points on the field.
On their next drive of the half, things started to click, and the Longhorns scored their first offensive touchdown of the Herman era. Down 10, the Horns now had some life.
The defense stopped Maryland once again, forcing the Terps to punt. A punt Reggie Hemphill-Mapps returned 91 yards for the score. All of a sudden it was 30-27, a 3-point game.
It looked like Texas was going to take control of the game and escape with a win, but it wasn’t to be. Three points would be as close as Texas would get as they couldn’t stop the Maryland offense when they needed to.
It was a back and forth affair for a bit. But, Maryland never gave up the lead and salted away the win in the fourth. The end of the game had Longhorn fans so upset that they were booing the players and throwing items onto the field. Texas had its chances, but could not get out of its own way by committing penalties at key junctures of the game. Final score was 51-41.
|3rd Down Eff||3-11||9-18|
|4th Down Eff||0-0||0-4|
|Yards Per Pass||14.6||7.1|
|Yards Per Rush||6.1||3.2|
|UMD – Tyrrell Pigrome||9/12||175||14.6||2||1||89.4|
|UT – Shane Buechele||34/52||375||7.2||2||1||43.4|
|UMD – Ty Johnson||12||132||11.0||1||50|
|UT – Chris Warren III||6||31||1.4||1||9|
|UMD – DJ Moore||7||133||19.0||1||46|
|UT – Collin Johnson||7||125||17.9||1||32|
Emptying the Notebook
There was a scary moment late in the third when Maryland’s Antwaine Richardson had to be carted off the field and taken to a hospital. Early reports from the hospital were optimistic as he passed early tests but a diagnosis was held off until further testing.
This game featured two missed two point conversions. Two block field goals returned for touchdowns. And, a pick six. Maryland would have added their own but were called for defensive offsides.
At the halfway point, Texas had 28 yards rushing on 16 attempts, a 1.8 yards per rush average. They also had five penalties for 69 yards and two turnovers. They finished 98 yards on 31 attempts (3.2 ypr) and 11 penalties for 117 yards.
If there was a bright spot for Texas, Maryland only had 18 first downs and were kept to 3-for-11 on third down conversions. Texas had 26 first downs and converted 9-of-18 third downs. Those are some encouraging signs.
Going into the game, in the three previous match-ups, Maryland had never scored a point against Texas being outscored 102-0.
Buechele was pretty solid through the first three quarters. The quarterback pressures and hits got to him in the fourth, however, as his accuracy took a sever dip. In the fourth quarter he consistently threw above and behind the Texas receivers.
Texas is 0-4 their last four games with losses to Kansas and Maryland.
Let that sink in.
— LandGrant Gauntlet (@the_LGG) September 2, 2017
The Herman era is off to a great start
— Taylor Estes (@Taylor_Estes_) September 2, 2017
Texas fans are so pissed, they are throwing their hand fans on the field pic.twitter.com/SDsZZ7Xwgc
— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) September 2, 2017
Of course, OU added insult to injury
👀🔊 Seems the final score in the Texas-Maryland game was well received in Norman …
— SportsDayDFW (@SportsDayDFW) September 2, 2017