When Saturday comes around in Austin, fans get ready to watch their beloved Longhorns take the field. However, the first Saturday of the 2009 season felt a little different than usual. As Texas took the field Saturday, the Longhorns, ranked second in the polls, were primed to make a statement in a possible National Championship season. A 59-20 defeat of UL Monroe proved that Texas was starting on the right note.
The final score wasn't a surprise to anyone. Texas came out of the gates recovering a fumble and scoring three plays later, proving Coach Brown's wish of scoring early and scoring often. The offense played really well behind Colt McCoy and the defense played a Texas style game, stopping the run (UL Monroe averaged a minuscule 2.9 yards per carry) and containing the pass.
McCoy finished the game completing 21 of his 29 passes for over 300 yards and two scores. Colt used his roommate, Jordan Shipley, in the passing attack with eight catches for 180 yards and one score.
Sophomore Dan Buckner had a solid performance with five receptions for 62 yards. Converted Quarterback to Wide Receiver John Chiles ended with three catches, one for a touchdown from McCoy.
The third year sophomore, Cody Johnson, had a big game around the goal line, scoring on three runs of one yard each. As a team, the Longhorns ran for over 200 yards using four different running backs. Combined, the Texas rushers averaged 4.2 yards per rush, led by Freshman D.J. Monroe's 7.1 yards per carry.
Even five-star recruit freshman Garrett Gilbert saw action in Saturday's blowout win. Gilbert looked solid completing four of his five passes for 46 yards. Gilbert was able to find the end zone in his first collegiate game when he ran for a 12 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The defense came out and forced a fumble on the third play of the game, which set the tone for the rest of the night. The defense was led by Rodd Muckelroy, who led the team with seven tackles, including one and a half for losses. The best stat of the night by the defense was that they held UL Monroe to just 5 of 15 on third down conversions (compared to Texas' 9 of 14).
After a 39-point win, Texas fans left happy and proud of their adored Longhorns. However, things would only get better through the night for the Longhorns. In Dallas, TX, Texas found out their arch rival, Oklahoma, were in a dog fight with No. 20 BYU. When all was said and done, Oklahoma lost their starting quarterback and their opening game.
However, as many Longhorn fans were happy to see the Sooners go down, the biggest game of the night for Texas may have been another prime-time game featuring No. 5 Alabama and No. 7 Virginia Tech. Rated the second best team in the SEC, Alabama scored 31 points in a 10-point win in Atlanta. For Texas fans, this game may mean more than the Oklahoma game.
Virginia Tech is a major favorite to win the ACC. If Virginia Tech would have won at a neutral site vs. a top-five team, they could have run the table and made their case to be in the National Championship game. Even with the Alabama won, they still will have to go through No. 1 Florida to get to the National Championship game.
Whether it was a 39-point win, a Oklahoma and Virginia Tech loss, or the day Colt McCoy became the first Longhorn quarterback to throw for over 10,000 yards, Texas had a great opening weekend and one that could put them on their way to a National Championship.