It’s probably going to be another sad season for Charlie Strong and the Texas Longhorns, getting pummeled on the season’s opening weekend at South Bend by a relentless Notre Dame team, crushing the once proud program 38-3.
This was a good day for Brian Kelly. It was a great day for quarterback Malik Zaire, throwing for 313 yards and three touchdowns. It was a fine day for running back Josh Adams with two touchdown runs and 49 yards on the ground with just five carries. It was hard to find someone on the Irish who wasn’t having a very good day at least.
On the other side, the visitor’s end, things looked bleak, sad, pessimistic. It was the third time in 13 games that Texas have lost by 30 points or more. It was their first season opener loss since 1999, and Texas’ worst offensive output (3 points) in a season opener since 1950.
The same problems from last year, only worse. Tyrone Swoopes, who dreamed all his life about being a Longhorns quarterback, once again doesn’t seem cut for the job. The warning signs about him and his teammates were written all over the place; Strong’s second year was going to be as difficult and painful as the first one. Things have gotten that bad in Austin in the final four seasons under Mack Brown, and now we’re seeing the final, terrible aftershock of his departure and recruiting work in his twilight seasons.
The Longhorns offense gained a total of 163 yards. Swoopes completed just 31.8% of his passes, spreading his passes between only three receivers. The pass rush gave Zaire plenty of time to complete 86.4% of his throws, the 2nd-highest single-game comp pct in Notre Dame history. Now Zaire is a Heisman candidate, while Texas start off the 2015 season with a feeling that things are going to be a whole of a lot worse before they start getting better. It also makes the notion that Strong might not be the man for this rebuilding job a little bit stronger, although one year and one game aren’t enough to determine that.