1. WOULD THE HORNS AVERAGE AT LEAST 5 YARDS A CARRY?
Texas, which averaged 4.5 yards per rush last year behind the legs of Johnathan Gray (who averaged 4.7 on Saturday), Malcolm Brown (1.0) and Joe Bergeron (8.8), rushed for 110 yards on 18 carries Saturday night. That’s an average of 6.1 yards. But thanks to Jalen Overstreet, David Ash and Daje Johnson, who combined for 23 carries and 245 yards, Texas averaged 8.5 yards a carry.
2. WOULD ANTHONY FERA SURPASS HIS CAREER MARKS?
Yes. And no.
We’re talking good and bad marks here. Fera, who transferred from Penn State last year, made only two field goal attempts for Texas in 2012. On Saturday, he didn’t make one — though the Longhorns seemed just fine scoring touchdowns, not attempting field goals. And in his final year as a Nittany Lion, he averaged 42 yards per punt; against New Mexico State, he averaged 45.7 yards on three tries, including a monster 68-yarder that was downed at the 1 by Bryson Echols.
3. HOW WOULD DAVID ASH END UP, RUSHING-WISE?
With 91 yards on eight carries — a career-best rushing performance.
Texas needs him to make more plays this year running the ball — don’t forget his big 11-yard touchdown run that helped the Longhorns rally past Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl. He supplied that Saturday, highlighted by his 55-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. He had the best yards-per-carry average for the Longhorns.
4. WOULD THE DEFENSIVE LINE RECORD THREE SACKS?
The Longhorns sacked Andrew McDonald only once. It was by Cedric Reed. Texas led the Big 12 in sacks last year. Jackson Jeffcoat, back from his torn pectoral, had recorded at least one sack in 10 of his previous 13 games played heading into the opener. He was held sackless, but did show good energy.
5. WOULD THE SECONDARY HAVE TWO INTERCEPTIONS?
The Longhorns picked McDonald off only once, a nice pick from Adrian Phillips. McDonald attempted 46 passes. Quandre Diggs’ role has changed, moving from starting cornerback to starting nickel back. He was held without a pick, but certainly had a good game, including a fumble recovery.
— Richard Tijerina