No. 23 Texas seeks revenge in another opener vs Maryland
Line: Texas by 13½.
Series record: Texas leads 3-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Coming off a disappointing 7-6 season that started with a 51-41 loss to Maryland at home, Texas needs to start its second season under coach Tom Herman with a splash to justify its No. 23 ranking and sustain momentum from last year’s victory over Missouri in Texas Bowl. With interim coach Matt Canada at the helm, Maryland needs something positive to talk about in a season dedicated to offensive lineman Jordan McNair, who collapsed on the practice field in May and subsequently died.
Texas defense vs. Maryland’s running game. A year ago, the Terrapins ran for 263 yards, led by Ty Johnson’s 132. QB Tyrrell Pigrome ran for 64 yards and a score before being injured, and his replacement, Kasim Hill, rushed for a decisive fourth-quarter score. All three have returned, looking for an encore against a Texas defense that for the first half will be without senior LB Anthony Wheeler, suspended for targeting in the Longhorns’ 2017 season finale.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Texas: Sam Ehlinger. The true sophomore coming off a season in which he passed for 1,915 yards and ran for 385, becoming the first Texas QB since Colt McCoy in 2008 to lead the team in passing and rushing.
Maryland: Ty Johnson. The senior has averaged 7.5 yards per carry and ran for 14 TDs. In his three season openers, he’s averaged 9.4 yards per rush.
FACTS & FIGURES
With Maryland coach DJ Durkin on administrative lead during investigation of the football program, Canada, the offensive coordinator, makes his debut as a head coach. … Texas, 103-19-3 in season openers, plays its first game on the road for only third time in 23 years. … Maryland has won last eight season openers and 12 of 13. … Texas seeks the program’s 899th win. … Terrapins closed last season with four straight defeats.