AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Chris Warren III ran for 166 yards and two touchdowns and freshman Sam Ehlinger got his first career start at quarterback as Texas beat San Jose State 56-0 Saturday to give coach Tom Herman his first win with the Longhorns.
Ehlinger started in place of injured Shane Buechele and passed for 222 yards. Jerrod Heard, a wide receiver and former starting quarterback, rotated with Ehlinger several times and scored on runs of 9 and 3 yards in the first half.
“Our guys flew around, they cut it loose, they played with confidence and swagger,” Herman said.
Warren’s first touchdown came on a 41-yard burst off a direct snap in the second quarter. Defensive back Holton Hill scored his third touchdown in two games with an interception return for a score in the third.
The victory was a crucial turnaround for the Longhorns (1-1), who lost Herman’s debut at home to Maryland a week earlier. After giving up 51 points in that loss, the Texas defense got its first shutout since 2014 and first at home since 2012.
“We played a lot harder this week. We played for each other,” Warren said. “I like what I saw from Sam. I’m proud of the kid.”
SAN JOSE STATE: The Spartans (1-2) were overmatched, particularly at the line of scrimmage. The 250-pound Warren smashed through tackles and even hurdled over one for a first down in the first half. Freshman quarterback Montel Aaron also was victimized by several dropped passes in a game.
TEXAS: Herman likes to call Ehlinger an “alpha” and the freshman’s burst with his legs gives the Texas offense a new wrinkle that’s missing with Buechele. Ehlinger’s passing has room for growth as he was 15-of-27 with several misfires and drops. All of it means Texas will face new quarterback questions about who to start — assuming Buechele is healthy enough to return — when the Longhorns next face Southern California.
“Sam played good for that being his first collegiate start. I thought he was very poised in the pocket,” Herman said, adding it would be premature to predict whether Buechele will be healthy enough to return next week.
TEXAS: travels to play Southern California on Sept. 16
SAN JOSE STATE: plays at Utah on Sept. 16Warren and Ehlinger lead Texas 56-0 win over San Jose State