After two weeks of early struggles on offense, Texas has moved the ball at will in its first two possessions against Texas Tech, especially on the ground. The Horns lead 14-3, but the quick start has come at a steep price.
Texas left tackle Tony Hills, the team's best and most experienced offensive lineman, was carted off the field during the Horns' second possession with an apparent left leg injury. Don't expect him to return. His loss did not slow the Horns in their TD drive but could hurt them, long-term, as this game progresses.
To compensate for Hills' departure, coaches moved Chris Hall from center to right tackle and inserted freshman Buck Burnette at center. This marks the second consecutive game that Texas has lost a senior offensive lineman in the first quarter. Center Dallas Griffin departed early in last week's victory over Oklahoma State with a knee injury. As it stands, Texas' offensive line will be comprised entirely of underclassmen for the rest of this game. No seniors remaining on the depth chart are healthy.
Texas finished off its second touchdown drive with an offensive line that included three sophomores (Adam Ulatoski, Chris Hall, Charlie Tanner), one junior (Cedric Dockery) and a freshman (Buck Burnette). Whether they can keep up this pace with such an inexperienced group is anyone's guess. But tailback Jamaal Charles rushed 12 times for 85 yards in the first quarter, so the ground game is clicking ... for now.
-- Jimmy Burch