Texas hopes to build on winning streak in California

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Sophomore linebacker Malik Jefferson sheds off a block against No. 18 Notre Dame. Jefferson and the Longhorns look to notch another big win when they take on California this Saturday.
Photo Credit: Joshua Guerra | Daily Texan Staff

Texas sits at 2-0 on the season after a 41-7 takedown of UTEP on Saturday night. It’s the first time head coach Charlie Strong has been two games over .500 in his tenure at Texas.

But standing between Strong and three straight victories, a feat he’s accomplished once before in Austin, is a high-powered California team.

Being away from Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium wasn’t kind to the Longhorns last season — they compiled a 1–4 record in true road games.

“It’s going to be a big challenge for us going on the road for the first time,” Strong said. “We have to go compete and just have fun … but [we] also know that we’re going to have to play well and play together as a football team.”

Strong and offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert bring a Texas team to Berkeley that has averaged 45.5 points per game through two games. Freshman quarterback Shane Buechele is a big reason for that, slinging for six touchdowns and 524 passing yards in his first two collegiate games.

“We knew what we could do,” Buechele said. “It’s just executing and seeing if you can be successful. So far we’ve done that.”

Buechele has a plethora of receivers to target in his first season. Eight Longhorns have at least one reception so far this season, and four of those receivers have six catches or more.

Senior receiver Jacorey Warrick has a team-leading nine grabs so far. The fourth-year player from Cypress Falls High School in Houston notched his first career touchdown against UTEP. He said the Texas offense shouldn’t miss a beat playing on the road rather than at home.

“Each week going in, whenever we start the game, the plays that we run in the game, we’ve [practiced] them a bunch of times throughout the week,” Warrick said. “It’s just a matter of being focused and executing. [There’s] nothing new that we haven’t seen from the defenses.”

Texas scored on its first possession against Notre Dame and was the inches away from replicating that feat against UTEP if not for Warrick fumbling the ball at the goal line. He made up for it later, but Warrick said it’d be great to start the game with a touchdown, especially on the road.

“Coach Strong, he likes to go out on defense first,” Warrick said. “So if we go out on defense like we’ve been doing and then get a stop and go and get points, I think that’d be a big tone-setter for the whole game.”