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Freshman Murphy stars in QB debut for No. 7 Texas in a win over BYU

Xavier Worthy Texas Xavier Worthy - The Canadian Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Maalik Murphy threw for 170 yards and two touchdowns in his debut as starting quarterback for No. 7 Texas in a 35-6 win over BYU on Saturday.

Murphy, a redshirt freshman, replaced Quinn Ewers, who was sidelined with an injury to his throwing shoulder sustained in last week’s win at Houston. He completed 16 of 25 passes.

Before facing BYU, Murphy threw eight passes this season, completing four for 47 yards. He didn’t have a touchdown pass or interception.

Murphy had a few shaky moments in the first half against BYU (5-3, 2-3 Big 12), with an interception and lost fumble. But before the half was finished, he connected with Adonai Mitchell on a 30-yard scoring pass, the Longhorns’ second TD of the game.

The Longhorns’ Xavier Worthy opened the scoring, returning a punt 74 yards for a TD.

Jonathon Brooks, one of the top rushers in the nation, gained 98 yards for Texas (7-1, 4-1) and added 40 more receiving.

Quarterback Kedon Slovis had a rough day for BYU, throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble. All three of the turnovers led to Texas touchdowns. Slovis finished 24 for 39 for 197 yards passing.

The second interception, by former walk-on safety Michael Taaffe, was returned 45 yards and set up a second Murphy-to-Mitchell touchdown pass, this time for 13 yards.

Slovis’ lost fumble set up a 34-yard TD run by Longhorns reserve running back Jaydon Blue in the fourth quarter.

BYU: The Cougars managed to win three times this season while getting outgained by between 112 and 202 yards. One reason for that was an edge in turnover margin in each of those games, including 5-0 against Texas Tech last week. BYU ranked third nationally in turnover margin and fifth in turnovers gained. The Cougars lost on both fronts against Texas. They were out gained 354-292, while Texas had a 3-2 turnover margin.

Texas: The Longhorns’ special teams and defense made sure that Murphy had some cushion while landing on a big stage for the first time. Worthy returned a punt 74 yards for the first score of the game in the opening quarter. The defense limited BYU to 113 yards, while Texas took a 21-3 halftime lead.

BYU: At West Virginia on Saturday.

Texas: Hosts Kansas State on Saturday.

AP college football: and