Byron Murphy’s time to touch the football comes at the right time for … – 247Sports

VIDEO: Highlights: Wyoming at No. 4 Texas

AUSTIN, Texas — Trailing early in the second quarter of Saturday’s 31-10 win over at Wyoming Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, No. 4 Texas turned to one of its top defensive players for the go-ahead touchdown when Quinn Ewers found nose tackle Byron Murphy in the end zone for a 1-yard score. Used as a goal-line blocking back for the Longhorns last season, Murphy leaked out into the flat off and got open on a hard play-action fake, helping Ewers find him for the easy score with Murphy showing soft hands in the process.

The score put Texas on top of the Cowboys, 10-7, with 11:45 remaining on the clock until halftime. The Longhorns took a 10-7 lead into the locker room, battling back after a 62-yard touchdown run by Harrison Waylee on Wyoming’s opening drive put the Cowboys ahead early, 7-0.

“Since last season, I’ve just been waiting on my time,” said Murphy, who has repped the play in practice going back to the 2022 season when Steve Sarkisian tapped him to be the team’s jumbo fullback. “We’ve been practicing all week, all last week, so when the opportunity presented itself I was ready.

“When Quinn called it, I was like, ‘It’s time. Here we go,’ he added. “I know it’s coming, so just be ready and catch the ball and get in the end zone.”

It’s one thing to work a play in practice, but it’s another to look as confident as Murphy did when he looked the ball into his paws to complete the catch.

“I’m an athlete,” Murphy said when asked why he looked like a natural catching the football. “I always knew I was an athlete.”

Murphy’s touchdown came at the end of a 17-play, 90-yard drive. The offense converted two fourth downs with running back Savion Red doing the honors out of the Wildcat package. which like using a defensive lineman as a lead blocker isn’t something the program started doing under Sarkisian.

Derek Lokey, Roy Miller and Lamarr Houston made appearances in the backfield under Mack Brown in the 2000s with Keondre Coburn — a key member of the Texas defense for five seasons (2018-22) before the Kansas City Chiefs selected him in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft — most recently used as an extra blocker when the offense reached the cusp of the end zone. Murphy joked with the media during fall camp that given the amount of running back snaps he logged early in his football career, his heart is still in the backfield.

“I played running back since I was five all the way until ninth grade,” Murphy said. “That’s when I stopped.”

Why did Murphy stop playing running back when he made his way to DeSoto High School as a freshman?

“I ate myself out of the position,” he said.

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