Freshman Jaxon Shipley caught a touchdown pass on a trick play and Fozzy Whittaker scored twice in the fourth quarter as Texas shook off a slow start for a 34-9 season-opening win over Rice on Saturday night.
Shipley, the younger brother of Texas career receptions leader Jordan Shipley, put the Longhorns ahead 20-9 in the third on a pass from wide receiver John Harris.
Garrett Gilbert passed for 239 yards, with 115 going to Mike Davis in Texas' new offense under first-year coordinator Bryan Harsin. Coach Mack Brown overhauled his staff after the Longhorns went 5-7 and missed a bowl in 2010, Texas' first losing season since 1997.
The Longhorns have beaten Rice in 40 of the last 41 meetings.
Chris Boswell kicked three field goals for Rice.