Glen Powell, the Top Gun: Maverick star, was all-in on his Texas Longhorns. He appeared early Saturday on ESPN College GameDay, donning a mullet wig to honor his favorite team’s quarterback.
And then hours later, when Alabama kicked a gimme field goal to win the game with 10 seconds to go, Powell offered this prediction. This season is going to be a “fun ride.”
But first, let’s go back to this morning, when the ride started. That’s when ESPN set up its traveling college road show near downtown Austin, just east of Royal-Memorial Stadium. The last time GameDay came to town was in September 2019. when the Longhorns played host to LSU. Matthew McConaughey, the so-called Minister of Culture for UT, was the guest picker.
This time, it was Glen Powell, who grew up in Austin and, like McConaughey, graduated from the University of Texas. Powell is one of the most popular young actors in the country. After all, he played Hangman in Top Gun: Maverick, the Top Gun sequel’s version of Iceman (Val Kilmer). And Top Gun: Maverick now is one of the most-watched movies of all time. It recently passed Black Panther at the all-time box office.
For this gig, Powell brought props with him to the ESPN set. He wore a burnt orange football jersey. But as he began to assess UT’s chances, he put on a mullet wig.
“When you meet a man, what’s the first thing you see. His hair. Well, Quinn Ewers has the strongest mullet in college football. He’s been taking his vitamins. This man is ready for today. Saban has been prepping.”
Do you think Powell looks like Ewers? Here’s a photo of the Longhorn QB before the game.
Then Powell brought up UT’s best player, running back Bijan Robinson. “I make a pledge today that Bijan Robinson, every time he scores a touchdown today, I’ll take a shot of Bijan Dijon.” And that was Powell’s other prop. The tailback really does have a mustard named after him, Bijan Mustardson.
The Texas Football social media account was more than happy to amplify the Top Gun: Maverick star. Move over McConaughey, the Longhorns have a new movie star cheering them on.
Alas, no matter how hard Powell cheered for his team, the Longhorns came up so short against the top-ranked Crimson Tide. Despite being a 20-point underdog, the Longhorns owned a 19-17 lead with 1 minute. 39 seconds to play. And that was despite having Ewers leave the game late in the first quarter with a sprained shoulder. Hudson Card, QB2, also suffered a lower leg injury and was basically immobile for much of the game.
In the end, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, righted his game and led his team to a winning field goal. It came with 10 seconds to go.
So the Top Gun: Maverick star took a page out of the McConaughey fan book. Go with the uplifting message. He tweeted: “Texas put up a hell of a fight today. This team has what it takes. Hold your horns high. This is the beginning of a fun ride… #HookEm.”