The Texas Longhorns were the last major collegiate football team to open the 1982 season and they obviously weren't the same team that beat Alabama in the Cotton Bowl last January.

The No. 18-ranked Longhorns survived visiting Utah, 21-12, at Austin last night, thanks largely to running backs Darryl Clark and Terry Orr and a big defensive play by safety Craig Curry.

"It looked about like we expected it would . . . we needed this type of game to wake us up," Texas Coach Fred Akers said.

"We were sluggish but we got it together at the end when it counted," Orr said.

Utah, which lost to Arizona State, 23-10, last week, gave the Longhorns a scare.

"I hate to say this but it's almost like last week where we almost had the game but couldn't quite get over the hump," Utah Coach Chuck Stobart said. "We played two pretty good football teams the last two weeks and played pretty tough. We had a heck of a drive to score our touchdown but missing the two-point conversion hurt us."

Curry batted away a two-point conversion pass in fourth quarter that would have tied the game.

The Utes (1-2) of the Western Athletic Conference trailed, 14-3, at halftime but made the Longhorns sweat in 95-degree heat before 70,158 fans.

Tim Fahringer's second field goal of the night, a 44-yarder in the third period, and quarterback Ken Vierra's 15-yard scoring pass to Roderick Wise, which was tipped by a Texas defender, set up a vital two-point try with 8:58 to go.

Vierra tried to pass to Andy Parker, who was open until Curry deflected the pass. That left Texas in the lead, 14-12.