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Texas Longhorns Football

Texas upsets West Virginia 28-14, clenches Bowl berth for First Time since 2014

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Photo: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Longhorns bowl eligble with upset win in Morgantown

Texas versus West Virginia did not start out the way most, including myself, predicted. Both offenses struggled to get things going early on, but things got rocky for the Mountaineers on their third drive of the game.

Will Grier, reaching for the pylon on a potential rushing touchdown, broke his middle finger. The result of the play was a fumble and a touchback for West Virginia, giving the Longhorns the ball. They would punt after a 3-and-out.

On the next Texas possession Sam Ehlinger led the Longhorns on an 11-play, 91-yard drive that can be attributed to Ehlinger’s solid play on the ground and through the air. A large chunk of the yardage on the drive was courtesy of a 50-yard pass to Reggie Hemphill-Mapps, which was taken to the West Virginia 20. The drive finished with an Ehlinger pass to Tight End Kendall Moore for a 4-yard touchdown. The score was 7-0 Longhorns with 10:55 left in the first half.

West Virginia would punt the ball again, and the Longhorns saw their opportunity and capitalized on it. Texas went on another scoring drive, this time a 10-play, 87-yard drive that ended with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Sam Ehlinger to Chris Warren III. The score was now 14-0 Texas with 2:29 left in the first half and would remain that way as the half expired.

On the Longhorns’ second possession of the third quarter, as he was being sacked, Sam Ehlinger lofted a pass that was intercepted and returned 94-yards for a touchdown. This gave the Mountaineers their first score of the game. West Virginia still trailed the Longhorns 14-7 with 5:29 left in the 3rd quarter.

Texas looked to be losing their momentum after the pick-6 and was forced to punt on the next offensive possession. West Virginia followed suit and punted. The Longhorns had great field position after the punt, beginning the drive at the West Virginia 46 yard line.

After two plays, the Longhorns would find the end zone again, thanks to a 10-yard touchdown run by sophmore Kyle Porter. The score was now 21-7 in favor of Texas with just over a minute left in the third quarter.

West Virginia, led by 2nd string quarterback Chris Chugunov, began to feel the urgency and tried to responded. The Mountaineers went on a 7-play, 51-yard drive that ended with a pass in the endzone to Gary Jennings which was beautifully deflected by Texas safety DeShon Elliot. The ball was turned over on downs as a result.

Texas was forced to punt, and West Virginia would capitalize on the offensive possession.  Chris Chugunov found Ka-Raun White on 4th and 3, which went for a 12-yard touchdown and cut the Texas lead to 21-14 with 9:01 left in the game. Notably on the drive, Texas DE Breckyn Hager was flagged for a targeting penalty on Chugunov and ejected.

Momentum began heavily swinging toward the Mountaineers after Texas was forced to punt again. West Virginia was on the verge of tying the game when Chugunov was sacked and fumbled the ball on his own 6-yard line. Texas recovered and had ample field position to put the game out of reach.

And that they did, on their second 2-play drive of the game, which resulted in a 1-yard TD by Daniel Young.  Young went airborne and over the top for the score, propelling the Longhorns to a 28-14 lead with just over 5 minutes left in the game.

West Virginia could not answer, instead punting the ball after 5 plays and ending with a Chris Chugunov fumble which was recovered by the Mountaineers.  They would punt the ball with 2:30 left in the game, giving Texas the chance to put things out of reach for good. The Longhorns went on a drive that ended with the Ehlinger taking a knee and securing a 28-14 Texas victory.

Texas is bowl eligible for the first time since 2014, which was former head coach Charlie Strong’s first season in Austin. The Longhorns upset a West Virginia team that was hoping to win today and compete for a share of the Big 12 crown, but those hopes have now been squandered. The defense played well against back-up QB Chris Chugunov, and were it not for the heroics of Longhorns QB Sam Ehlinger, this game might have not gone in Texas’s favor.

Texas hosts in-state rival Texas Tech in Austin next Friday at 7 P.M. on Fox, the day after Thanksgiving, in the hopes of returning the Chancellor’s Spurs to Austin.

Game Statistics

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Ross Labenske is a student at the University of Texas studying journalism with a focus in sports. He graduated from Allen High School and has a passion for his hometown teams in the Dallas area; the Mavericks, Rangers, and first and foremost, the Dallas Cowboys.

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Texas Longhorns Football

Top Plays: Texas vs. Baylor

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Photo: John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns held on to beat the Baylor Bears 23-17 last Saturday in Austin to win their sixth straight game, improving to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in Big 12 play.  Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger left the game with a shoulder injury on the opening drive and was replaced by junior Shane Buechele. Buechele, who saw his first action on the field since the Longhorns’ bowl game against Missouri last December, finished 20-34 with 184 yards and one touchdown.  True freshman running back Keaontay Ingram surpassed the century mark on the ground, the first in his career, amassing 110 yards on 19 carries.

Texas scored all of its points in the first half and held a 23-10 lead over Baylor at the half. The Bears scored a touchdown in the third quarter to cut the lead to 23-17 and held possession of the ball on the final drive of the game. Todd Orlando’s defense held steady as Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer was pressured and threw a last-effort pass out of the Texas end zone as the game clock expired.

Place your vote for Texas’ top play in the win over Baylor.

Shane Buechele’s 44-yard TD pass to Collin Johnson (4:21 – 2nd quarter)

 

LJ Humphrey’s quarterback keeper for a TD (1:12 – 2nd quarter)

 

Caden Sterns intercepts Charlie Brewer (:44 – 2nd Quarter)

 

Texas defense pressures Brewer on final play of the game (:01 – 4th quarter)

 

Vote for your Top Play below.

What was Texas' Top Play in the win over Baylor?

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Big 12

Texas Football 2019 full schedule released

The Longhorns host LSU at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 7

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Photo: USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 Conference released the 2019 football schedules for all ten conference schools on Thursday.  The Longhorns’ schedule includes three non-conference games, two of which are against teams from Louisiana. Notably, Texas will host the LSU Tigers on September 7th after a home season-opener against Louisiana Tech, and will complete non-conference play against former Southwest Conference opponent Rice at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Texas will host Texas Tech on Friday, November 29th, the day after Thanksgiving, to wrap up the season.

Full schedule can be found below.

2019 Texas Football Schedule

Aug. 31—Louisiana Tech
Sept. 7—LSU
Sept. 14—at Rice (NRG Stadium)
Sept. 21—Oklahoma State
Oct. 5—at West Virginia
Oct. 12—vs Oklahoma (Cotton Bowl)
Oct. 19—Kansas
Oct. 26—at TCU
Nov. 9—Kansas State
Nov. 16—at Iowa State
Nov. 23—at Baylor
Nov. 29—Texas Tech

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College Football

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Baylor

Texas narrowly escaped with a victory against Baylor on Saturday, and there are several areas that the Longhorns must clean up to stay atop the Big 12

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John Gutierrez, USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another close ballgame that came down to the final drive for Texas. The Longhorns found themselves behind the eight ball when Sam Ehlinger exited the game with an injury in the 1st quarter, and Baylor ended up giving Texas all they could handle. Regardless, Texas is now 6-1 and sits alone atop of the Big 12 conference standings. The Longhorns will gladly welcome the bye week as they prepare for the final stretch of the season. Let’s take a look at the good and the bad from a 23-17 win over the Bears:

The Good

Texas finally has a 100-yard rusher

For the first time in the Tom Herman era, Texas had a 100-yard rusher. Freshman Keaontay Ingram finished the afternoon with 110 yards on 19 carries. It’s hard to believe it had been 20 games since the Longhorns had someone surpass the 100-yard rushing mark, but it is only appropriate Ingram was the one to break the streak. Ingram continues to see an uptick in touches and has proven to be the best running back on the roster.

Collin Johnson continues to dominate

Texas now has a good problem on their hands. Collin Johnson is playing himself into position to be a potential high NFL draft pick, and I don’t think you will find many people who are upset about it. Johnson has cemented himself as a number 1 receiver after turning in another great performance on Saturday, hauling in 11 receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown. The biggest improvement he has made from his first two seasons is his physicality. Johnson has proven to be reliable going over the middle of the field while also also improving his ability beat corners off the line of scrimmage.

The Bad

Punting

It’s hard to find a lot of negative when you look at Ryan Bujcevski’s stat line: 47.8 yards per punt and 3 punts inside the 20. Unfortunately, the stats do not tell the full story. Texas continues to have major issues getting punts off in a timely manner, and I am beginning to think it is more on Bujcevski than the protection unit. The Aussie takes far too long to get the ball off his foot once he receives the snap. Baylor nearly had a block yesterday, and it is a minor miracle the Longhorns have not had a punt blocked this year.

Opening drive scores

The Texas defense has had a tough time stopping opponents on their opening drives this season. In the 7 opening drives opponents have had against the Longhorns this year, 5 have ended in either a touchdown or field goal. Todd Orlando has stressed the importance of starting fast on defense, but a trend has emerged.

Cameron Dicker comes back to earth

Cameron Dicker carried over his momentum from his game winner against Oklahoma, going 3 for 3 on field goals in the first half, including a 47-yarder to end the half. The second half was a different story. Dicker missed a 34-yard attempt late in the 4th quarter that would have given Texas a 9-point lead. He followed it up with a miss from 51 yards. It has been a roller coaster ride for Tom Herman as he tries to manage the punting and kicking unit, but it’s hard to expect anything less since he is having to trot out a true freshman punter and kicker.

The Ugly

Zero second half points

The Longhorns had 5 drives in the second half — 2 ending in punts, 2 in missed field goals and one with an interception. Similar to the Kansas State game, the Texas offense moved the ball at times in the second half but were hurt by the inability to finish drives. Tom Herman and the offensive staff have shown improvements in making halftime adjustments, but the staff failed to put Shane Buechele and the offense in a position to finish off drives against a Baylor defense that ranked at or near the bottom of the Big 12 in nearly every major statistical category.

Sam Ehlinger’s injury

Texas fans now have a greater appreciation for Sam Ehlinger after watching the offense try to operate for almost 4 full quarters without him. Shane Buechele is considered a quality passer, but he fails to bring the running dimension to the offense that Ehlinger brings. The Longhorn offense is built around Ehlinger, and if he were to miss any extended period of time, it would not be good. If he is healthy enough for Oklahoma State, he needs to play. The Texas offense is not good enough to plug in the backup and rest the starter, even against a team like Oklahoma State.

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Texas Longhorns Football

Ehlinger’s MRI results show shoulder sprain

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Photo: USA TODAY Sports Images

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger left the Baylor game in the opening series after suffering a shoulder injury.  Ehlinger left for the locker room to be evaluated and was replaced by backup Shane Buechele.  He returned to the field but remained on the sideline with a headset on for the duration of the game.  The Longhorns, behind Buechele, held on to defeat the Bears 23-17 and improved to 6-1 overall on the season.

In his postgame media availability, head coach Tom Herman expressed uncertainty about the injury to his sophomore quarterback, who led the Longhorns to five straight wins before the injury.

“I think any time you hurt a throwing shoulder, my level of concern is greater than zero, but I don’t know enough. I’ve got to be educated more on it.”

Ehlinger’s MRI results revealed a first degree sprained shoulder, which is good news for the Longhorns, who travel to Stillwater in two weeks to face Oklahoma State.

Ehlinger has thrown for 1,534 yards and 11 touchdowns this season with just two interceptions. He has also rushed for 230 yards and 6 touchdowns.

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