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Longhorns end skid to Cowboys with 36-30 win

Photo: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

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AUSTIN, Tx — The Texas Longhorns (3-1, 1-0) ended a five game home losing streak to the Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-1, 0-1) on Saturday night in front of 96,936 fans at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium, defeating Mike Gundy’s squad 36-30.

It was a night of big plays and turnovers from both teams, and a battle royale which hinged on an onside kick attempt with less than two minutes left by Oklahoma State.

Tom Herman called the game “not very well-coached or well-played in certain spots,” but Texas found a way to win. It’s something they have had a hard time doing over the last couple of years, seemingly coming out on the losing side more often than not in games like this.

Sam Ehlinger picked up where he left off with Rice, throwing for 281 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 70 yards.

Texas running back Keaontay Ingram surpassed the century mark for the first time this season, the second of his career, with 114 yards on 21 rushes. His performance was something the Longhorns needed, but it was something Ingram needed even more to boost his confidence moving forward.

The Oklahoma State offense did damage against Todd Orlando’s unit, amassing 494 total yards. Spencer Sanders showed why he’s one of the best young quarterbacks in the country, passing for 268 yards and rushing for 109 yards and a score. Cowboy running back Chuba Hubbard added 121 yards on the ground and 2 touchdowns.

Oklahoma State wasted no time putting the first points of the game on the board, courtesy of a 20-yard Matt Ammendola field goal on the opening drive. The Longhorns went three and out on their first possession. Neither team would score again in the quarter, and the Cowboys held a 3-0 advantage headed into the second quarter.

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger found Devin Duvernay at the 14:53 mark for a six yard touchdown pass, giving the Longhorns a 7-3 lead, their first of the game. The scoring drive was set up by seven consecutive rushes from tailbacks Keaontay Ingram and Roschon Johnson.

On the ensuing Oklahoma State drive, Texas safety Montrell Estell picked off Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders, returning the interception to the Oklahoma State 27 yard line. Following a three yard gain from Roschon Johnson, Ehlinger threw a strike to Jake Smith up the middle for 17 yards and the Longhorns’ second touchdown of the night. Texas led 14-3 with 12:42 remaining in the second quarter.

Spencer Sanders connected with Tylan Wallace for a 35 yard gain to the Texas 38 yard line to set up Matt Ammendola’s 43 yard field goal, his second of the night.

Texas turned the ball over on downs at the 5:24 mark, after a questionable play-call on a 4th & 3 at the OSU 28.  Opting not to attempt the 45 yard field goal, Ehlinger haded off to Roschon Johnson, who was stopped for a one-yard loss.

Following a 55 yard deep pass to Braydon Johnson to the Texas 3 yard line, Spencer Sanders scurried in for the Oklahoma State score, cutting the Texas lead to 14-13.

With 2:09 left before halftime Texas answered the Oklahoma State score on Sam Ehlinger’s 73 yard strike to Brennan Eagles. Cameron Dicker’s extra point made the score 21-13 in favor of the Longhorns.

Oklahoma State was forced to punt on the next drive, but Jake Smith fumbled the punt. Kolby Harvell-Peel recovered for OSU and the Cowboys had the ball at the Texas 14 yard line. Chuba Hubbard punched it in from a yard out after consecutive rushes to cut the Texas lead to 21-20 at the half.

Matt Ammendola’s third field goal in the game came at the 8:02 mark in the third quarter, giving Oklahoma State their first lead of the game, 23-21.

Texas would quickly regain the lead on a reverse flea-flicker at the 5:30 mark, made possible by a 25 yard touchdown pass from Sam Ehlinger to tight end Cade Brewer.

After three quarters, the Longhorns led Oklahoma State 28-23.

A trick play by the Cowboys to start the fourth quarter on 4th down resulted in Texas taking over on downs.

Keaontay Ingram’s 26 yard reception setup the Longhorns’ next touchdown, with Roschon Johnson punching it in from two yards out.  Texas went for two and converted. With 11:44 left, Texas led 36-23.

With less than five minutes remaining in the game, the Cowboys were forced to punt. Brandon Jones muffed the punt and Oklahoma State once again had the ball in Texas territory.  A 7 play, 46 yard drive ended with Chuba Hubbard’s second rushing touchdown of the night, this one from 13 yards out.

The Cowboys attempted an onside kick which was recovered by Texas’ Chris Adimora. The Longhorns used a long run by Ehlinger to gain a fresh set of downs and bleed the clock for a 36-30 win in the team’s Big 12 opener.

With an open week upcoming, the Longhorns will rest and get prepared for a road trip to Morgantown to face West Virginia on October 5th. For Tom Herman, it comes at a critical time.

“Winning is hard. We’ve been playing football for eight straight weeks now, and we need this bye week in the worst way. Hopefully get some guys healthy. We need it.”

GAME NOTES

  • Texas intercepted Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders twice (Montrell Estell, Chris Brown)
  • Wide receiver Jake Smith’s touchdown catch against Oklahoma State marked his fourth in the last three games.
  • Keaontay Ingram’s 114 yards rushing topped his previous best of 110 yards against Baylor last season. Ingram surpassed the 1,000 yard mark with his performance against Oklahoma State and sits at 1,003 career rushing yards at Texas.
  • Cade Brewer caught his first touchdown pass since the 2017 season.
  • Tailback Roschon Johnson scored his first career rushing touchdown as a Longhorn.
  • Devin Duvernay caught 12 balls for 108 yards and a touchdown. Duvernay has four touchdowns through four games which ties John Harris record (2014).
  • Sam Ehlinger’s four touchdown passes against Oklahoma State brings his total to 15 on the season. That’s good enough for best in Texas history through four games.
  • Ehlinger threw his first interception of the season against Oklahoma State. It was only Ehlinger’s 4th interception in his last 17 games.

STATS

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Aaron Carrara is the founder and publisher of HornSports and has covered University of Texas athletics since 2011. Aaron is a member of the Football Writer's Association of America and the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association and is a proud father to three boys.

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