Photo Courtesy: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
On Saturday, the weight of the world should have been felt in Arlington, TX at AT&T Stadium for the Big 12 Championship Game. With a win, the seventh-ranked Texas’ dreams of potentially sneaking into the College Football Playoff would live on. With a loss, the Longhorns would end their time as members of the Big 12 Conference on a sour note. However, Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers and the Longhorns did not look to be dragged down by the magnitude of the occasion as the sophomore gunslinger passed for 452 yards and four touchdowns – leading Texas to a momentous 49-21 win over the 18th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Leading up to today’s title game, Quinn Ewers had played in AT&T Stadium twice before in his football career – both in high school playoff games. After a disappointing loss in the UIL 6A Division I title game in 2021, Ewers was hungry to avenge his heart break and took it out on an Oklahoma State team that did not seem to have an answer for the Texas gunslinger. In a performance that set the Big 12 Conference Championship passing record (a record which was previously set by former-Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford in 2008), Ewers secured the game’s MVP award and showed why he was the nation’s top-rated player coming out of high school in 2021.
Just over two minutes into the game, Ewers found Adonai Mitchell on a 10-yard touchdown pass to kick off the scoring action. Later, Ewers surprised the stadium with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Longhorns defensive lineman T’Vondre Sweat. Ultimately, Ewers’ four touchdowns to one interception was too much for the Oklahoma State defense to overcome.
However, Saturday’s championship game was also led by great defensive play from the Longhorns. Defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski’s side of the ball tallied two turnovers – one off of an athletic Kitan Crawford interception, the other off of an Anthony Hill Jr. forced fumble. However, not only did the Longhorns create turnovers, they also slowed down Oklahoma State running back Ollie Gordon to a crawl, as Doak Walker Award favorite rushed for a measly 34 yards on 13 carries. With the instability of their running game, the Cowboys had to rely on quarterback Alan Bowman to lead the charge. While the redshirt senior quarterback did throw for three touchdown passes, as well as one interception, the Cowboys did not have an answer for Texas at the line of scrimmage and were out of the contest as early as the second quarter.
Steve Sarkisian has continuously praised his team’s versatility all season and it paid off once again in his team’s biggest game of the season. With Texas’ 49-21 win over Oklahoma State, their College Football Playoff dream can live on for a little while longer. Tomorrow, the College Football Playoff Committee will announce their selections starting at 11 AM (CT) on ESPN, with Texas’ potential bowl game being contingent on the final rankings.