AUSTIN, Texas – Oklahoma State’s recent dominance of Texas came to a crashing halt Saturday in front of sold-out Darrell K. Royal Stadium.
Mike Gundy’s program suffered its first loss in Austin, Texas, since 2008 and ended a four-game winning streak over the Longhorns with Texas’ 36-30 victory on national television.
Texas was the first to get a steady rhythm rolling on offense after Oklahoma State had to settle for a 20-yard field goal from Matt Ammendola on the opening drive of the game – which went 76 yards on 13 plays and took 5:48 off the clock.
The Longhorns (3-1) went 66 yards on nine plays, with most of it coming on the ground.
UT rushed the ball seven times for 47 yards before back-to-back passes from Sam Ehlinger, including a 6-yard touchdown pass to Devin Duvernay.
Texas’ second touchdown was set up by a short field, thanks to its defense taking advantage of Oklahoma State’s young signal caller.
With Cowboy quarterback Spencer Sanders look to push the ball upfield, he airmailed a first-and-10 pass over 6-foot-7 Cowboy Back Jelani Woods – right into the waiting arms of Texas defensive back Montrell Estell.
Three plays later, Ehlinger hooked up with Jake Smith for a 17-yard touchdown to make it 14-3.
Oklahoma State (3-1) would work the ball down the field again, but once again sputter on the Texas side of the field and settle for a 43-yard field goal from Ammendola.
Texas gave Oklahoma State a bit of hope late in the first half.
Tom Herman elected to go for it on fourth-and-3 at the OSU 28-yard line, instead of attempting the field goal. The Cowboy defense held up and forced a turnover on downs.
It was the momentum swing OSU needed, as its offense marched right down the field on six plays, thanks to Sanders connecting with Braydon Johnson for 55 yards to put the ball near the goal line. After a couple failed run attempts, Sanders rushed it in from seven yards out to cut the deficit to one.
However, Texas responded with a 73-yard touchdown from Ehlinger to Brennan Eagles when Cowboy cornerback A.J. Green peeled off his coverage of Eagles, leaving him wide open down the sideline.
It looked like the Cowboys would take that eight-point deficit into the halftime break after punting near midfield, but Texas’ Jake Smith muffed the punt, which was recovered by Oklahoma State’s Kolby Harvell-Peel at the Texas 15-yard line.
Four plays later, Chuba Hubbard lunged into the end zone from the 1-yard line to make it a one-point game at halftime.
Oklahoma State would get the lead back early in the third quarter when yet another offensive drive stalled out and the Pokes elected to take a 27-yard field goal from Ammendola to cap an 11-play, 74-yard drive to go up 23-21.
Texas took over from there, with Ehlinger throwing his fourth touchdown of the game on a 25-yard pass to Cade Brewer late in the third quarter.
The Longhorns would score again early in the fourth on a 6-play, 73-yard drive capped on a two-yard run by Roschon Johnson.
The Cowboys wouldn’t go down without a fight, though.
After five-straight drives that fail to produce any points – including one that ended at the Texas 4-yard line, and another at the TU 27-yard line – OSU tried to make a game late in the fourth quarter.
Behind the arm and legs of Sanders, Oklahoma State converted three third downs on a 7-play, 46-yard drive after a second muffed punt by Texas. The drive was capped by a 13-yard touchdown run by Hubbard on a third-and-10.
OSU’s offense wasn’t far off the marks set by Texas, with Sanders completing 19 of 32 passes for 268 yards, but threw two interceptions. Sanders also wracked up 109 yards rushing on 18 carries.
While Hubbard did manage to rush for 121 yards, it took him 37 attempts as the OSU ground game averaged four yards per rush – thanks to a couple of big runs by Sanders late in the game, including a game-long 33-yard rush.
Ehlinger finished the night completing 20 of 28 pass attempts for 281 yards, the four scores and one interception, to complement the ground game which averaged five yards per carry – led by Keaontay Ingram rushing 21 times for 114 yards to give TU its first 100-yard individual rusher in 11 games, which Ehlinger also contributing 70 yards to as Texas finished with 217 yards rushing as a team.