Texas wide receiver Jake Smith (16) celebrates a touchdown reception against Oklahoma State with wide receiver John Burt (1) and quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) in the first half of an NCAA college football game at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. [Stephen Spillman for Statesman]

BEVO BEAT Football

It’s over: Defense holds Hubbard, Wallace in check and No. 12 Texas downs Oklahoma State 36-30

Posted September 21st, 2019

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It’s all over at Royal-Memorial Stadium. Twelfth-ranked Texas, which was a 6-point favorite tonight, has beaten Oklahoma State 36-30.

Those who were expecting a Sam Ehlinger vs. Chuba Hubbard/Tylan Wallace shootout really only got the Sam Ehlinger part. Texas shut down the nation’s top running back and wide receiver in the first half and overcame some special teams miscues to hold on in the second half.

 

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Why No. 12 Texas (3-1, 1-0) won

Defense. Yes, the Cowboys finished with nearly 500 total yards, but Chuba Hubbard (37-121-2) and Tylan Wallace (5-83) were largely held in check, there were two goal-line stands and Montrell Estell and Chris Brown had big interceptions, one leading to a first-half touchdown and the other snuffing out OSU’s comeback hopes. Sam Ehlinger had a 300-yard night of total yards and threw four touchdowns and Keaontay Ingram became UT’s first 100-yard rusher of the season.

 

Why Oklahoma State (3-1, 0-1) lost

Remember when Texas hurt itself by not converting those fourth-and-goals against LSU? That was the Cowboys’ problem tonight: They had to settle for two field goals on drives that got to UT’s 1- and 3-yard line. The defense was susceptible in the middle, both in Texas’ running and passing game. And we’re still trying to figure out Mike Gundy’s fake field goal call in the fourth quarter.

 

What this win means

Lots. It snapped a string of four straight Oklahoma State wins in this series. It snapped a five-game home losing streak to the Cowboys at DKR. And it gives the Longhorns some wind behind their backs as they enter this off week with a chance to get healthy.

The last five Texas-OSU results:

2015: No. 24 OSU 30, Texas 7 (Austin)

2016: OSU 49, No. 22 Texas 31 (Stillwater)

2017: No. 10 OSU 13, Texas 10 (OT, Austin)

2018: OSU 38, No. 6 Texas 35 (Stillwater)

2019: No. 12 Texas 36, OSU 30 (Austin)

 

Scoring

First quarter (OSU 3, Texas 0)

OSU: Matt Ammendola 20-yard field goal (9:12)

Second quarter (Halftime: Texas 21, OSU 13)

Texas: Devin Duvernay 6-yard pass from Sam Ehlinger (Cameron Dicker kick, 14:53)

Texas: Jake Smith 17-yard pass from Ehlinger (Dicker kick, 12:42)

OSU: Ammendola 43-yard field goal (9:21)

OSU: Spencer Sanders 7-yard run (Ammendola kick, 3:07)

Texas: Brennan Eagles 73-yard pass from Ehlinger (Dicker kick, 2:09)

OSU: Chuba Hubbard 1-yard run (Ammendola kick, :11)

Third quarter (Texas 28, OSU 23)

OSU: Ammendola 27-yard field goal (8:02)

Texas: Cade Brewer 25-yard pass from Ehlinger (Dicker kick, 5:30)

Fourth quarter (Final: Texas 36, OSU 30)

Texas: Roschon Johnson 2-yard run (Johnson pass from Ehlinger, 11:44)

OSU: Hubbard 13-yard run (Ammendola kick, 1:37)

 

Takeaways

1. Derek Warehime should be one busy guy during the off week. The special teams coordinator has to figure out what went wrong with UT’s punt return game. Jake Smith muffed a punt late in the first half that led to an Oklahoma State touchdown. And after it looked like the game was pretty much put away in the final minutes of the game, Brandon Jones couldn’t handle a sliding return that gave OSU, trailing by 13, the ball in UT territory. The Cowboys turned that into a touchdown too, to make it 36-30. And an earlier punt touched Byron Vaughns as he raced downfield on coverage; the Horns recovered that one, though.

2. Hubbard entered this game as the nation’s top rusher. The Horns stuffed him in the first half, plugging the middle and getting nice run support from the likes of Brandon Jones and Caden Sterns when he went outside. He finished with 121 yards, but averaged only 3.3 yards per carry.

On perhaps the play of the game — after a review upheld the on-field call that Spencer Sanders had gone out of bounds just short of a first down, OSU had a fourth-and-1 at Texas’ 3-yard line. Hubbard tripped over his own lineman and the Horns took over.

It was Texas’ second goal-line stand of the night.

3. Runner-up for play of the game — OSU, after picking off Ehlinger, drove to Texas’ 22, trailing 28-23. On fourth-and-1, the Cowboys lined up for a 39-yard field goal to cut it to 28-26. But they were flagged for delay of game, making it a fourth-and-6 at the 27. And Mike Gundy called a fake; Jake McClure, the holder, tried a shovel pass to Jelani Woods but it fell incomplete.

That led to tonight’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” moment.

4. Remember how Tylan Wallace shredded the secondary last year in Stillwater? He was held to only three catches on three targets in the first half. He finished five catches for 83 yards and no scores.

Breaking down his eight targets:

  • A 20-yard completion for a first down. Coverage: Estell
  • An 11-yard completion for a first down. Coverage: Sterns
  • A 35-yard completion for a first down. Coverage: Sterns
  • A 7-yard completion. Coverage: Josh Thompson
  • A 10-yard completion for a first down. Coverage: Chris Brown
  • An incompletion. Coverage: Sterns.
  • An incompletion. Coverage: Brandon Jones.
  • An incompletion. Coverage: Kobe Boyce.

5.  For the second straight game, Collin Johnson was held out with a sore hamstring. Ehlinger took three deep shots to Malcolm Epps, who started in Johnson’s place, but couldn’t connect with him either time. Epps finished with one catch for 6 yards.

Not surprisingly, Duvernay dominated the stat sheet. He had 12 catches for 108 yards and a touchdown; all other UT pass-catchers combined for 8 grabs.

6. Ehlinger was 20 of 28 for 281 yards and 4 TDs. He threw his first interception of the night when Rodarius Williams tipped a throw over the middle that was secured by safety Kolby Harvell-Peel, who returned it 22 yards to Texas’ 31.

The 73-yard touchdown pass to Brennan Eagles in the second quarter was Ehlinger’s longest TD pass in his career.

How Ehlinger’s night compared to other notable QBs around the country this week:

  • Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence: 7-9-94, 2 TDs in a 52-10 win over Charlotte. For the season — 831 yards, 5 TDs, 5 INTs (plus 237 rush yards, 2 TDs)
  • Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa: 17-21-293, 5 TDs in a 49-7 win over Southern Miss. For the season — 1,007 yards, 12 TDs, no picks
  • LSU’s Joe Burrow: 25-34-398, 6 TDs in a 66-38 win over Vanderbilt. For the season — 1,122 yards, 11 TDs, 2 INTs
  • Ohio State’s Justin Fields: 14-21-223, 4 TDs in a 76-5 win over Miami (Ohio). For the season — 657 yards, 9 TDs, no picks

For the season, Ehlinger is now 102 of 140 for 1,237 yards, 15 TDs and 1 pick.

7. With threats like Wallace and Dillon Stoner, it was a bad night for Texas to experience defensive back injuries. B.J. Foster and DeMarvion Overshown already were out with injuries and the Horns lost starting cornerback Jalen Green — he’d drawn most of the coverage assignments on Wallace — near the end of the first half. He wasn’t even on the field at the start of the third quarter. And Caden Sterns, who’s leading the team in tackles, got shaken up on OSU’s first drive of the second half. He returned, but was shaken up again in the fourth quarter. D’Shawn Jamison also left earlier in the fourth quarter.

Green’s absence meant Kobe Boyce took over primary duties covering Wallace

8. Shout-out to Chris Adimora. The freshman defensive back came up with two important plays in the final two minutes — a pass breakup in the end zone and a recovery of OSU’s onside kick with 1:29 left.

9. The crowd got chippy on the opening drive of the third quarter. Ingram got gang-tackled to the ground, but there was no personal foul called. But in the first half, Malcolm Roach was flagged for the same play. And then, on the very next play, boos were heard when Ehlinger’s third-down pass to Eagles went incomplete without a pass interference call. But both those sets of boos paled in comparison to the reaction on Joseph Ossai’s roughing-the-passer penalty in the third quarter; he also was called for targeting, though that was reversed after a review. So Ossai remained in the game.

Still, with Texas holding on to a 28-23 lead, that one play resulted in a 23-yard pass completion to Dillon Stoner and a 15-yard penalty by Ossai, the Cowboys went from 2nd-and-11 at their own 22 to a first-and-10 at Texas’ 40.

10. Texas’ drives tonight:

First quarter — Punt

Second quarter — TD, TD, downs, TD

Third quarter — Punt, TD, INT

Fourth quarter — TD, punt, put, end of game

 

Next up for Texas

Texas at West Virginia, Oct. 5, time/TV yet to be announced

The Horns are off next weekend. Other Big 12 games — Texas Tech at No. 5 Oklahoma, Kansas at No. 25 (but not for long) TCU, Iowa State at Baylor and Kansas State at Oklahoma State.

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