It’s halftime at Royal-Memorial Stadium, and Texas is leading Kansas State 21-17.
Already, Kansas State has stung Texas with an 82-yard touchdown pass, not run, from Jesse Ertz; a 54-yard field goal; and a goal-line stand. The Longhorns have had a touchdown run called back on a replay, a costly defensive penalty on third down that led to that 82-yard touchdown, an interception, and a couple of official reviews go against them — but also one key one go their way late in the half.
Sam Ehlinger is making his third start. He’s 15 of 21 for 189 yards, a touchdown and an interception and has been particularly effective running it — nine carries for 59 yards, averaging 6.6 yards per carry. He’s been Texas’ most effective runner; Toneil Carter has 6 carries for 32 yards, Kyle Porter has 6 for 13 and Chris Warren III has made his biggest impact as a pass-catcher, not a rusher (1 carry for minus-1 yard).
The Wildcats raced out to a 17-7 lead before two second-quarter touchdowns gave Texas the 21-17 lead at the break.
Ertz is 7 of 11 for 169 yards and two touchdowns, both to Dalton Schoen. The Wildcats have rushed for only 16 yards, averaging 1.1 yards a carry, but have hurt Texas in the passing game. Schoen has three grabs for 100 yards and two scores.
Things didn’t start well for Texas. On the very first play, Ehlinger launched it downfield on a play-action pass to Lorenzo Joe; Joe had a step on D.J. Reed but the pass didn’t lead Joe enough and Reed snagged it at Kansas State’s 26.
It was Ehlinger’s third interception of the season. He fumbled on a keeper on the third drive but recovered it.
It’s Bill Snyder’s 78th birthday and Matthew McCrane gave him a 54-yard field goal for a present. The senior’s career long kick gave the Wildcats a 3-0 lead with 7:19 left in the first quarter.
Ehlinger bounced back from two flat drives to start the game by hitting Reggie Hemphill-Mapps for 16 yards over the middle. He then gained 15 yards on a quarterback keeper that ended with him hitting Wildcats defensive back Kendall Adams at the end. The two shared some words with each other after the play.
A few plays later, Texas faced a third-and-7 at the 24; Ehlinger, flushed to his left, placed a beautifully thrown touch pass to Lil’Jordan Humphrey down to the 3. Kyle Porter carried it in for the score two plays later, but a review showed that his knee was down one yard short of the end zone. That made it third-and-goal at the 1, and Ehlinger lost a yard.
On fourth-and-goal from the 3, Ehlinger rolled to his right and found Hemphill-Mapps but out of bounds. There was a flag on the play, but it was offensive pass interference on Devin Duvernay away from the play.
Speaking of pass interference penalties, Holton Hill was flagged for a critical one in the second quarter on an incomplete pass on third down; the 15-yard penalty gave the Wildcats new life and Ertz hit Dalton Schoen over the middle for an 82-yard catch and run for a touchdown and 10-0 lead.
Porter answered with a short touchdown run to cut the lead to 10-7 with 9:33 left in the half.
The Wildcats answered with a couple of big plays — a 39-yard pass to Dominique Heath down to Texas’ 30, an 11-yard run by Alex Barnes and a 13-yard pass to Winston Dimel to the 6. A holding penalty backed it up to the 16, but Ertz found Schoen for a 12-yard score to make it 17-7.
Ehlinger popped a 24-yard run to the 46, then converted a third-and-3 down to KSU’s 38 on a 9-yard quarterback power play. And he found a wide-open Warren for a 33-yard touchdown to make it 17-14; it tied for the longest touchdown pass of the season (Shane Buechele’s 33-yarder to Armanti Foreman in the season opener).
Texas forced a Kansas State punt, and a 10-yard return from Hemphill-Mapps to midfield gave the Longhorns 1:54 to work with. Lil’Jordan Humphrey’s nice grab on first down went for 16 yards, and Ehlinger kept it for 7 yards down to the 28 with 1:30 left. Warren had first-down yardage on the next play, but Patrick Vahe was flagged for holding. That backed things up to the 38.
On second-and-14, Ehlinger found Hemphill-Mapps for a 14-yard first down on an inside screen play to the 24. Ehlinger hit Leonard on the right sideline to the 8 on a play that was reviewed.
That made it first-and-goal with 44 seconds left at the 8. Ehlinger kept it on first down for 5 yards to the 3. Kansas State called timeout with 27 seconds left on second-and-goal. Ehlinger kept it but ran into Porter, who was blocking on the play and was tackled at the 1. Texas then called timeout with 19 seconds left, and on third-and-goal Porter walked in for the score.
The post It’s halftime, and Sam Ehlinger, Texas have rallied for a 21-17 lead appeared first on Hook ‘Em.
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