BEVO BEAT

Texas has to work overtime (again) but downs Kansas State 40-34

Posted October 7th, 2017

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It’s over here at Royal-Memorial Stadium. Texas has beaten Kansas State 40-34 in double overtime.

It was a wild night. Sam Ehlinger got his third start of the season, and he first rallied the Longhorns in the second quarter to take a 21-17 halftime lead, then willed the team to victory in overtime with key completions and keepers.

The Longhorns improved to 3-2 on the season and are 2-0 in Big 12 play for the first time since 2013. They face Oklahoma, which was shocked at home by Iowa State earlier in the day, next Saturday at the Cotton Bowl. It’s a 2:30 p.m. kickoff.

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The Wildcats, playing on coach Bill Snyder’s 78th birthday, fell to 3-2, 1-1.

Why Texas (3-2, 2-0 Big 12) won: This time, things went right in overtime. This time, the ball wasn’t stripped (though the Wildcats were trying). Ehlinger was up and down throughout the game but led Texas to 71-, 78- and 50-yard scoring drives in the second quarter and heated up again in the fourth and extra period. The running backs struggled again, but Ehlinger (20 carries for 107 yards) kept the chains moving. And the defense gave up points but kept the Longhorns in this one.

Why Kansas State (3-2, 1-1) lost: The Wildcats made curious decisions with their quarterbacks. Jesse Ertz was ineffective as a runner — his strength — but backup Alex Delton proved to be a real spark. But Snyder went back and forth with the two of them down the stretch and in the overtime, and the Wildcats went conservative late in the game, opting to run it rather than throw it. Two critical holding calls on their last drive were real game killers.

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) looks for a receiver against Kansas State in the first half of a Big 12 Conference football game at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

How it ended:

The fourth quarter

Our recap begins with Texas trailing 27-24 with 4:01 left in the game, starting its drive at the 30.

Ehlinger deftly moved the Longhorns, hitting Reggie Hemphill-Mapps for 7 yards on a slant and Collin Johnson for 7 yards on an inside screen. On a key third-and-10 at Texas’ 45 with 2:58 left, he found Lil’Jordan Humphrey on a slant; Humphrey weaved his way across the middle for 15 yards, going high to hurdle a defender. He fumbled at the end of the play, but Chris Warren III recovered it at Kansas State’s 40.

Passes to Mapps (6 and 11 yards) and some nifty runs and evading of sacks from Ehlinger set up Joshua Rowland’s 34-yard field goal to tie it up 27-27 with 1:37 to go.

Rowland had missed from 27 yards on Texas’ previous drive.

Kansas State started at its 17 with 1:32 to go and Jesse Ertz back in the game. Alex Barnes ran 6 yards up the middle, then Ertz hit Isaiah Zuber for 6 yards and a first down at the 29 with one minute left.

The Wildcats, though, ran it. Barnes rushed for 4 yards to the 33 and on second-and-6, Ertz had plenty of time but no one to throw to downfield, and Naashon Hughes pushed him out of bounds for a 3-yard loss. That stopped the clock with 41 seconds left, and on third-and-9 from KSU’s own 30, Ertz didn’t see an open Byron Pringle on the right side and instead threw to Isaiah Zuber on the left; the pass was long, though, and DeShon Elliott picked off his fifth pass of the season.

That set Texas up at its own 33 with 32 seconds left. Ehlinger hit Mapps over the middle for 20 yards past midfield. Ehlinger then kept it and ran 11 yards down to the 36 with 14 seconds left.

With one timeout left, Ehlinger hit Humphrey for 8 yards to the 28, with 10 seconds to go. Ehlinger missed Humphrey on what looked like the same play. That set up a 45-yard attempt from Rowland.

Rowland’s kick was no good, just missing to the right.

The Longhorns found themselves in their second overtime game of the season.

Texas running back Kyle Porter (21) celebrates a touchdown against Kansas State with tight end Kendall Moore (88) and offensive lineman Derek Kerstetter (68) in the first half of a Big 12 Conference football game at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

The overtime

It didn’t take Texas long to strike. Ehlinger found an open Jerrod Heard over the middle for a touchdown and 34-27 lead.

The Wildcats, needing a touchdown, got one. They reinserted Alex Delton at quarterback. A false start penalty moved them back to the 30 on first down. Delton kept it for only 2 yards, to the 28. On second-and-13, Barnes rolled off a big 20-yard gain to the 8. Delton scored on the next play to tie it up 34-34.

Kansas State, getting the ball first on the second overtime, was backed up to its 28 on a holding penalty. On second-and-13, Delton was stopped by Brandon Jones and Malik Jefferson for a short run, but another holding penalty moved it back to the 38, making it second-and-23.

With the crowd roaring, Barnes’ run to the left was stopped for only 2 yards by Jeffrey McCullough, forcing a third-and-21 from the 36. The Longhorns blitzed and Delton threw incomplete to Dalton Schoen.

McCrane, who had hit a 54-yard field goal earlier in the game, missed from 53. But he was given a second chance because the officials had whistled it dead in order to reset the game clock — a decision that drew an eruption of boos from the crowd of 90,462.

But McCrane’s second effort clanked off the left upright.

Texas, needing only a field goal, then won it. Ehlinger hit Collin Johnson for 12 yards to the 13, then kept it and bounced off a tackler for 9 yards to the 4. Warren, protecting the ball as Wildcats tried to strip it, bulled 2 yards to the 2 and a first down. On third down, Warren was initially hit at the line, but the mass of linemen and defenders was pushed forward 3 yards for the winning touchdown.

The key movers of the pile: Derek Kerstetter, Kendall Moore, Denzel Okafor, Collin Johnson and Lorenzo Joe.

The numbers

Ehlinger was 30 of 50 for 380 yards and 2 TDs. He added 107 yards on 20 carries. Warren (7-15-1) and Kyle Porter (7-13-2) scored touchdowns but didn’t really move the chains. Toneil Carter had 6 carries for 32 yards. It was a big night for Reggie Hemphill-Mapps (12 catches for 121 yards) and Collin Johnson (7-92). Michael Dickson was his usual self — three punts for an average of 53.3 yards, including a massive 67-yarder that never touched the ground.

For Kansas State, Ertz was 12 of 18 for 224 yards, 2 TDs and a pick; he was a non-factor running the ball, gaining only 4 yards on nine carries. Delton had 12 runs for 79 yards and 2 TDs, and Schoen (5-128-2) had a career night.

Texas had 546 yards of total offense.

The post Texas has to work overtime (again) but downs Kansas State 40-34 appeared first on Hook ‘Em.

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