Mike Gundy has dominated Texas over the last decade, but Saturday night proved to be a different story as the No. 12 Longhorns defeated Oklahoma State 36-30 to kick off Big 12 Conference play.
The Cowboys jumped out to an early edge and seesawed the lead with the Longhorns throughout much of the first three quarters. Texas, after trailing 3-0, scored 14 unanswered in the second quarter. In the third, Oklahoma State regained the lead 23-21 before quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to give Texas the advantage for good.
Ehlinger keyed the Longhorns' comeback and remained steady and in control throughout. He completed 20 of his 28 passing attempts for four scores and only one pick, out-dueling fellow Texas native Spencer Sanders, the Cowboys' redshirt freshman quarterback who made just his fourth career college start on Saturday night. Behind Ehlinger and a stout defense that came up with critical stops, Texas rocked Oklahoma State to sleep little drama down the stretch to boot.
For Texas, it's exactly the kind of statement it needed to make to prove it belongs at the top of the conference. After a 45-38 loss to LSU two weeks ago, questions arose about its mettle as a title contender and about how its defense might hold up in the Big 12. But on a night in which multiple defensive starters were out, it still managed to hold the high-powered Cowboys' offensive attack to a season-low 30 points -- including two clutch, momentum-clinching fourth-down stops.
Texas heads into a critical bye week at an opportune time before facing West Virginia on Oct. 5 in its first conference road game of the season.
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