Texas dominated No. 11 Utah 38-10 in the Alamo Bowl on Tuesday night to end a disappointing 2019 season on a high note. Junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger was 12-of-18 passing for 201 yards and three touchdowns while adding 73 yards on the ground and another score in the win. Running back Keaontay Ingram added 108 yards and another touchdown on 13 carries.
The Longhorns defense held the Utes scoreless in the first half as they limited them to just 254 yards and four of 14 on third down opportunities.
This was no ordinary bowl win. Ehlinger proudly proclaimed that Texas was "back" after last season's Sugar Bowl win over Georgia, which led to an offseason full of hype and hope that the Longhorns could contend for a College Football Playoff berth. Obviously, that didn't happen. They finished 8-5, coach Tom Herman fired defensive coordinator Todd Orlando after his unit gave up 6.24 yards per play and 446.3 yards per game and offensive coordinator Tim Beck was demoted.
The natives are restless in Austin. Texas needed this. A win -- on the heels of a great defensive effort -- over a team that entered championship weekend with a chance at a CFP berth will take some heat off of Herman, who will be entering his fourth year at the helm in 2020.
Was Tuesday's Alamo Bowl win a sign that the Longhorns will follow through with Ehlinger's promise next season? No. But it's a jumping off point for a program that has been desperate for a title since 2009.