Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger defended his team’s gambling offensive strategy in the final minutes despite the 21st-ranked Longhorns’ 34-29 loss to Maryland on Saturday at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.
Ehlinger threw two interceptions as part of the Longhorns’ turnovers on their final three possessions, including a final heave into triple coverage on third-and-10 with just more than a minute remaining.
“When it’s the last minutes of the game and you are down by five, you have to takes some chances,” Ehlinger said. “Taking chances on third and fourth down in those situations was the only way we were gonna win, and I understood that.”
Tre Watson, who played his first game for the Longhorns as a graduate transfer from California, had the other turnover in the final stretch, a fumble while running and being hit by three Maryland players after a catch with 2:43 to play.
Ehlinger finished 21 of 39 passing for 263 yards and two touchdowns. Lil’Jordan Humphrey led Texas with six catches for 82 yards, and Watson paced the Longhorns’ ballcarriers with 52 yards on 12 totes.
Maryland outgained the Longhorns 407-405, had 21 first downs to 20 for Texas and didn’t commit a turnover. Texas had 10 penalties for 102 yards and lost the time of possession battle to the Terrapins 32:46-27:14.
“We have to do a better job – I’m not angry at our players, they played really, really hard,” Texas coach Tom Herman said. “We have to find a way as coaches to make sure we play smarter.”
–Steve Habel, Field Level Media