Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger ran for a touchdown and passed for two more, and it was just enough as the Texas Longhorns outlasted the Tulsa Golden Hurricane 28-21 on Saturday at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.
Ehlinger hit on 21 of 27 passes for 237 yards and ran for an additional 51 yards as the Longhorns improved to 1-1, but it was far from easy.
Ehlinger’s first-half TDs came on a 1-yard keeper on the Longhorns’ opening possession and on a 40-yard pass to Lil’Jordan Humphrey late in the second quarter. In between those scores, true freshman running back Keaontay Ingram ran 29 yards for a TD to help Texas forge a 21-0 lead at halftime.
Humphrey hauled in seven passes for 109 yards, while Tre Watson led the Longhorns in rushing with 74 yards on 18 carries.
The Golden Hurricane (1-1) did a lot of things right in the first half — they blocked a punt, moved the ball reasonably well and had a goal-line stand — but had nothing to show for it, thanks to three missed field goals and a dropped pass in the end zone.
Two of the missed field goals, from 43 and 29 yards, were off the foot of Nate Walker with the third, from John Parker Romo, drifting wide right from 36 yards away.
Tulsa had another dropped TD pass early in the third quarter but finally got on the board with 1:12 to play in the period on a 4-yard TD run by Shamari Brooks at the end of a 33-yard, six-play drive.
Tulsa then pulled to within 21-14 on a Brooks’ 1-yard touchdown run with 12:38 to play. The score was precipitated by a 48-yard bomb from Luke Skipper to Keylon Stokes to the Texas 1.
After doing next to nothing on their first four drives of the second half, the Longhorns added an insurance touchdown with 6:25 to play as Ehlinger hit running back Watson for an 11-yard scoring pass that gave Texas some breathing room.
Skipper brought the Golden Hurricane right back down the field, finding time in the pocket and space deep and near the left sideline for a 35-yard TD pass to Keenan Johnson that cut the Longhorns’ lead back to seven points.
The Longhorns then ground out the final 4:53 by running the ball the final nine snaps.
Skipper threw for 153 yards and his one touchdown and was intercepted twice. Brooks led the Golden Hurricane rushing attack with 66 yards on 22 totes.
Texas remains in Austin next week to host USC, while Tulsa heads home to face Arkansas State.
–By Steve Habel (@SteveHabel), Field Level Media