LANDOVER, Md. (KXAN) — Three late turnovers, including two from Quarterback Sam Ehlinger, stopped any hope of a comeback for the Longhorns as they lost to Maryland in a season opener for the second year in a row, 34-29.
Down five with just 1:04 left to play and on the Maryland 33 yard line, Ehlinger threw his second interception of the game to seal the win for the Terrapins.
The Longhorns last three possessions all ended in turnovers. The series before, Tre Watson fumbled after getting a first down, and before that, Ehlinger threw his first interception of the game on a pass where his throwing arm was hit by a Maryland rusher.
All of the late drama came after a near-90 minute rain delay with 14:25 left in the game.
Right before the weather moved in, Maryland took a 31-29 lead on a Tayon Fleet-Davis seven-yard touchdown.
Before that, though, Texas had all of the momentum. The Longhorns scored 22 straight points to take a 29-24 lead after being down as much as 17 points in the first half.
Ehlinger won the starting job of Shane Buechele about mid-way through training camp. After a sluggish first possession, Ehlinger connected with Devin Duvernay, who made a fantastic diving catch, for a 39-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.
Maryland answered with a 66-yard touchdown pass from Kasim Hill to Jeshaun Jones.
Jones, a true freshman, scored three touchdowns three different ways — one rushing, one receiving and one passing. The latter came on a trick play where on an end-around run, he pulled up and found Taivon Jacobs for a 20-yard touchdown to take a 24-7 lead.
On Texas’ ensuing possession, though, Keaontay Ingram capped off a six-play, 69-yard drive where the Longhorns found a rhythm running a hurry-up offense.
UT ended the half with a flurry, scoring nine points in just over a minute thanks to a Maryland fumble in its end zone that led to a safety and then a 22-yard touchdown pass from Ehlinger to Collin Johnson. Johnson, who has high expectations this season, made a phenomenal, one-handed catch. After the failed two-point conversion, Texas went into the half down just two.
Kyle Porter gave the Longhorns their only lead of the game in the third quarter, when he scored from two yards out to go up, 29-24.
But on the next Maryland possession, Fleet-Davis scored the go-ahead touchdown. The Terps added an 18-yard field goal to bring the game to its final score.
Texas plays Tulsa a week from Saturday for its home opener.