AUSTIN (KXAN) — It wasn’t a work of art, but the No. 4 Texas Longhorns blew up in the fourth quarter for 21 points to beat Wyoming 31-10 Saturday at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Sophomore running back Jonathon Brooks ripped off a 61-yard run to set up a Quinn Ewers rushing touchdown and Jerrin Thompson returned an interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Brooks finished the game with 164 rushing yards on 21 carries to lead the way on the ground.

In total, Texas scored 21 points in the final frame to turn a 10-10 tie after three quarters into what looked like a blowout. It was far from that, however. Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian said the euphoria and constant praise the entire week after beating Alabama crept into his players’ minds.

“It’s human nature to get distracted by that. It was a good lesson learned for us,” Sarkisian said. “In the end, we did a good job staying composed, and we adapted schematically to some things they were doing. We were able to dominate the fourth quarter.”

Sarkisian pointed out a few mental mistakes in this game that didn’t happen against Alabama. After not committing any pre-snap penalties against the Crimson Tide, Texas had one on the first play of the game against the Cowboys. There was also a penalty for 12 men on the field on the defensive side, and again, they didn’t do that against Alabama.

“Why is that?” Sarkisian asked rhetorically. “That lends itself to psyche, right? It’s not about physical ability.”

The Texas defense did its job after giving up a 62-yard touchdown to Wyoming’s Harrison Waylee on the Cowboys’ first drive. Wyoming had to punt seven times and had its other score on a 36-yard field goal to cap a 17-play, 77-yard drive. All the other Wyoming drives were 10 plays or less.

With the win, Texas starts the season 3-0 for the first time since 2012. The Longhorns had to overcome a sluggish first half and an inconsistent passing game. Quinn Ewers hit Xavier Worthy with a 44-yard touchdown on a swing pass to get the party started in the final frame, but other than that, the passing game didn’t have its best night. Ewers finished the night 11-for-21 with 131 yards and two touchdowns, the long play to Worthy and a 1-yard score to Byron Murphy. Murphy, a defensive lineman normally, lined up at fullback and caught a pass off playaction wide open in the corner of the end zone for Texas’ first touchdown of the game.

The Murphy score capped a 17-play, 90-yard drive that spanned 8:03 and was easily the best drive of the half for Texas.

Ewers scored Texas’ second touchdown in the fourth quarter from 6 yards out three plays after Brooks’ huge run. He put his foot in the ground and cut upfield through Wyoming defenders, and then took a big shot at the goalline. He popped up quickly to celebrate, and after a video review, the call stood and the celebration resumed.

“Championship teams find a way to win when they aren’t at their best,” Sarkisian said. “Tonight, it’s safe to say we were not at our best, but we found a way to win and adapt to play our style of football.”

Wyoming starting quarterback Andrew Peasley sat out with a shoulder injury, so backup Evan Svoboda got the start and completed 17 of 28 passes for 136 yards and an interception. Waylee finished with 110 yards on 18 carries for the Cowboys.

Ewers now has 205 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, and that’s the second-longest streak in school history to Sam Ehlinger’s Big 12 record of 308. Punter Ryan Sanborn averaged 48 yards per punt with a long of 56 yards.

Game attendance was announced at 101,777. Cole Hutson and Kristopher Ross left the game early with injuries, Hutson a knee injury and Ross an elbow injury. Sarkisian said both players will get MRIs done Sunday and he hopes neither player will be out long-term.

Texas (3-0) begins its final Big 12 Conference schedule at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 23 against Baylor in Waco. Wyoming (2-1) hosts Appalachian State next week.

Game log

FINAL: Texas 31, Wyoming 10.

5:56 4Q: Jaydon Blue fumbles and Wyoming recovers it to take over on its own 34-yard line

7:04 4Q: Worthy puts on a show with his punt returns. He reverses his field on this one and scampers 32 yards to put the Longhorns in plus territory on the Wyoming 45-yard line.

8:46 4Q: PICK SIX by Texas’ Jerrin Thompson on a 27-yard INT return. PAT good. Longhorns 31, Cowboys 10. In the blink of an eye, Texas leads by 21.

9:01 4Q: TOUCHDOWN TEXAS: Quinn Ewers takes care of it himself with a 6-yard run on 3rd and goal. He took a pretty good shot at the goalline but popped right up. It went to a review, but the call stood. PAT good. 6 plays, 75 yards, 2:54. Longhorns 24, Cowboys 10

Jonathon Brooks did his best Bijan Robinson impression, breaking tackles and rumbling for 61 yards to set the Longhorns up with a goal-to-go scenario at the Wyoming 5-yard line.

11:55 4Q: Jahdae Barron makes an outstanding play with a perfect form tackle to stop Wyoming WR Wyatt Wieland on third down, forcing a punt. Texas takes over on its own 25-yard line after one of the most entertaining negative punt returns I’ve ever seen by Worthy.

14:12 4Q: TOUCHDOWN TEXAS: Ewers finds Worthy for a 44-yard touchdown down the sideline that followed an 8-yard run by Brooks to open the quarter. PAT good. 4 plays, 75 yards, 1:01. Longhorns 17, Cowboys 10

End 3Q: Texas 10, Wyoming 10. The quarter ended with a rugged 20-yard run by Jonathon Brooks. He has 77 rushing yards on 13 carries. The passing game has been spotty at best, so maybe it’s time to give Wyoming a taste of its own medicine and grind out another drive.

0:20 3Q: FIELD GOAL WYOMING: John Hoyland hits a 36-yard field goal to end a 17-play, 77-yard drive that took 10:22 off the clock. Barryn Sorrell had a huge QB sack on 3rd down to make the Cowboys’ decision to kick a field goal an easy one. Longhorns 10, Cowboys 10

2:10 2Q: Texas defensive end Kristopher Ross had to be carted off the field during Wyoming’s drive, and the Cowboys have the ball 2nd-and-goal on the Texas 8-yard line. So far, the drive is 14 plays for 88 yards.

10:42 3Q: A promising drive for Texas ends in a 10-yard loss on a QB sack. Sanborn’s punt is downed at the Wyoming 4-yard line and the Cowboys will begin their first drive of the half.

Halftime: Texas 10, Wyoming 7. Not a good half of football by the Texas offense. 120 total yards and Ewers is 8-for-17 for 57 yards with a 1-yard TD pass to Byron Murphy, a nose tackle who came in at fullback for a play. Jonathon Brooks had a nice half with 43 rushing yards on eight carries, so perhaps he sees more work in the second half.

7:43 2Q: Longhorns flush Svoboda out of the pocket and force a punt. They’ll take over on their own 20-yard line to begin the drive. After the opening TD, the past three Wyoming drives have ended in punts.

11:45 2Q: TOUCHDOWN TEXAS: Certified large human being Byron Murphy moonlights as a fullback and hauls in a 1-yard pass from Ewers on playaction for a TD. PAT good. 17 plays. 90 yards, 8:03. What a drive. Horns 10, Cowboys 7

End 1Q: Wyoming 7, Texas 3. Texas has the ball on the Wyoming 22-yard line with a 3rd-and-1 opportunity.

4:48 1Q: Wyoming gets a false start penalty to turn 3rd-and-3 to 3rd-and-8 and then the pass is incomplete. Texas takes over at their own 10-yard line after a fair catch on the punt

9:46 1Q: FIELD GOAL TEXAS: Bert Auburn hits one from 37 yards, but after such great field position for the Longhorns, that’s a win for the Wyoming defense. Ewers is 1-for-6 to start the game. Cowboys 7, Longhorns 3

11:13 1Q: A line-drive punt from Wyoming goes into the waiting arms of Xavier Worthy who gets a nice return to the Cowboys’ 38-yard line

12:30 1Q: Three consecutive incompletions for Ewers on the opening drive and the Longhorns actually went backward (false start on 1st down) after Wyoming’s kickoff went out of bounds. Not an ideal way to start.

Wyoming backup QB Evan Svoboda started the game for the Cowboys. Peasley had been battling a shoulder injury all week, it appears.

12:45 1Q: TOUCHDOWN COWBOYS: Wyoming starts hot with a 62-yard rushing touchdown by Harrison Waylee. PAT good. 5 plays, 75 yards, 2:15. Cowboys 7, Longhorns 0

Coin toss: Texas wins the toss and defers the option to the second half. Wyoming’s offense will be on the field to start the game.