Analysis: Longhorns survive special teams miscues, fourth down call to beat OSU

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Even Texas head coach Tom Herman admitted it.

The Longhorns won 36-30 over Oklahoma State, but they made it more interesting than it likely had to be.

“That was not a very well-coached or played game in certain spots, but we found a way to win,” Herman said in his post-game press conference.

Against that team, Texas will take it any way they can get it.

In recent years, Oklahoma State and head coach Mike Gundy have always pushed the right buttons. Usually, there’s some bizarre special teams play or an officiating call that has turned the tide in favor of the Pokes.

It almost happened against Saturday night at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

The Longhorns muffed two punts helping Oklahoma State score two of its three touchdowns — effectively keeping them in the game.

“Obviously, the punt return was embarrassing. We’ve got to do a better job of coaching in those situations,” Herman said.

While those mistakes were bad, it’s better when they come in a win. Texas didn’t have its best game, but somehow they still found a way to win.

Of course, Oklahoma State fans will point to multiple decisions that prevented the Pokes from winning a fifth straight against the Longhorns.

The game’s momentum turned during a fourth down stand in the third quarter. OSU was on the Longhorns’ three-yard line — the Texas defensive line caused the penetration at the point of attack. OSU running back Chuba Hubbard didn’t have a chance.

After stopping Oklahoma State on fake field goal on their next drive, Sam Ehlinger led Texas on the decisive touchdown drive that gave the Longhorns a two-score lead.

If Gundy elects to kick the field goals in those situations, Oklahoma State is driving for the tie in the final minutes of the game.

Texas heads into its first bye week at 3-1 and 1-0 in the Big 12. With a growing injury list, this will give the Longhorns a chance to heal before going to Morgantown to face West Virginia Oct. 5.

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