Analysis: Texas averts near disaster with late game heroics

Local Sports

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The tide turned after the first quarter for the Longhorns.

Texas followed their offensive game script perfectly on their first two drives resulting in two touchdowns and a 14-3 lead over Kansas.

It looked like the Longhorns would take care of business and win comfortably. From there, everything unraveled for the Texas defense.

Jayhawks quarterback Carter Stanley and running back Pooka Williams torched the Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium turf in the final three quarters. The Texas secondary couldn’t stop anything.

Kansas grabbed the 48-47 lead with 1:11 remaining in the game on a Stanley touchdown pass and a two-point conversion.

The Jayhawks just left a little bit too much time.

After 569 Kansas yards and 48 allowed points, the Longhorns could breath a sigh of relief (or celebrate) the 50-48 victory when sophomore kicker Cameron Dicker nailed a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

The two teams combined for 60 points in the second half with 50 of those coming in the fourth quarter. The Jayhawks were averaging less than 20 points a game in Big 12 play before Saturday night’s game.

Certainly, there are a lot more questions about the UT defense and it doesn’t look like anyone has the answers.

Much of the deserved conversation this week will be about the poorly performing defense, but the Longhorns offense is carrying the torch — still performing at a very high rate.

Texas racked up 638 yards of offense. Devin Duvernay scored two touchdowns and Sam Ehlinger stayed poised on that game-winning drive picking up several chunk plays. If Texas has to win shootouts the rest of the season, they’ve got the talent to come out on top.

However, the Longhorns have to protect the football better. Ehlinger threw an interception, Jake Smith fumbled and the offense failed to convert on two short fourth downs near midfield.

This game was basically a no-win scenario for UT. Texas wins in a rout — that’s what they’re supposed to do. Texas wins a close game — sound off all of the alarms.

Lose to Kansas…well, Texas was close to discovering the ramifications.

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