AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Cameron Dicker kicked a 26-yard field goal as time expired, sending Texas to a 27-24 victory over No. 20 Kansas State on Saturday as the Longhorns maintained their hopes of returning to the Big 12 championship game.
Dicker has won games on the final play twice this season. His 33-yarder to beat Kansas on Oct. 19 capped a wild 50-48 finish.
Texas (6-3, 4-2) had lost two of its previous three games. The victory over the Wildcats (6-3, 3-3, No. 16 College Football Playoff) made the Longhorns bowl-eligible and kept them in the hunt for a berth in the league championship with three games left.
Keaontay Ingram rushed for 139 yards and two second-half touchdowns for the Longhorns. His second one put Texas up 24-14 early in the fourth quarter.
Kansas State rallied to tie it on Joshua Youngblood’s 98-yard kickoff return and Blake Lynch’s 45-yard field goal.
The Wildcats surged behind first-year coach Chris Klieman and had Texas down early 14-0 behind two first-quarter touchdown passes from Skylar Thompson. Thompson passed for a career-high 253 yards but had just 36 yards in the second half.
“The win is obviously very important for us. The way that it happened, to be down 14-0 in the blink of an eye….” Texas coach Tom Herman said. “We put ourselves on the ropes (this season) and we took a step toward swinging and scratching and clawing our way off.”
Kansas State: Thompson was excellent early until Texas’ press coverage neutralized his receivers, and the Wildcats’ running game never developed. The Wildcats also got a bit sloppy with a rare fumble that ended a promising drive in the first half and a dropped pass in the end zone in the fourth quarter. The drop would have been a difficult catch for Dalton Schoen, but he got both hands on the ball and was pulling it in before a Texas defender knocked it away.
“I thought he hung in there really well,” Klieman said. “They were bringing pressure and we were barely getting guys free.”
Texas: After early miscues, the Texas defense looked better than it has all season. A healthier secondary that returned All-Big 12 safety Caden Sterns locked down the Kansas State offense over the final three quarters. The secondary didn’t force any interceptions, but for once opposing receivers weren’t running wide open all over the field.
The loss will knock the Wildcats down and maybe out of the Top 25. The Longhorns, who were still among those getting votes, could return to the rankings. Voters may wait to see what Texas can do the next two weeks on the road at Iowa State and undefeated Baylor.
Kansas State hosts West Virginia on No. 16.
Texas plays at Iowa State on Nov. 16