SAN ANTONIO (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns closed out the 2020 season with a dominant 55-23 win over Colorado in the Alamo Bowl.
Sam Ehlinger’s potential finale as a Texas Longhorn was cut short due to a shoulder injury, but Casey Thompson filled in and matched an Alamo Bowl record. Ehlinger left after the first half with 160 passing yards and a touchdown.
Thompson entered in the second half and threw for 170 yards and four touchdown passes, which matches the Alamo Bowl record. Texas set a program record for points and yards in a bowl game.
The night truly belonged to freshman running back Bijan Robinson. Robinson tallied 220 total yards of offense, scoring three touchdowns. Robinson broke out for a 50-yard run and 66-yard run for 183 rushing yards.
The Longhorns finish 7-3 and with another bowl victory under Tom Herman. Herman remains undefeated in bowl games at 5-0.
The biggest question that remains…will Sam Ehlinger return for another season at quarterback?
Below is our Alamo Bowl live blog filled with news, notes and analysis.
FINAL: Texas wins 55-23
Texas 15th possession, 4th quarter
What happened: Texas capitalized on a Jarek Broussard fumble and scored on an unbelievable individual effort by Roschon Johnson. Johnson had no business scoring on a 21-yard run. Johnson was bottled up in the backfield before shedding several tacklers on his way to the endzone.
Score: Texas leads 55-23
Texas 13th possession, 4th quarter
What happened: Casey Thompson has matched an Alamo Bowl record with four passing touchdowns. And he did it in less than a half of football. Thompson chucked it deep to a wide open Kelvontay Dixon for a 73-yard touchdown pass.
That’s Dixon’s first touchdown as a Longhorn.
Score: Texas leads 48-23
Texas 12th possession, 4th quarter
What happened: Bijan Robinson has 220 total yards of offense and Casey Thompson has thrown his third touchdown pass of the night with misdirection. Thompson rolled to the right and then pitched back across the field to an open Robinson on the left. With blockers in front, Robinson runs 23 yards for the touchdown.
Score: Texas leads 41-16
Colorado 12th possession, 3rd quarter
What happened: Colorado missed a field goal earlier in the third quarter, but get on the board with a five-play, 75 yard touchdown drive. The Texas defense didn’t contain Brendon Lewis as he rushed for a 44-yard gain down to the Longhorns 3-yard line.
Jarek Broussard punched it in from three yards out for the score. Two-point attempt fell incomplete.
Score: Texas leads 34-16
Texas 11th possession, 3rd quarter
What happened: Thompson has completed five-of-six passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns. He couldn’t get the Longhorns into the end zone for a third time in the third quarter, but did get deep enough for a Cameron Dicker field goal. The drive stalled out at the Colorado 17-yard line after Thompson took a sack.
Score: Texas leads 34-10
Texas 10th possession, 3rd quarter
What happened: Texas may have something with Casey Thompson. The back-up quarterback is showing poise in the pocket and decisiveness with his throws. Thompson throws his second touchdown pass of the night to Joshua Moore, hitting Moore right on the numbers for a 25-yard strike.
Score: Texas leads 31-10
Texas 9th possession, 3rd quarter
What happened: Casey Thompson is now in charge of the Longhorns offense with Ehlinger out due to injury. But Bijan Robinson should be in charge.
On this first drive of the third quarter, Robinson busts out again, going 66 yards down to the Colorado 13-yard line. Thompson’s first throw of the game is a touchdown to Joshua Moore. Moore has two receiving touchdowns.
Score: Texas leads 24-10
Texas Athletics announced Ehlinger will miss the second half of Tuesday’s game with a shoulder injury. Ehlinger will finish the night with 10 pass completions for 160 yards and a touchdown.
Casey Thompson opened the second half for the Longhorns offense and threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Moore on his first drive. The Longhorns lead Colorado 24-10 early in the third quarter.
Colorado 9th possession, 2nd quarter
What happened: Noyer is back to lead the offense. He quickly takes Colorado down the field with two completions and a scramble. Colorado had a 1st-and-10 at the Longhorns 15. It looked like Noyer had a touchdown pass, but Matt Lynch dropped it on second down. Freshman Vernon Broughton got to Noyer on third down for a 9-yard sack.
Evan Price hit the 40-yard field goal.
Score: Texas leads 17-10
Texas 8th possession, 2nd quarter
What happened: Texas jolts back to life on offense, going hurry-up to move down the field with the passing game.
Ehlinger dished out a short pass to Jordan Whittington with Whittington doing most of the work after the catch for 34 yards. Next play, with Colorado’s defense on its heels, Ehlinger goes down the seam to tight end Cade Brewer for 38 yards. On the next plays, Colorado’s defense gets to Ehlinger for two sacks, pushing Texas back to the 35.
This time, Dicker hits on a 52-yard field goal to give Texas 10 point lead.
Score: Texas leads 17-7
Texas 7th possession, 2nd quarter
What happened: Texas had 8 yards of offense on its last four possessions, which have resulted in three punts and a missed field goal.
Colorado 7th possession, 2nd quarter
What happened: Colorado is replacing Sam Noyer at quarterback. Brendon Lewis, the freshman out of Melissa, Texas, is going in.
Lewis leads Colorado on a 10 play, 50 yard drive for their first touchdown. Jarek Broussard fought his way through the Texas defensive line on fourth down to break the goal line. The big play came on a Lewis pass, hitting Dimitri Stanley for a 26-yard gain down to the Texas 4-yard line.
Score: Texas leads 14-7
Texas 6th possession, 2nd quarter
What happened: The Longhorns offense has stalled out. Bijan Robinson hasn’t touched the ball after gaining over 100 yards during the first nine minutes of the game. Texas has gone three-and-out on its last three possessions.
Texas 5th possession, 1st quarter
What happened: The Longhorns couldn’t reward Collins for his effort with points. Stopped on the next series, Cameron Dicker missed a 45-yard field goal to keep the score at 14-0.
Colorado 5th possession, 1st quarter
What happened: Oh my, Alfred Collins. The freshman defensive lineman from Bastrop has a new nickname in my book — “Big Cat” Collins. Collins has his first interception, snatching an attempted screen pass out of the air.
Just look at the video.
Texas 3rd possession, 1st quarter
What happened: Bijan Robinson is introducing himself to college football tonight. Robinson has 105 total yards and two touchdowns. Robinson busted through the left side for 50 yards on his fifth carry of the game. Two plays later, Ehlinger hit Robinson and the freshman did the rest on a 14-yard touchdown reception.
Here’s a look at Robinson’s 50-yard run.
Score: Texas leads 14-0
Colorado 3rd possession, 1st quarter
What happened: Colorado saw its first sustained success on offense, but DeMarvion Overshown read Noyer’s eyes perfectly and intercepted the pass around the UT 10-yard line. It looked like Noyer had a receiver open down the middle, but he went outside — which was the wrong decision.
Texas 2nd possession, 1st quarter
What happened: Colorado’s defense limited the damage against the run and stopped the Longhorns offense on 4th-and-1 from the Colorado 39-yard line. Roschon Johnson took the option pitch to the outside, but it was a great defensive play by the Buffs to stop Johnson short.
Colorado 2nd possession, 1st quarter
What happened: Colorado quarterback Sam Noyer is off target to start this game. Four passes, three incompletions for Noyer. Colorado goes three-and-out for the second straight series and will punt.
Texas 1st possession, 1st quarter
What happened: Freshman running back Bijan Robinson is ready to roll for the Longhorns offense. First carry of the night — 27 yards to the Colorado 47. On the next play, Sam Ehlinger hit Joshua Moore for 39 yards, putting Texas in scoring position at the 8-yard line. Robinson closed out the drive, hitting the corner and just reaching over the goal line for the touchdown.
Robinson had 35 rushing yards on the first series.
Score: Texas leads 7-0
Colorado 1st possession, 1st quarter
What happened: The Longhorns front six/seven is shifting pieces around tonight. Colorado wasn’t clicking on that first drive. Quick three and out capped off by an incompletion on 3rd-and-8. Buffs will punt.
Here we go! Colorado will start on offense.
KXAN’s Roger Wallace is in the booth for the Alamo Bowl. Here’s a look at the crowd just before kickoff.
The game was supposed to kick off a little after 8 p.m., but kickoff has been pushed back as ESPN waits for the conclusion of the Cheez-It Bowl between Oklahoma State and Miami. We’re likely looking at an 8:10 or 8:15 p.m. start time.
KXAN has confirmed that Texas will be missing 18 players from its normal two-deep depth chart for the Alamo Bowl. Multiple Longhorns opted out before the bowl game including: Joseph Ossai, Sam Cosmi, Caden Sterns, Taquon Graham and Brennan Eagles.
Colorado will also be missing a handful of starters for the game.
Former Texas Longhorns football coach Fred Akers died on Dec. 7 at the age of 82. The team will honor Akers’ life and contributions to the program at the Alamo Bowl with a sticker on the back of each players’ helmet.
The Longhorns’ Instagram page posted a picture of quarterback Sam Ehlinger’s helmet with the “FA” sticker on the back just below the state of Texas sticker.