Texas survives Baylor to stay atop Big 12 standings

AUSTIN (KXAN) — With Sam Ehlinger sidelined for most of the game with a shoulder injury, the Longhorns held on for a 23-17 win over Baylor.

"We knew this wasn't going to be easy and then obviously when your starting quarterback goes out in the first drive, I think it was, you know, there could have been some panic," Tom Herman said.

Ehlinger left the game on Texas' first drive of the game after just 10 plays. The officials called a time out for an injury because Ehlinger's hand was bleeding. After going into the locker room, Texas announced that he was being evaluated for a shoulder injury. He never came back in the game.

In his postgame press conference, Herman announced that Ehlinger suffered an AC sprain, but he's optimistic that he'll be able to start throwing again by the end of the week.

"I think any time you hurt a throwing shoulder, my level of concern is greater than zero, but I don't know enough," Herman said. 

The win makes Texas bowl eligible for the second straight year. More importantly, it keeps the Longhorns undefeated in Big 12 play at 4-0. They're tied with West Virginia for first place in the league. The Mountaineers are at Iowa State.

The six-game winning streak matches the run UT had in 2013 when it won six straight in Mack Brown's final season.

In his absence, Shane Buechele saw his first action of the season.

"When Shane went in, I did notice he was a bit anxious ... and that's to be expected," Herman said. "Here's a guy, he literally has not taken a snap in the football game the entire season. So for him to be anxious was definitely expected."

He threw for 184 yards and one touchdown, but he also threw an interception in the third quarter. It was the first turnover for Texas since the USC game.

Baylor took advantage of the mistake. Former Lake Travis quarterback Charlie Brewer marched the Bears downfield and Jalen Hurd capped off the drive with a two-yard touchdown to make it 23-17.

The Longhorns were shut out in the second half, thanks in part to a pair of missed field goals by Cameron Dicker.

Brewer had a chance to win the game in the final seconds. With Baylor at the Texas 17, he threw three incompletions in the end zone.

"They came up when they needed to," Herman said of his defense. "We know we've got some work to do on that side of the ball in the fourth quarter. What that is, I don't know."

Caden Sterns picked off Brewer late in the first half, but Texas wasn't able to score off the turnover. Brewer threw for 245 yards and one touchdown and that one interception.

Keaontay Ingram led the way on the ground for UT, rushing for 110 yards on 19 carries. It's a career-high for the true freshman and the first time Texas has had a 100-yard rusher this season.

Dicker got the scoring started for Texas with a 40-yard field goal after Buechele replaced Ehlinger on the first drive of the game.

Baylor answered with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Brewer to Denzel Mims to take a 7-3 lead.

Texas answered with another Dicker field goal from 35 yards out.

After trading punts for four straight series, Beuchele finally connected on a big play -- a 44-yard touchdown to Collin Johnson to take a 13-10 lead. On the next possession, Lil'Jordan Humphrey scored out of the wildcat formation to take a 23-10 lead into the break.

The Longhorns can finally rest after seven straight games. They have a bye next week before going on the road to Oklahoma State. The off week is even more important with Ehlinger recovering from that shoulder injury.

"the off-week comes at a very good time, and we need to rest," Herman said. "We need to heal. We've been playing football for 11 straight weeks, and the guys need to take a nice deep breath, exhale and get ready to come to work on Tuesday."

The Cowboys lost at Kansas State, Saturday, 31-12. It's their third loss in their last four games. They also have a bye next week before Texas visits.

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