AUSTIN (KXAN) — It wasn’t always pretty, but it definitely was exciting. The Longhorns avenged any Oklahoma State curses with a 36-30 win against the Cowboys Saturday night at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
The Longhorns’ victory stopped an overall four-game losing streak and a five-game losing streak in Austin to the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State cut it to 36-30 with 1:40 to go in the fourth quarter. The Longhorns had to survive a dangerous onside kick and nearly were forced to punt the ball back to the Pokes with 50 seconds remaining.
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger broke off a 30-yard run on third down for the first down that gave the Longhorns the ability to run out the clock.
With the win, it will be a pleasant bye week around Texas (3-1, 1-0 in Big 12). Texas’ next game is Oct. 5 at West Virginia.
Texas coach Tom Herman met with the media after his team’s first Big 12 victory.
“Really proud of our guys. That was not a very well-coached or played game in certain spots, but we found a way to win. I told Coach Mike Gundy after the game he’s got something in that quarterback…he’s really hard to defend. You try to stop Chuba Hubbard and then (the QB) is running and throwing to someone else. I thought our defense had some good stops. Hubbard… Tylan Wallace had five catches for 83 yards and no touchdowns…that’s about as good as you’re going to do against those guys.
“Obviously, the punt return was embarrassing. We’ve got to do a better job of coaching in those situations. We have harped at the returners if you can field it…field it all costs. At that point in the game when in doubt let that thing drop…and that one was on me. Along with the fourth down call, not the decision to go for it, but the call…I was disappointed in myself on that. Other than that, winning is hard and we’ve been playing football for eight straight weeks. We’re going to use this bye week to get some guys healthy.”
Marcus Tillman (LB): ACL sprain
Jalen Green (DB): dislocated shoulder
Josh Thompson (DB): fractured foot (out indefinitely)
Caden Sterns (DB): knee (MRI coming)
On how defense handled OSU offense:
“I thought the front played really well and plugged some things up and made them bounce it outside. Got beat sometimes on play-action passes because they are so good at running football. The fourth down stop was critical.”
On resolve of defense:
“There’s a reason Malcolm Roach is a captain. Begging his teammates…don’t do it for yourself, do it for each other. When you foster an environment, where your players love each other and they love the coaches…When you’re doing it for someone you love…as hard-hitting and as banged up as they were, they kept going. Credit to Oklahoma State, they brought it. It was cool to hear Malcolm echo the things that he had been taught the last several years.”
On defensive back Montrell Estell:
“We started him. With the move of Josh Thompson to corner and Brandon Jones to nickel, he was the next man up but we made sure he understood how much belief we had in him…just really proud of him.”
On belief they can win when not at their best:
“Every program I’ve been part of could win ugly or could win without their A-game, we certainly don’t want to make a habit because it will bite you. The fact that we did win and we did pull it out with that many mistakes and injuries and missed assignments…there’s a lot of positives. We can’t live our lives like that…but if you do want to find a positive…we beat a really good football team. We’ve got two weeks to learn from it”
On youth of defense growing up:
“I was proud of the fact that we were able to win the game with those guys in there. The last touchdown drive…let’s make no mistake…the offense had 14 drives and only three of them resulted in touchdowns. They needed an unbelievable quarterback run for the last one. We gave up some big plays…but that last drive Chris Adimora was having a tough time getting lined up. We need those guys to grow up in a hurry and the experience they got today I think will expedite the process.”
On fourth-and-three decision in first half:
“It was an ill-advised call. It was the right decision. It was a poor call.”
On stopping Oklahoma State’s winning streak:
“We didn’t talk about it during the week. Once the ball is kicked off none of that matters. I think it’s good for the fans, I think it’s good for the program. For us, it was good to get a conference win.”