EditorsNote: Corrects final graph to Iowa State having two games remaining
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger passed for 137 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score before being injured late in the first half as No. 15 Texas dominated No. 16 Iowa State 24-10 on Saturday in Austin, Texas, to keep their hopes for a spot in the Big 12 championship game alive.
The Longhorns (8-3, 6-2 Big 12) can clinch a berth in the league title game with a win Friday at Kansas, and would play the winner of Friday’s Oklahoma-West Virginia game.
Texas’ eight wins are its most since 2013, former coach Mack Brown’s final season in Austin.
The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Iowa State (6-4, 5-3) and eliminated the Cyclones’ chances for one of the berths in the league championship game.
Ehlinger was 12 of 15 before reaggravating an injury to his right (throwing) shoulder when he was hit on a scramble late in the second quarter. His 15 passes without an interception extended his team and Big 12 record for throws without a pick to 295.
Backup Shane Buechele took over behind center to start the third quarter and hit all 10 of his passes, ending up with 89 yards and a touchdown.
Texas outgained the Cyclones 405-210. Only three of Iowa State’s 11 possessions ended in Texas territory, including its last — which began at the UT 6-yard line after a 47-yard punt return by Tarique Milton and a facemask penalty.
Iowa State freshman quarterback Brock Purdy, who had been a catalyst for the Cyclones’ resurgence after a 1-3 start, cooled off against the Texas defense. He passed for just 130 yards and was sacked five times before being removed from the game after a hard tackle midway through the fourth quarter.
The Longhorns moved 80 yards in nine plays on their opening possession, capping the drive with a 7-yard TD run off right tackle by Ehlinger and a 7-0 lead.
Iowa State fashioned a 10-play, 76-yard drive on its ensuing drive, with Connor Assalley booting a 40-yard field goal to bring the Cyclones to within 7-3 with 4:47 to play in the first.
Texas added to its lead early in the second quarter as Ehlinger found Keaontay Ingram wide open in the right flat for a 19-yard touchdown pass. Cameron Dicker booted a 22-yard field goal with 2 seconds to play in the half to cap an 11-play, 75-yard march, granting Texas a 17-3 lead at intermission.
The Longhorns expanded the margin to 24-3 on a 27-yard scoring strike from Buechele to Lil’Jordan Humphrey with 36 seconds to play in the third quarter.
The Cyclones finally got into the end zone with 1:33 to play on a 4-yard scoring run by David Montgomery after Milton’s big punt return.
Iowa State plays at home against Kansas State next Saturday then hosts Incarnate Word on Dec. 1 to end its regular season.
—Field Level Media