Texas’ Sam Ehlinger passed for 255 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score and the Longhorns took advantage of four turnovers to defeat No. 17 TCU 31-16 on Saturday at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.
The Longhorns (3-1, 1-0) beat TCU for the first time since 2013 — in former coach Mack Brown’s final season at Texas — by playing mistake-free football and scoring the game’s final 21 points after trailing 16-10 in the waning seconds of the third quarter.
It’s the first time since 2014 that the Longhorns have won three games in a row.
TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson threw for 197 yards and a touchdown and ran for 57 yards but threw two interceptions and had a fumble, with two of the turnovers resulting in Texas touchdowns.
The loss denied the Horned Frogs (2-2, 0-1) a fifth consecutive win over Texas, something they still never have accomplished in 89 meetings between the Lone Star State rivals.
TCU scored on its first possession via a 46-yard field goal by Jonathan Song.
Texas answered and took the lead midway through the first quarter on Tre Watson’s 3-yard touchdown run at the end of a 12-play, 65-yard march. The score granted the Longhorns their first lead over TCU in four seasons.
Robinson’s 50-yard bomb to Jalen Reagor over cornerback Kris Boyd put the Horned Frogs back deep into the red zone but on third down Boyd batted away a fade pass to Reagor in the end zone to force TCU to settle for a 23-yard Song field goal that brought it to within 7-6.
A 34-yard field goal by Cameron Dicker pushed Texas’ advantage to 10-6 with 10:10 to play in the second quarter.
TCU took a 13-10 lead into halftime when Robinson targeted Boyd again, this time on a back-shoulder pass to Reagor for a 1-yard touchdown with 6 seconds left before the break.
Ehlinger stood tall in the pocket under duress and threw a strike between two defenders to a diving Collin Johnson for a 31-yard TD and a 17-16 lead with 45 seconds to play in the third quarter.
Robinson then made another mistake, throwing his second interception of the game (and committing his third turnover) when freshman Jaden Sterns picked off a pass across the middle and returned it 33 yards to the TCU 2-yard line. Ehlinger scored on a 2-yard run on the ensuing snap, and just like that the Longhorns led 24-16.
The Longhorns cemented the win with a stirring late six-minute drive, moving 76 yards in 10 plays and ending with Ehlinger’s 38-yard scoring strike to Lil’Jordan Humprhey with 3:18 left.
—Field Level Media