EditorsNote: Changes scoring span from 4:25 to 4:38 in last sentence
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger hit Lil’Jordan Humphrey for a 29-yard touchdown pass with 21 seconds to play to lift the 19th-ranked Longhorns to a wild 41-34 win over host Texas Tech on Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.
Ehlinger threw for 312 yards and four touchdowns in the victory while lengthening his team-record streak and setting a Big 12 Conference mark for passes without an interception to 280, supplanting the mark established by former West Virginia signal-caller Geno Smith.
Texas (7-3, 5-2 Big 12) snapped a two-game losing streak and stayed in the hunt for a spot in the Big 12 championship game.
The Longhorns’ defense, which had gone two games without producing a turnover, forced three in the victory, with two of those coming in the red zone to thwart Texas Tech scoring drives.
The Red Raiders’ Jett Duffey passed for 444 yards and four touchdowns, the final coming on a 9-yard scoring throw to Antoine Wesley with 1:45 to play to tie the game at 34-34.
Texas Tech (5-5, 3-4) lost its third straight game but is still in position to be bowl eligible if it can find a win in its final two contests.
The Red Raiders went right through the Texas defense on their opening drive, moving 66 yards in 10 plays for a Duffey-to-T.J. Vasher 5-yard touchdown pass. It marked the eighth time in 10 games that the Longhorns have surrendered points on an opponent’s opening drive.
The Longhorns scored 17 unanswered points to seemingly take control of the game. First, Cameron Dicker nailed a career-best 52-yard field goal to cut the Tech lead to 7-3. Then Ehlinger connected with Humphrey for a 9-yard TD pass to culminate an 18-play, 60-yard march and give Texas the lead at 10-7.
After Texas stopped Duffey on a quarterback sneak on fourth down at the Tech 34, the Longhorns needed just four plays before a 2-yard touchdown run by Keaontay Ingram to push the margin to 17-7.
Tech got three of those points back with a 41-yard field goal by Clayton Hatfield with seven seconds left in the second quarter.
Texas kept its collective foot on the accelerator in the third quarter, scoring on a 1-yard TD pass from Ehlinger to Devin Duvernay on fourth down, and adding a 46-yard, into-the-wind field goal by Dicker to build the lead to 27-10.
Duffey found Wesley for a 57-yard touchdown pass a minute and a half into the fourth quarter to show some life and cut the lead to 27-17. But Texas responded immediately, moving 92 yards in just five plays (and aided by a Texas Tech personal foul penalty) for a 39-yard touchdown strike from Ehlinger to Duvernay that moved the lead back to 17 points.
Hatfield added a 36-yard field goal to make it a two-score game, and Duffey hit Vasher for the duo’s second scoring hookup after an onside kick that was bobbled by Texas’ P.J. Locke III.
Duffey ripped off a 9-yard pass to Wesley to tie the game at 34, as the Red Raiders scored 17 points in a 4:38 minute span to pull even. But the Red Raiders left too much time for Ehlinger and the Longhorns.
—Field Level Media