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No. 24 Texas hangs on for much-needed road win over No. 13 Kansas State, 34-27

No. 24 Texas hangs on for much-needed road win over No. 13 Kansas State, 34-27


When Jaylan Ford came up with a football Keondre Coburn knocked out of the hands of Kansas State quarterback Adrian Martinez at the Texas 39-yard line with 24 seconds remaining in Saturday’s 34-27 win over the 13th-ranked Wildcats, the 24th-ranked Longhorns claimed much more than a much-needed road win. Texas (6-3, 4-2 Big 12) raced out to a 21-point halftime lead over Kansas State (6-2, 4-2) and never trailed again, fending off a furious rally by the Wildcats to exorcise a healthy number of demons at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.


A 30-carry, 209-yard rushing performance by Bijan Robinson helped the Longhorns avoid losing for the seventh under head coach Steve Sarkisian when leading at halftime while also preventing the program’s sixth loss since the start of the 2021 season where they had a double-digit lead. Roschon Johnson added 62 yards on seven carries as Texas ran roughshod over K-State to the tune of 269 yards with the two talented veteran runners scoring on touchdown runs of 36 and nine yards, respectively.


With Martinez throwing for 329 yards on a 24-for-36 passing performance, the Wildcats outgained the Longhorns by two yards, 468-466. With that said, Martinez’s second turnover the game sealed K-State’s fate and his first interception of the season helped the Longhorns build a 31-10 halftime lead with Ford’s 18-yard return to the 27-yard line of the Wildcats with 1:07 to play until intermission set up the second of two touchdown connections between Quinn Ewers and Xavier Worthy, this one in the back of the end zone from three yards out with 13 seconds on the clock.


Ewers (197 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers while completing 18 of 31 passes) and Worthy (42 yards and two touchdowns on four receptions) bounced back from disappointing performances in a 41-34 road loss to Oklahoma State on Oct. 22. The loss in Stillwater was the fifth in a row for Texas going back to last season, a streak that ends with the program’s sixth win a row over K-State, the longest winning streak by either side in the history of the series.




The Wildcats and head coach Chris Klieman, who’s now 0-4 against the Longhorns, had plenty of chances to hand Texas another crushing loss on the road. However, K-State’s four red-zone possessions led to only 13 points, including a failed attempt to convert on fourth-and-2 from the Texas 16 in the second quarter when Jahdae Barron broke up Martinez’s pass to Phillip Brooks in the end zone.


Ford led the defense with 10 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Coburn and Barryn Sorrell each recorded a sack of Martinez on a night when both offenses averaged 6.6 yards per play on 71 official snaps.


At the end of the day, the Longhorns made enough positive plays in all three phases of the game to get a win that has them alive for a trip to the Big 12 title game heading a showdown with No. 7 TCU (9-0, 6-0) at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium next Saturday (6:30 p.m., ABC). Texas has owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over K-State should the two teams win out from here on out, adding to the importance of what has to be considered the most significant win of Sarkisian’s 21-game tenure on the Forty Acres.


Horns247 was on the scene, providing live updates throughout the evening in Manhattan. Here’s how the Longhorns won on the road for the first time since Oct. 2, 2021 and captured their first win outside of the Lone Star State since the last time they played the Wildcats on the road on Dec. 5, 2020 while achieving bowl eligibility:


Horns247’s Chip Brown is reporting from Manhattan that safety Anthony Cook made the trip with the team and is on the field for pregame activities with a cast on his left arm. Cook suffered a broken arm in the team’s loss to Oklahoma State.


— Cornerback Ryan Watts, who left the loss to the Cowboys with a hamstring injury, is going through pregame warmups. There’s been no sign of Star Jaylon Guilbeau, who’s been dealing with an ankle injury.


— As is typically the case when playing K-State in Manhattan, the wind is expected to be a factor in Saturday’s game. There’s a steady 20 mph wind blowing at the stadium before the game. Gusts throughout the night are expected to be upwards of 29 mph.


DeMarvion Overshown, Roschon Johnson, Bijan Robinson and Ovie Oghoufo are the captains for the Longhorns tonight. K-State wins the toss and defers to the second half. Texas will be on offense to start the game.


FIRST QUARTER


— One play after Quinn Ewers finds Ja’Tavion Sanders over the middle on third-and-9 from the 26-yard line, Ewers’ incomplete pass to Jordan Whittington features a targeting call against K-State cornerback Julius Brents. Brents appears to make direct, helmet-to-helmet contact with Whittington and the call is confirmed on the field. Brents is ejected and the Longhorns get the ball at midfield.



— Robinson caps an 8-play, 75-yard scoring drive with an electrifying 36-yard touchdown run. Robinson’s cutback dash to the end zone — his 12th rushing and 14th total touchdown of the season — gives the Longhorns the early lead over the Wildcats. Robinson now shares the school record with a touchdown in 11 consecutive games, tying Ricky Williams and Cedric Benson.


Texas 7, Kansas State 0 (12:30)


— The Wildcats answer the Longhorn score with a 7-play, 65-yard touchdown drive with quarterback Adrian Martinez back from injury to lead the charge. With K-State effectively blocking gap runs, running back Deuce Vaughn carries the ball four times for 24 yards on the drive and gets the Wildcats on the board, getting loose down the seam and hauling in a 28-yard touchdown pass from Martinez to tie the game.


Texas 7, Kansas State 7 (8:41)


The Longhorns answer with another 8-play, 75-yard drive for a touchdown to regain the lead. A 21-yard screen pass from Ewers to Robinson on second-and-5 from the 30-yard line kickstarts the scoring series. An 18-yard connection between Ewers and Sanders on a crossing route accounts for the second explosive passing play on the drive and an 11-yard jet-motion flip to Keilan Robinson with great perimeter blocking by Whittington sets the offense up with a first-and-goal at the K-State 9-yard line. On the eighth and final play of the drive, Johnson powers his way across the goal line over the left side of the line, springing free behind a nicely-executed fold block between Kelvin Banks and Hayden Conner. Through the offense’s first two possessions, the Longhorns are averaging 8.1 yards per play on a balanced 130 yards of total offense (68 through the air and 62 on the ground).


Texas 14, Kansas State 7 (5:20)


Kitan Crawford leads the charge to stuff the explosive Malik Knowles for a 6-yard kickoff return, pinning the Wildcats back at their own 12-yard line. Nevertheless, Vaughn’s 9-yard run on first down and Martinez’s 9-yard pass over the middle of the field to Phillip Brooks on third-and-2 from the 20 gets K-State off of the goal line.


— A 14-yard hookup between Martinex and Vaughn on third-and-4 from the 35 and a 5-yard by running back DJ Giddens on third-and-1 from the Texas 42 helps K-State move the ball down the field into plus territory. As the first quarter comes to an end, the Longhorns see Jahdae Barron leave the game with an undisclosed injury. With Guilbeau already out and Morice Blackwell getting a lot of action early, Michael Taffe is the next man up in the secondary.


SECOND QUARTER


— After D’Shawn Jamison makes a tremendous play in the end zone to help deny Knowles a touchdown, Watts gets credit for smothering Martinez, who unsuccessfully tries to move the chains on his own on third-and-6 from the Texas 7-yard line. The Wildcats settle for a 22-yard Ty Zentner field goal, getting points, but the Longhorns prevent a touchdown with the offense set to take the field with a lead.


Texas 14, Kansas State 10 (13:40)


— Back-to-back 18-yard completions by Ewers (one over the middle of the field to Sanders and one into the boundary to Whittington) get the Longhorns moving quickly in their attempt to answer the K-State field goal. When Bijan Robinson runs for seven yards over the left side on second-and-1 from the K-State 24 after a 9-yard gain on a bubble screen by Savion Red, the Longhorns have a fresh set of downs at the 17-yard line of the Wildcats after only five plays.


— Two plays after Ewers and Worthy couldn’t connect in the back of the end zone, Worthy’s footwork gets him free on a post-corner on third-and-6 from the K-State 13 and a great throw by Ewers makes the 13-yard touchdown pass a thing of beauty. After three touchdown drives to open the game (each of them lasting eight plays and covering 75 yards), the Longhorns are averaging 8.5 yards per play.


Texas 21, Kansas State 10 (10:24)


Barryn Sorrell drops Martinez for a 10-yard loss on a sack on second down to put the Wildcats behind the chains. The Longhorns turn up the heat, collapse the pocket and Sorrell gets to Martinez to finish the play.


— Watts stops Vaughn after a 7-yard gain on third-and-17 to force the first punt of the game. The Longhorns begin their fourth drive of the game with their best field position at their own 44-yard line.


— A great play by Johnson turns disastrous for Texas. On fourth-and-1 from the K-State 47, Johnson breaks free over the right side for what looks like a gut punch to the Wildcats. Unfortunately, cornerback Ekow Boye-Doe punches the ball out of Johnson’s hands and cornerback Jacob Parrish recovers the ball at the 10-yard line. Rather than getting a fresh set of downs in the red zone, Johnson’s 37-yard gain ends with the Longhorns turning the football over for the first time in the game.


— K-State capitalizes on the turnover on third-and-6 from the 14-yard line. Martinez fires a ball over the middle of the field for Knowles, who adjusts his body in the air and comes down with the ball. Taffe and Cook both miss opportunities to bring him down with Watts finally riding him out of bounds at the Texas 24 after a 62-yard gain, the longest from scrimmage by either offense.


— Barron makes his most impactful play of the night and the biggest play by the Texas defense on the night after K-State decides to go for it on fourth-and-2 from the 16 (pressure forced a quick third-down throw by Martinez, allowing Watts to tackle Knowles short of the sticks). Martinez targets Brooks on a corner route, but Barron gets a hand on the football at the point of Brooks trying to make the catch to break up the pass in the end zone. Pete Kwiatkowski’s defense comes through with a huge stop, to say the least.


On third-and-3 from the 23, Robinson takes a pitch from Ewers to the short side of the field, follows blocks by Banks and Conner and rips off a 68-yard run down to the K-State 9-yard line. Robinson is over 1,000 yards on the season (1,069), making him the first Longhorns to post consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons since Benson ran for 1,000 yards in four consecutive seasons (2001-2004). Robinson’s 149-yard first half on the ground has paced an offense that’s currently averaging over 10.5 yards per play.


— The drive stalls as Ewers’ pass on third-and-goal from the 10 falls incomplete, a break for the Longhorns with safety Josh Hayes in a position to make what would’ve been a devastating interception. Bert Auburn boots home a 28-yard field goal to finish off a 7-play, 74-yard drive with points on what figures to be the offense’s final possession of the first half.


Texas 24, Kansas State 10 (1:35)


— The Longhorns thwart K-State’s attempt to get points before halftime with authority. Dropping back in zone coverage, Jaylan Ford picks off Martinez and returns it 18 yards to the 27-yard line of the Wildcats. With 1:07 on the clock, Texas has a chance to create significant separation in Manhattan.


— An 11-yard perimeter screen to Red and a 1-yard gain on a tight end screen to Sanders move the chains for the Longhorns. After Robinson is stopped for no gain on first-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Texas calls a timeout with 22 seconds on the clock. The Longhorns have one timeout remaining.




— On third-and-goal from K-State 3, Ewers finds Worthy for the second time in the first half for a touchdown, this one in the back corner of the end zone. The 7-play, 27-yard drive ends with 13 seconds left on the clock. The Longhorns score 10 points inside the final 95 seconds of the half to take a commanding lead.


Texas 31, Kansas State 10 (:13)


Vaughn is tackled after a 2-yard gain on the final play of the half. The Longhorns score the final 17 points of the half and own a three-touchdown lead at intermission.


HALFTIME: Texas 31, Kansas State 10


— Another road game, another halftime lead for the Longhorns. Texas has suffered six losses under Sarkisian when owning a halftime lead and five when owning a double-digit lead at some point in the second half, including two such losses in 2022. The Wildcats get the ball to start the third quarter, so it’s up to the defense to protect the 21-point lead.


THIRD QUARTER


Keondre Coburn gets credit for stopping Martinez for a 3-yard gain on third-and-4 from the 32. Facing a fourth-and-1, Kleiman chooses to punt the football and the Longhorns take over at their own 4-yard line. Blackwell helps the defense get off of the field with a huge pass breakup on first-and-5 from the 31 after an offsides penalty negates a sack and strip of Martinez by Watts.


— Ewers escapes pressure and finds Worthy for a first down on third-and-6 from the 18-yard line of the Longhorns, but Hayes puts his hat right on the football as Worthy starts to turn up the field, knocking it out of his hands. The fumble is recovered by defensive lineman Eli Huggins at the Texas 24. The second Longhorn turnover of the night has K-State on the cusp of the end zone.


— After two penalties give K-State a first-and-35 at the Texas 49, a 21-yard strike from Martinez to Vaughn and a personal foul charged to Jerrin Thompson after the play puts the Wildcats on the 14-yard line with a new set of downs. Three plays later, Martinez scores on first-and-goal from the 1 with a review upholding the touchdown call on the field. The 4-play, 24-yard scoring drive cuts the Longhorn lead to a two-touchdown margin.


Texas 31, Kansas State 17 (8:37)


— A third-and-4 completion by Ewers to Whittington for four yards allows the Longhorns to move the chains for a first down at their own 35. The home crowd is alive after the K-State touchdown.


— Another third down, another conversion by Ewers. On third-and-6 from his own 39, Ewers finds Worthy open on a crossing route for a 20-yard gain to the K-State 41.


— Red is flagged for a false start on first-and-10, which turns out to be the beginning of the end for the current drive. Two incomplete passes by Ewers sandwich a Bijan Robinson run for no gain. Daniel Trejo’s 29-yard punt forces the Wildcats to take over at their own 17 with 4:37 remaining in the quarter. Trejo’s first punt of the night comes after a 9-play, 29-yard drive that milks four minutes off of the clock.


— Ford appears to dodge a facemask penalty while combining with Overshown to stop Vaughn for no gain on second-and-3 from the 24. Back-to-back false starts put K-State in third-and-13 and pressure by Sorrell forces Martinez to leave the pocket and fire a pass down the field that falls incomplete. The defense comes up with a huge three-and-out with the offense taking over at their own 27.


— With Jahleel Billingsley getting flagged for the team’s fifth pre-snap penalty of the night putting the offense behind the chains, Robinson is dropped for a 2-yard loss on third-and-2 from the 35. The Wildcats take possession of the ball at their own 29 after Brooks returns Trejo’s 45-yard punt for seven yards.


— A diving catch by tight end Ben Sinnott and a 25-yard catch by Knowles where Crawford forces a fumble only for Knowles, on the ground, to tap the ball to Sinnott to retain possession, quickly move the Wildcats into Texas territory. The third quarter ends with K-State on the move.


FOURTH QUARTER


— The double-digit lead is gone on the first play of the fourth quarter. Warner gets open down the middle of the field on a nice double move against zone coverage. The 25-yard pitch-and-catch emphatically ends a 4-play, 71-yard drive for the K-State offense. The Longhorns are clinging to a one-score lead with less than 15 minutes remaining in regulation.


Texas 31, Kansas State 24 (14:54)


— After Bijan Robinson picks up four yards on third-and-2 from the 33, back-to-back penalties kill K-State. Linebacker Daniel Green is called for a late hit out of bounds on a 5-yard run by Johnson and Huggins is called for defensive holding on a 6-yard run by Johnson for pulling Jake Majors to the ground. An 8-yard play-action pass from Ewers to Sanders puts the ball on the 14-yard line, putting the Longhorns in a prime position to get points on a drive aided by Wildcat miscues.


— Linebacker Khalid Duke forces a rushed throw by Ewers on third-and-7 from the 11, resulting in a ball pushed too far up the field for an open Bijan Robinson on a rail route. Auburn comes on and drills a 29-yard field goal, allowing the Longhorns to get points out of an 11-play, 64-yard drive. The lead is back to double digits with the scoring drive taking 4:25 off of the clock.


Texas 34, Kansas State 24 (10:29)


— The Wildcats put together a 13-play, 65-yard drive that burns 6:03 off of the clock and includes five first downs, including a 16-yard pass from Martinez to Brooks on third-and-9 from the K-State 38. The Longhorns, however, hold in the red zone with Overshown and Oghoufo dropping Martinez for a 2-yard loss on second-and-goal from the 8-yard line. Martinez’s third-down pass sails out of the back of the end zone and the Wildcats settle for a 28-yard field goal by Zentner. The Longhorns have a chance to put the game away with just over four minutes to play.


Texas 34, Kansas State 27 (4:26)


— Taking the field on third-and-4 at the 31 after a K-State timeout with 3:37 to go, a run into the boundary by Bijan Robinson gets blown up for a 5-yard loss. The Longhorns are forced to punt and Trejo’s 55-yard bomb is downed by Keilan Robinson at the K-State 19. The Wildcats go to work with two timeouts and 2:43 on the clock.


Moro Ojomo sacks Martinez on second-and-10 from the 46 and forces a fumble, but it goes out of bounds at the 44 with 1:23 to play before Sorrell or T’Vondre Sweat are able to make the recovery. Two plays later, on fourth-and-6 from midfield, Martinez scrambles away from pressure and throws across his body to Vaughn, who keeps K-State’s alive with a 7-yard reception.


— One play after Martinez and Vaughn extend the drive, Coburn slams the door on K-State’s comeback hopes. Coburn strips the ball out of Martinez’s hands at the end of a 4-yard gain. Ford recovers at the Texas 39-yard line with 24 seconds to play. One snap in the victory formation should wrap up a huge win for the Longhorns.


— Ewers takes a knee and the Wildcats don’t use their final timeout. The Longhorns hang on for a victory that keeps them in the hunt for a conference championship.


FINAL: TEXAS 34, KANSAS STATE 27





#Texas #hangs #muchneeded #road #win #Kansas #State

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