AUSTIN, Texas – In a hard fought matchup, The University of Texas Longhorns (6-6, 5-4) fell to the Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-6, 3-6), 27-23, on Senior Night at Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium Friday evening.
The Longhorn defense put on another show, grabbing a pair of interceptions in the first half, the fourth multi-interception game of the season, and breaking up a season-high 10 passes, the most since registering 10 against Texas Tech in 2014. Texas held the Red Raiders to 62 rushing yards, the seventh time this season the defense has held an opponent to less than 100 yards on the ground.
Junior cornerback Kris Boyd guided the defensive effort with an interception and a career-high five pass breakups, one shy of the UT single-game record, to go along with six tackles. Boyd has broken up 14 passes this season, the first Texas player to reach double-digits since 2014 and the most by Longhorn since Carrington Byndom and Quandre Diggs each registered 15 in 2011.
The Texas offense got off to a hot start, as senior wide receiver Armanti Foreman caught a 27-yard touchdown pass just 1:31 into the game to give the Horns an early 7-0 lead.
The Longhorn drive started with a fake reverse, with sophomore wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey passing to freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger along the right sideline for a 27-yard gain to the Texas Tech 48. Ehlinger followed with a 5-yard completion to sophomore wide receiver Collin Johnson, then found graduate transfer tight end Kendall Moore for a 16 yards to the Red Raider 27. Foreman entered on the next play and caught an Ehlinger pass on a slant route, shook off a defender and ran in for the score, his team-leading fourth touchdown reception of the season.
Foreman finished the day with a season-high 78 receiving yards on five catches to go along with his touchdown.
With 3:20 remaining in the first quarter, the Red Raiders evened the score at 7-7 on a 1-yard touchdown run to close out a 7-play, 81-yard drive.
Texas Tech took their first lead of the game on the second play of the second quarter with a 32-yard field goal to go ahead, 10-7.
On the next Red Raider possession, a 53-yard punt by junior Michael Dickson, a Ray Guy Award finalist, and a holding penalty backed Texas Tech up to their own 1-yard line. The Red Raiders attempted three passes out of the end zone, but came up empty on each throw, with one pass broken up by junior safety DeShon Elliott at the 25 and another batted away by Boyd at the 20. The Red Raiders were forced to punt, and after a 7-yard return by freshman wide receiver Reggie Hemphill-Mapps, the Horns started their drive in Texas Tech territory at the 40-yard line.
Texas drove down field and tied the score, 10-10, with a 20-yard field goal by junior Joshua Rowland with 8:07 remaining in the half.
Ehlinger, who finished the day completing 27-of-47 passes for 239 yards, opened the drive with a pair of completions to senior wide receiver Lorenzo Joe and Humphrey for seven yards, then picked up the first down with a 5-yard run over the right end. Freshman running back Daniel Young followed with a 4-yard run up the middle and a 12-yard reception for another first down. Young added two more yards with a run through the middle, then Hemphill-Mapps ran for seven yards on a reverse to the Texas Tech 3-yard line. A run for no gain set up fourth-and-1. Ehlinger picked up the first down with a run to the 1-yard line, but that is as far as UT would get on the drive.
Boyd ended the next Red Raider drive with an interception at the UT 47 and racing 44 yards to the Texas Tech 9-yard line.
Texas regained the lead on the next play, as Young burst through the line and bowled over a defender at the 2-yard line before running it into the end zone for a 17-10 Texas lead with 6:41 left to play in the second quarter.
Junior cornerback Davante Davis closed out the next Red Raider possession with 48 seconds remaining in the half, stepping in front of a pass at the Texas Tech 34 for his first interception of the season and taking it to the 20-yard line.
Texas moved as close as the 1-yard line on the ensuing drive, with Ehlinger rolling to his right and connecting with junior running back Chris Warren III for a 19-yard gain on the next play. A 19-yard field goal by Rowland four plays later closed out the scoring in the first half with the Horns leading, 20-10.
Texas Tech made it a one-score game on the first possession of the second half, cutting the Texas lead to 20-13 with a 34-yard field goal, chewing up 4:54 of clock with an 11-play, 59-yard drive.
The Texas lead grew back to 10 points early in the fourth quarter when Rowland nailed a 40-yard field goal to extend the Texas advantage to 23-13, 37 seconds into the final frame. Rowland was perfect on the day and set a career high with three field goals.
Texas Tech responded with a 6-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, scoring on a 13-yard pass to cut the Texas lead to 23-20 with 11:29 remaining in the game.
The Longhorns looked to close out the game late in the fourth quarter, driving to the Texas Tech 37 with just over two minutes remaining to play. But the Red Raiders intercepted a pass at the Texas Tech 31 and returned it 55 yards to the UT 14. Texas Tech scored two plays later on a 16-yard touchdown pass to make it 27-23.
Texas made one final push to score, driving to the Texas Tech 42, but a Texas Tech interception at their own 18 with 55 seconds remaining to play ended the threat.
Elliott, a Thorpe Award finalist, ended the day with a career-high with four pass breakups in the game, doubling his previous game-high and bringing his season total to a career-best nine for the season.
The defense registered 10 tackles for loss, the third game this season with double-digit tackles for loss. Junior linebacker Gary Johnson had 2.5 tackles for loss, while junior defensive lineman Chris Nelson and senior defensive lineman Poona Ford had a pair each.
Junior middle linebacker Malik Jefferson had 10 tackles, the sixth time this season he had collected at least 10 tackles.
Ehlinger, Humphrey and sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele combined to complete passes to 13 different receivers, the sixth straight game in which 10-or-more Longhorns have caught a pass and the eighth time UT has accomplished the feat this season.
Source: Texas Sports
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