Sam Ehlinger

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Texas throws away upset bid to No. 10 Oklahoma State in overtime

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After taking No. 10 Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) to overtime in a defensive battle without turning the football over, Texas (3-4, 2-2 Big 12) quarterback Sam Ehlinger picked the absolute worst time to throw away his first turnover of the day. Ehlinger floated away a ball to a spot in the end zone with no receiver in the area, and Ramon Richards secured the interception to seal a 13-10 victory for Oklahoma State.

The interception came on third down with the Longhorns a short distance away from a shot at a game-tying field goal try to force a second overtime. Texas had the ball spotted at the six-yard line on the play, shortly after being given the ball at the 12-yard line on a pass interference call in the end zone against Oklahoma State.

This was the third time Oklahoma State had played an overtime game this season, and it was also the latest instance of a rebuilding Texas team showing it can hang with the top opponents on its schedule. They just have not been able to make the [plays needed to secure a win. Earlier in the season, Texas let USC tie the game at the end of regulation despite holding a late fourth-quarter lead in Los Angeles. A week ago Texas had a fourth-quarter lead on Oklahoma before letting one slip away. This week, Texas just could not hold off the Cowboys despite a fine defensive effort to keep Oklahoma State out of the end zone since the first quarter.

The win may not inspire much confidence in Oklahoma State, but the Cowboys will remain in the Big 12 championship hunt as well as on the playoff radar after getting out of Austin with the win. This one was much different from the way Oklahoma State typically wins, with the defense leading the way. Oklahoma State allowed just 13 first downs and held Texas to 3-of-17 on third down tries.

Mason Rudolph was without a touchdown pass and he passed for 282 yards. James Washington had four catches for 32 yards and Justice Hill rushed for 117 yards without a score for the Cowboys offense. J.D. King‘s first-quarter score was the lone touchdown by Oklahoma State’s offense.

Texas will now turn its attention to a road game against Baylor. The Bears entered today without a win this season as they prepared to take on West Virginia. After a game at Baylor, Texas is back on the road to Fort Worth to play TCU before returning home for a big revenge game situation against Kansas. I say that somewhat sarcastically, but genuinely believe that is a game that should have been circle don the Texas schedule before the season started.

Oklahoma State will be back on the road next week for another challenge. The Cowboys head to Morgantown, West Virginia to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. West Virginia entered today at 4-2 overall and 2-1 in Big 12 play before a game against Baylor in Waco.

Shane Buechele is almost Facebook official as starting Texas QB

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The college football season officially gets underway this week, but Tom Herman has another week to make some decisions about the starting quarterback for the Texas Longhorns. If he had to make that call right now, Shane Buechele would be getting the starting nod in Austin.

“I’ve said over and over again that if we played a game tomorrow Shane Buechele would start,” Herman told reporters on Saturday, seemingly a bit frustrated with the question once again being asked, according to The Dallas Morning News. “We’ll get a depth chart to make it Facebook official, I guess. Is that what we’ve got to do?”

It is expected Herman will make a decision on his starting quarterback within the next week ahead of Texas’ season opener at home against Maryland of the Big Ten. Buechele was the full-time starter for the Longhorns last season, but a new coach taking over at a program tends to wipe the slate clean to start from scratch. Buechele has faced his stiffest competition for the job from freshman Sam Ehlinger, who enrolled in January and was able to work with the team in the spring.

Whatever his decision ends up being, Herman has not been overly optimistic about his offense. Instead, Herman has been praising the defense as the key to the upcoming season. For a team that allowed 448.3 yards per game last season to rank seventh in the Big 12 in total defense, and 31.5 points per game (8th in the Big 12 ahead of only Kansas and Texas Tech), Herman is either suggesting the defense has taken some strides in practices this year or the offense really does have a long way to go.

It should probably not come as a great surprise Texas may be better off on defense, given the brief Charlie Strong tenure. Strong was always known more for his defense so the seeds for a reputable defense may have been planted in Austin prior to Herman’s hiring. Now it is up to Herman to get the offense in gear.