Texas has weathered an early storm and used a varied running game to grab a 20-17 halftime lead over No. 24 Oklahoma State in Austin.
The game looked like a Cowboys blowout at first, as Oklahoma State forced a three-and-out, raced 69 yards in nine plays for a touchdown, then moved another 75 yards in just five snaps on its first two possessions to grab an early 14-3 lead. But Texas mounted a defense-saving 13-play drive to set up Nick Rose‘s second field goal (remember him?) to pull the Longhorns within 14-6, then Mason Rudolph inexplicably dropped the football on a pass attempt and Hassan Ridgeway returned the loose pigskin 34 yards for a touchdown to make the score 14-13.
Texas seemingly forced another turnover as Kris Boyd grabbed a Rudolph arm punt, but the play was controversially overturned when Paul Boyette, Jr., incited a roughing the passer call for shoving Rudolph after releasing the would-be interception. Oklahoma State capitalized with a 34-yard Ben Grogan field goal.
A pair of penalties (Texas was flagged 10 times for 81 yards in the half) placed the ‘Horns at their own four on the ensuing possession, but they swiftly moved 97 yards in 10 plays – all but 10 of them on the ground – to take the lead on a seven-yard Tyrone Swoopes fourth-down keeper with 5:02 remaining before the break.
Texas has rushed 23 times for 158 yards so far, while Jerrod Heard connected on 7-of-9 throws for 84 yards.
Rudolph hit 14-of-18 throws for 191 yards and a touchdown, but the Cowboys have managed only 45 yards on 21 carries.
Oklahoma State will receive to open the second half.