Joe Burrow has outdueled Sam Ehlinger through one half, and as a result LSU has a 20-7 lead over Texas at the break in Austin.
LSU opened the scoring with a 36-yard Cade York field goal, but Texas appeared in position to take the lead when Brennan Eagles hauled in a 26-yard pass to put the ball at the LSU 8. The ‘Horns moved the ball to the 2 when Tom Herman elected to go for a fourth down. Ehlinger found a wide open Keaontay Ingram, who got his hands on the ball but could not haul it in.
The Texas defense gave its offense the ball right back when linebacker Joseph Ossai caught a tipped Burrow pass and took it to the LSU 4, but again Texas was denied. Ehlinger ran for two yards on first down and appeared to get in on second, but replay ruled him down inside the 1. The Tigers stuffed Ingram on third down, then stoned Ehlinger on fourth — thereby turning eight snaps in goal-to-go situations into zero points.
After Texas forced an LSU punt, Ehlinger tried two unsuccessful deep shots, then hit on a third when Kristian Fulton misjudged a ball and a wide open Eagles hauled it in to race 55 yards for a touchdown, putting the ‘Horns up 7-3 at the 10:29 mark of the second quarter. The play was Texas’ first of 50-plus yards since the 2017 season.
LSU answered with its best drive of the half: 75 yards in eight plays, most of them Burrow to Justin Jefferson, who had grabs of 17, 12 and six yards, the last of which resulted in a third-and-goal touchdown, shoving LSU back ahead 10-7 at the exact midpoint of the second quarter.
After a Texas punt, Burrow again charged LSU down the field, but this time an Ossai third down sack forced a 33-yard York field goal with 1:41 left in the first half. Texas used two timeouts in forcing that field goal, a move that backfired when its offense went three-and-out and LSU took over at its own 42 with 1:13 still left. They would need only 26 seconds. Three straight Burrow completions, the last to Jefferson from 21 yards out, gave LSU a commanding 20-7 halftime lead.
Burrow closed the half hitting 16-of-21 passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns and one tipped interception, while Ehlinger was 9-of-19 for 136 yards and a score with just six yards on the ground. Collin Johnson has been shutout, while Jefferson hauled in six balls for 83 yards and two scores.