LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Sam Ehlinger threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Moore in overtime, sending No. 8 Texas to a wild 63-56 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday that saw the Longhorns rally with two touchdowns in the final 3 minutes of regulation.
Moore’s second touchdown catch came with 40 seconds left and Ehlinger’s 2-point conversion pass to Brennan Eagles tied it to get to overtime. Texas got the ball first and quickly scored when Ehlinger and Moore connected for their third score of the day.
Texas Tech’s possession ended when Alan Bowman was forced to scramble and threw a wild pass that was intercepted by Caden Sterns.
Texas, chasing its first Big 12 title since 2009, had looked done when the Red Raiders went ahead 56-41 late in the fourth quarter on touchdowns from T.J. Vasher and SaRodorick Thompson Jr. But Ehlginer engineered a quick drive for a touchdown pass to Eagles and the Longhorns recovered the onside kick to set up the tying score.
“Our quarterback looked at me and said, ‘They left us too much time. We’re going to tie this thing up and win in overtime,” Texas coach Tom Herman said. “And I believed him.”
Texas is 2-0 for the first time under Herman, who is in his fourth season with the Longhorns, who are chasing their first Big 12 title since 2009.
Ehlinger finished with 262 yards passing with five touchdowns and also ran for a score for Texas (2-0 1-0) . Bowman passed for 325 yards and five touchdowns for the Red Raiders (1-1, 0-1) but also threw three interceptions.
“We learned we’re never out of it. You look around college football in 2020, there’s some weird things going on,” Ehlinger said. “All I can say is wow.”
Texas: The Longhorns feel any game is within reach of their senior quarterback and Ehlinger delivered again. Ehlinger found multiple targets to get the Longhorns into the end zone and was 10 of 11 passing in leading the comeback. Moore is rapidly turning into a favorite target after missing the 2019 season while under team suspension. The comeback will overshadow a miserable performance by the defense under first-year coordinator Chris Ash.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders were on the brink of delivering second-year coach Matt Wells a signature win over a Top 10 team and big rival. Blowing a two touchdown lead in the final 3 minutes could crush a team’s confidence. Bowman’s big day was overshadowed by the three interceptions. The first two set up Texas touchdowns in the first half before the last one ended the game.
“We get a stop, we win the game. We force a turnover, we win the game,” Texas Tech linebacker Riko Jeffers said. “We fell short.”
The Longhorns could be rising. Although it wasn’t always impressive, the big comeback and two teams ranked higher than Texas losing Saturday only helps their chance to move up.
Texas returns home to host TCU next Saturday
Texas Tech travels to Kansas State next Saturday