AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Sam Ehlinger passed for four touchdowns and No. 12 Texas ended four years of frustration against Oklahoma State with a 36-30 win Saturday night to open the Longhorns’ Big 12 schedule.
Ehlinger had his third four-touchdown passing game of the season for the Longhorns (3-1, 1-0), who had lost four in a row to the Cowboys. Texas also had lost its last five home games in this series dating back to 2010.
The Texas defense held Oklahoma State’s two big offensive weapons – running back Chuba Hubbard and wide receiver Tylan Wallace – mostly in check.
Hubbard, the nation’s leading rusher coming into the night, ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns but averaged just 3.3 yards per carry. Hubbard twice got stuffed short near the goal line on key drives for the Cowboys early and late.
Wallace, who came into the game tied for the national lead with six touchdown receptions, didn’t find the end zone against the Longhorns and had just two catches in the second half.
Hubbard’s second touchdown got the Cowboys (3-1, 0-1) within a touchdown with 1:37 to play, but Texas recovered the onside kick and killed the clock when Ehlinger ran 29 yards on third down.
Texas’ Keaontay Ingram rushed for 114 yards. His spinning, tackle-breaking 26-yard reception set up a touchdown that gave Texas a 13-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
Ehlinger finished with 281 yards passing and threw for three touchdowns in the second quarter, including a 73-yarder to Brennan Eagles.
Oklahoma State: Cowboys coach Mike Gundy will face questions about some decisions that cost his team valuable points. Hubbard got stuffed on fourth-and-short inside the Texas 5 in the third quarter. After an interception, Gundy opted for a fake field goal early in the fourth that also got stuffed.
If the Cowboys had let reliable kicker Matt Ammendola kick his fourth and fifth field goals of the game, Oklahoma State would have owned the lead in the fourth quarter and been tied after Hubbard’s late score.
Texas: Ehlinger did what he always does. He delivered smart passes, threw for multiple touchdowns and produced a game-clinching run. But it was the defense that will get a huge boost after the Longhorns avoided giving up the big-play touchdowns that killed them in a loss to LSU. The Longhorns’ speed on the edges chased down Hubbard, and a strong push at the line disrupted the Cowboys near the goal line.
Oklahoma State hosts Kansas State on Saturday.
Texas has a week off before playing at West Virginia on Oct. 5.