Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson (5) gets tackled by Iowa State Cyclones defensive back Anthony Johnson Jr. (26) after gaining a first down during the second quarter at Jack Trice Stadium, Nov. 6, 2021, in Ames, Iowa.

Breece Hall, stout defense carry Iowa St. to rout of Texas

Breece Hall ran for 136 yards and two scores, and the Iowa State defense did the rest as the Cyclones rolled to a 30-7 win over Texas on Saturday in Big 12 Conference play in Ames, Iowa.

Hall picked up his two TDs and 98 of his yards in the third quarter when the Cyclones (6-3, 4-2 Big 12) rallied from a 7-3 halftime deficit and swamped Texas.

The Longhorns, who came in averaging 447 yards per game and 39.4 points per game, didn’t come close to matching those benchmarks, amassing just 207 total yards.

Texas (4-5, 2-4) only gained six yards, had just 14 offensive snaps and punted four times during the pivotal third quarter. Texas lost a fourth straight game for the first time since 2010.

Brock Purdy was 27-of-38 passing for 252 yards for Iowa State. Xavier Hutchinson caught eight passes for 96 yards and threw a touchdown pass while Andrew Mevis added three field goals, including a 51-yarder to cap the scoring.

Hudson Card passed for 101 yards and a touchdown for Texas after entering in relief of the ineffective Casey Thompson. Bijan Robinson had 90 yards rushing and caught eight passes for 36 yards but fumbled twice, the second coming early in the fourth quarter after which he left the game with an injury.

Robinson fumbled on his first carry of the game. Iowa State then moved 32 yards in seven plays to set the table for Mevis’ 24-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead at the 12:27 mark of the first quarter.

Xavier Worthy pushed Texas to a 7-3 lead via a 4-yard scoring pass on a jet sweep with 5:29 left in the second quarter. The TD came at the end of a 14-play, 78-yard drive.

Iowa State outgained the Longhorns 180-126 in the first half, limiting Texas to 44 passing yards. Robinson had 65 yards on 11 carries in the half, outdueling Hall’s 17 yards on seven totes.

The Cyclones retook the lead on Hall’s 47-yard touchdown run that culminated the opening possession of the third quarter. They added to their advantage on Hutchinson’s 49-yard TD pass to Tarique Milton after he caught a backward pass from Purdy.

Hall’s 2-yard scoring run expanded Iowa State’s lead to 24-7 with 4 minutes to play in the third quarter.

–Field Level Media

Apr 24, 2021; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns linebacker Jake Ehlinger walks off the field after the Orange-White Texas Spring Game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Family says Jake Ehlinger died of accidental overdose

The family of late Texas Longhorns linebacker Jake Ehlinger said Thursday he died of an accidental overdose on May 6 of what was said to be Xanax laced with fentanyl.

The younger brother of former Longhorns and current Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger was found dead at age 20 in Austin, Texas.

“Today we are sad to share that we have learned that Jake was a victim of an accidental overdose of what was believed to be Xanax laced with toxic drugs including deadly Fentanyl,” the family said in its statement. “The spread of counterfeit pills is an ongoing and significant issue throughout our country, particularly in schools, colleges, and universities.

“As our family continues to process Jake’s death, we felt it was important to share these details with the hope that Jake will not have died in vain. We pray that sharing Jake’s story will help shed light on this problem and prevent other families from also tragically losing a loved one.”

The younger Ehlinger had finished his redshirt freshman season before his death, although he did not see game action.

“Being a Longhorn meant everything to him, and he truly embodied all that it means to be one,” said Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian in May. “In the short time we were able to get to know him, he always was a joy to be around and gave everything he had in workouts, meetings, practice and in life.

“This is a tragedy beyond measure, and as I told the team today, in a time like this all we can do is open our hearts, pull together and do our best to provide love and support to each other, especially to the Ehlinger family.”

Ross Ehlinger, Sam and Jake’s father, died at age 46 in 2013 after suffering a heart attack during a triathlon in San Francisco.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA;  Oct 2, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys running back Jaylen Warren (7) drops the ball after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Baylor Bears at Boone Pickens Stadium. OSU won 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

No. 12 Oklahoma State looks to pull rank on No. 25 Texas

Undefeated and 12th-ranked Oklahoma State will travel south to battle wounded and desperate No. 25 Texas on Saturday at Austin in a game that is crucial to both teams in the race for the Big 12 Conference title.

The Cowboys (5-0, 2-0) retained their spot at No. 12 after an open date last week. Oklahoma State’s most recent game was a 24-14 home victory over then-No. 21 Baylor on Oct. 2.

Oklahoma State’s Jaylen Warren rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries, including a 4-yard scoring run with about two minutes left to cement the win.

Warren has at least 123 yards on the ground in each of the Cowboys’ past three games.

Spencer Sanders amassed 258 yards of total offense, passing for 182 yards and a touchdown and running for 76 more, but he also had three interceptions that kept Baylor in the game.

Oklahoma State has won its first five games for the first time since 2015. If it beats Texas, it will be a third consecutive win over a ranked team, something the Cowboys have never done.

Cowboys coach Mike Gundy understands the trip to Austin and playing the Longhorns will be a big challenge.

“I keep mentioning each week that as we keep going, the teams we play are better,” Gundy said. “Texas will be the most athletic team we’ve competed against so far. We all know that in this league, defensively, one of the most important things that we can accomplish is minimize the big plays. And I would prefer not to get in a shootout with them.”

Oklahoma State has won seven of the past 11 games against the Longhorns and is 5-1 in games in Austin since 2010.

“You can win if your talent level on paper is not the same, but you have to have enough good players to keep yourself in the game somehow, which we’ve done in the last 10 years,” Gundy explained. “Once we were able to win some of those games, we developed the confidence that everything is going to be OK. Let’s just go play.”

The Longhorns are on the ropes after a 55-48 loss to then-No. 6 Oklahoma last week at Dallas, dropping four spots from their previous ranking.

Texas (4-2, 2-1) led 28-7 after one quarter and still was up by 18 points late in the third quarter before the Sooners produced one of the biggest comebacks in the storied rivalry between the two teams.

“There’s not a lot of time in our sport, the way the turnaround is, for the ‘poor mes,’ the ‘woe is mes,’” Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said Monday. “No one is feeling sorry for us. I kind of like these challenges, quite frankly. This is when you learn a lot about yourselves.”

Oklahoma’s comeback spoiled impressive performances from Longhorns quarterback Casey Thompson (388 yards and five touchdowns passing), running back Bijan Robinson (137 yards and a touchdown) and receiver Xavier Worthy (261 yards and two TDs on nine catches).

Texas is in fourth place in the conference, behind Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Baylor. Another loss could doom the Longhorns’ chances at playing in the Big 12 Championship game – perhaps against the Sooners – at the end of the regular season.

“We have to recognize what our goals are,” Sarkisian said. “We’d all love to win a Big 12 championship. We’d all love the opportunity to play Oklahoma again, but none of that can occur if we don’t handle business Saturday.”

This will be the first time both teams are ranked when playing each other since 2013.

–Field Level Media

Sep 4, 2021; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns tight end Cade Brewer (80) hugs quarterback Hudson Card (1) after catching a touchdown pass in the first half of the game against the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Hudson Card shines in debut as No. 21 Texas routs No. 23 Louisiana

Hudson Card passed for 224 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score in his first collegiate start as No. 21 Texas began the Steve Sarkisian era with a 38-18 win over No. 23 Louisiana on Saturday afternoon in the season-opener for both teams in Austin, Texas.

Card was 14-of-21 passing and connected with six different receivers while playing three quarters for the Longhorns (1-0). Bijan Robinson ran for 103 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 73 yards and another score in Texas’ romp while Jordan Whittington led all receivers with seven catches for a career-best 113 yards.

The Longhorns’ defense limited Louisiana to 359 yards, 179 of which came in the final 12:24 of the game after things were out of reach. Dual-threat Ragin’ Cajuns’ quarterback Levi Lewis passed for 282 yards and a scoring pass late, combining with Kyren Lacy on a 19-yard touchdown.

Louisiana (0-1) got on the board first via a 37-yard field goal by Kenneth Almendares at the end of a 42-yard drive with 8:16 to play in the first quarter. Texas answered with an 18-yard TD pass from Card to Robinson at the 2:25 mark of the first that culminated an 11-play, 70-yard march.

The Longhorns added to their lead when Card hit Cade Brewer on a 6-yard touchdown pass with two minutes to play before halftime. Almendares booted a career-long 48-yard field goal on the final play of the half to allow the Ragin’ Cajuns to pull to within 14-6 at the break.

Robinson stutter-stepped his way to a 7-yard TD run on the opening drive of the third quarter to push Texas’ lead to 21-6. Louisiana responded on the ensuing possession with a 27-yard touchdown run around right end by Chris Smith before Almendares’ extra point was blocked by the Longhorns’ Keondre Coburn.

Card’s 3-yard scoring run expanded Texas’ advantage to 28-12 with 2:43 to play in the third quarter. Whittington’s 14-yard catch-and-run TD from backup quarterback Casey Thompson early in the fourth quarter removed any real notion of a comeback from Louisiana.

Texas’ Cameron Dicker booted a 49-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter to provide the final margin of victory.

–Field Level Media

Oct 5, 2019; Morgantown, WV, USA; Texas Longhorns helmets sit in the tunnel at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

5-star 2023 RB Reuben Owens decommits from Texas

Reuben Owens, a five-star running back prospect in the Class of 2023, announced his decommitment from Texas on Thursday.

He committed to the Longhorns on Feb. 25 but since received offers from Alabama and Texas Tech. He made unofficial visits to Alabama and LSU this spring.

Owens, from El Campo, Texas, said he has not ruled out joining coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns.

“There is a lot to carefully evaluate especially this early & now I see that, although Univ of Texas will be one of the programs I will consider, I am officially decommitting & reopening my recruiting campaign,” he tweeted Thursday.

The 247Sports composite ranks the 5-foot-11 Owens as the No. 2 running back in the nation and the No. 24 player overall. He currently has 25 offers, including at least one from each of the Power Five conferences.

–Field Level Media

Oct 5, 2019; Morgantown, WV, USA; Texas Longhorns helmets sit in the tunnel at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Texas pauses practice due to COVID-19 protocols

Texas has paused spring football practice because of COVID-19 protocols.

A school statement said players will take part in virtual meetings on Thursday and that practices “will not take place for the next several days.”

Spring practice began Tuesday under first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian. The Longhorns finished 7-3 last season but fired coach Tom Herman, who had a 32-18 record over four seasons.

The Orange-White spring game remains tentatively scheduled for April 24.

Tennessee, Duke and Ohio State are among the teams to have halted football activities in recent weeks because of COVID-19 protocols.

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2020; San Antonio, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns mascot Bevo XV during the Alamo Bowl against the Colorado Buffaloes at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

UT committee: ‘Eyes of Texas’ not racist; students shouldn’t have to sing

Sep 13, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Cam Robinson (74) protects the line from the rushing Indianapolis Colts defensive end Justin Houston (50) during the second half at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

A committee established by the University of Texas to study the “Eyes of Texas” released its findings Tuesday, concluding the song is not racist but said students and student-athletes should not be forced to sing the lyrics.

The school song played at athletic events by the university band and established as a tradition by the Longhorns was protested by Black players during the 2020 football season. Head coach Tom Herman, who was fired, refused to demand players participate in singing the song on the field, per tradition, after concerns were raised about the song, released in 1903.

Texas athletic boosters roundly and vocally rejected the notion that the song might have racist undertones and questioned Herman’s decision to clear players from participating.

The committee said there should be no requirement for students to sing the song. That runs counter to a directive established in October, when UT athletic director Chris Del Conte met with players and laid out expectations for all athletes to remain on the field and stand to “honor the fans” while the song was played. He did not mandate they sing along.

According to the committee’s findings, the song was not written with racist intent. The report does accept, however, the first public performance was likely by performers in blackface during a minstrel show in 1903.

“These historical facts add complexity and richness to the story of a song that debuted in a racist setting, exceedingly common for the time, but, as the preponderance of research showed, had no racist intent,” the report summary reads. “‘The Eyes of Texas’” should not only unite us, but hold all of us accountable to our institution’s core values.”

Longhorn Network aired an interview Tuesday with school president Jay Hartzell who said he hopes the committee’s findings can bring more honest conversation on the topic.

“The hope is that everybody will use this report as an opportunity to come forward with the same fact base and be able to have more conversations, certainly including with our student-athletes,” Hartzell said.

When asked if the song has racist undertones, Hartzell said: “For me, the song itself doesn’t. But it certainly was present at different times where those undertones existed. You go back to thinking about its first performance in 1903 at a minstrel show. I mean, you cannot deny that that performance has the racial undertones and overtones, if you will. Hateful things. But on the other hand, if you look at the way, to me, the song was composed, written and designed … it was not designed for that.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2020; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Keondre Coburn (99) rushes Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy (15) in the second quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

No. 15 Iowa State tops No. 20 Texas, takes control of Big 12

Breece Hall scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:25 to play to lift No. 15 Iowa State to a 23-20 come-from-behind victory over No. 20 Texas on Friday in a key Big 12 Conference dustup in Austin, Texas.

Hall, the nation’s leading rusher entering the contest with an average of 148 yards per game, was held to 91 yards on 20 carries, the first time this season he had been held to less than 100 yards.

Texas had a final chance to get in position to attempt a tying field goal, moving to the Iowa State 36 before quarterback Sam Ehlinger took a sack with three seconds left. Cameron Dicker’s 58-yard attempt on the game’s final play sailed wide left, granting the Cyclones the win.

It’s the first time the Cyclones have defeated Oklahoma and Texas in the same season and all but guaranteed Iowa State a spot in the Big 12 Championship game on Dec. 19 in Arlington, Texas. Iowa State has not won a conference title since 1912 and has never played in a conference championship game.

Brock Purdy threw for 312 yards and a score for the Cyclones (7-2, 7-1 Big 12) with tight end Charlie Kolar hauling in six catches for 131 yards.

Ehlinger passed for 298 yards and a score and ran for 65 yards and another TD in his final home game. Brennan Eagles caught five passes for 142 yards to lead the Longhorns (5-3, 4-3).

Texas scored on all three of its first quarter possessions, as field goals from Dicker — from 21 and 42 yards, respectively — were sandwiched around a 17-yard TD run by Ehlinger. Iowa State countered with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Purdy to Sean Shaw.

Connor Assalley’s 26-yard field goal midway through the second quarter brought the Cyclones to within 13-10 but his chance to tie the game via a 41-yard attempt on the half’s final snap was short and right.

The Longhorns added to their lead on their first possession of the third quarter via a 7-yard scoring pass from Ehlinger to Jared Wiley.

Assalley booted a 29-yard field goal with 2:54 to play in the third quarter and another, from 38 yards away, on the second snap of the fourth quarter to cut Texas’ lead to 20-16.

–Field Level Media

Apr 4, 2020; Austin, TX, USA;Texas Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) celebrates with wide receiver Joshua Moore (6) after scoring a touchdown against UTEP Miners in the first quarte rat Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman via USA TODAY NETWORK

Ehlinger’s 5 TD passes help No. 14 Texas stampede past UTEP

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw for 426 yards and touchdowns to five different receivers, all in the first half, as the No. 14 Longhorns stampeded past visiting UTEP 59-3 on Saturday in Austin, Texas.

Ehlinger was 25 of 33 through the air over the first two quarters while staking Texas (1-0) to an overwhelming advantage in its season opener. Ehlinger, the Longhorns’ Heisman Trophy candidate, hit Joshua Moore for a 78-yard score on the game’s opening play and never looked back.

Tight end Cade Brewer hauled in Ehlinger’s second TD pass, from 20 yards away, before Roschon Johnson plunged in for a 1-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter. Ehlinger then hit Brenden Schooler, a grad transfer from Oregon by way of Arizona, for a 40- yard score.

By the end of the half, Ehlinger added TD tosses to Tarik Black, a grad transfer from Michigan, and a fifth scoring pass to walk-on Kai Money from 6 yards away.

Cameron Dicker kicked a 32-yard field goal for the Longhorns while Gavin Baechle countered with a career-long 47-yard FG for UTEP, both in the second quarter.

Nine different receivers caught passes for Texas in the first half as the Longhorns outgained UTEP 498-121 over the first two quarters before turning over the game to their reserves. Texas ended up with a 689-233 offensive edge.

Ehlinger posted the third best passing yardage day in school history, and had a career-high in scoring passes, and he did it in one half. The senior signalcaller played the first series of the third quarter before heading to the bench.

Longhorns backup quarterback Casey Thompson threw the first two TD passes of his career in the second half, finding Brennan Eagles for a 35-yard scoring hookup in the third quarter and Marcus Washington for a 17-yard touchdown with 13 minutes to play.

The Longhorns racked up a school-record 481 passing yards, eclipsing the program’s single-game mark set in 1987 (476 vs Houston).

The Miners (1-1) were led by Gavin Hardison’s 141 passing yards and Deion Hankins’ 34 yards on the ground in 11 carries.

UTEP, who was a 43-point underdog out of Conference USA, has lost all six of the games its played against Texas in a series that dates back to 1930.

–Field Level Media

Oct 19, 2019; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns live mascot Bevo introduced to crowd before game against Kansas Jayhawks at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Top recruit in 2022 commits to Texas

Quarterback Quinn Ewers, the top-rated high school recruit in the Class of 2022 according to most services, on Friday announced his commitment to Texas, giving the Longhorns the top player in their home state and one of their most significant recruiting wins in decades.

Ewers, who reportedly had Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State and Oklahoma among his finalists, is the top-rated incoming high school junior in the nation, per ESPN and 247Sports, with one analyst for the latter saying he may be slightly ahead in his development of where Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence was through his sophomore season.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Southlake Carroll star announced his decision on Twitter, simply posting the word “COMMITTED!!” and images of him in high school and Longhorns uniforms.

According to 247Sports, Ewers completed 72 percent of his passes for 4,003 yards, 45 touchdowns and three interceptions as a sophomore. He also ran for 568 yards and nine touchdowns in leading his team to a 13-1 record and spot in the state quarterfinals, where their season ended with a 49-35 loss to Duncanville.

The last No. 1 overall recruit in the 247Sports composite to sign with Texas was quarterback Vince Young in 2002. Young threw for 6,040 yards, 44 touchdowns and 28 interceptions in three seasons with the Longhorns, adding 3,127 yards and 37 touchdowns rushing.

He led Texas to a 13-0 record and the national championship in the 2005 season, finishing second in the Heisman Trophy balloting to USC running back Reggie Bush — who would later vacate the award during an investigation into whether Bush’s family received improper benefits.

–Field Level Media