Roschon Johnson ran for a career-high 179 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries and the Texas defense produced two fourth-down stands in the fourth quarter as the Longhorns stampeded past Kansas State 22-17 on Friday in the Big 12 Conference regular-season finale for both teams in Austin, Texas.
Texas (5-7, 3-6 Big 12) snapped a six-game losing streak, its longest since 1956. The Longhorns still could earn a bowl spot if not there are not enough six-win teams to fill the 82 postseason spots.
The much-maligned Longhorns defense came up with two stops on fourth-down-and-one in the fourth quarter, the second of which came with 4:03 to play at the Texas 17-yard line.
Casey Thompson passed for 170 yards and a TD as he shared time at quarterback with Johnson, who came to Texas as a QB but has been primarily a running back during his time in Austin.
Deuce Vaughn rushed for 143 yards and a score on 24 carries for the Wildcats (7-5, 4-5), who have clinched a bowl spot but head to the postseason with a two-game losing streak.
Will Howard passed for just 65 yards for Kansas State, but scored on a 71-yard run and finished with 82 yards on the ground.
The Longhorns took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards to a 9-yard TD run by Johnson out of the wildcat formation. Kansas State answered with a 9-yard scoring run by Vaughn at the 4:44 mark of the first quarter.
Texas went back on top with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Thompson to Cade Brewer with 13:07 to play in the second quarter but Cameron Dicker missed the PAT kick, leaving the score at 13-7. The Wildcats responded with Howard’s 71-yard keeper for a TD and a 14-13 Kansas State lead.
The teams traded field goals in the final two minutes of the half, with Chris Tennant nailing a career-best 51 yarder with 1:56 to play for Kansas State and the Longhorns countering on Dicker’s kick from 24 yards out on the last play before halftime.
The Wildcats went to the locker room up 17-16.
Dicker’s 39-yard field goal with 1:52 to play in the third quarter pushed Texas back in front at 19-16. His third field goal of the game, a 22-yarder, expanded the Longhorns’ lead to 22-17 with 7:32 remaining in the game.
–Field Level Media