Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Texas survives nail-biter in Austin versus Kansas State, keeps title hopes alive

Lorianne Willett

When Kansas State completed a 19-yard pass in overtime to place the ball at the Texas six-yard line, every heart in Darrell K Royal stadium was pounding. The stadium was rocking with nervous energy with the Wildcats just six yards away from a soul-crushing comeback overtime defeat that would’ve taken away any hope at a Big 12 championship for the Texas Longhorns.

With 102,000 fans bellowing with cheers and yells, Kansas State senior quarterback Will Howard had the entire country watching him, anticipating the worst for Texas fans. But the Texas defense wasn’t done yet.

“The crowd being there, so loud and engaged, I think that 100k right there most definitely helped us,” senior defensive back Jahdae Barron said. “We felt that our backs were against the wall and they picked us up.”

With stops on four straight downs, the Longhorn crowd rallied behind the Texas defensive front and gave the Longhorns a 33-30 victory, surviving the comeback and preserving Texas’ chances of being champions.

With Texas up 33-30 after an unsuccessful overtime drive, Kansas State was in the driver’s seat. A touchdown and it’s game over; a field goal and they survive with likely more momentum than the Longhorns. When the 19-yard pass between Howard and junior tight end Ben Sinnot connected, the Longhorns’ chances looked dire, but the game wasn’t over.

“It tested us,” Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “It tested our resiliency, it tested our culture to stick together.”

On the first play, Howard took a designed quarterback run up the gut for two yards. Kansas State was 33% of the way to pay dirt. Two more of those and it’s a Wildcat victory. 

The next play was a pass, the area where Kansas State had been beating the Longhorns. Howard and the Wildcats put up 154 yards of passing in the fourth quarter and overtime to lead the comeback. This pass, however, was broken up by senior defensive tackle T’Vondre Sweat, one of the keys to Texas’ victory in overtime.

With 3rd-and-goal from the four yard line looming, the crowd felt louder than it had all season. Howard took the snap, dropped back, maneuvered, and threw a laser to the hands of sophomore wide receiver Keagan Johnson. 


4th-and-goal at the four, and Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman had a decision to make. Kick the field goal and head to double overtime, or go for it and potentially win the game right there. After a timeout from Texas, the Wildcat offense, headed by Howard, came back onto the field.

Howard took the snap and was immediately pressured by the tandem of juniors Barryn Sorrell and Byron Murphy, forcing him to slip and flip up a prayer that fell right to Sweat, who batted it down.

“These are moments you live for,” Barryn said. “When the clock stopped and we stopped them, it was just excitement and joy.” 

Elation is the only word to describe the mood of the Longhorn football team. Players ran lengths of the field in celebration, fans were losing their minds, and Texas still had just one loss to its name.

“It was a great experience, words can’t even describe it,” Sorrell said. “You get so thankful for moments like those, and that’s obviously why you strap up that helmet.”

On the offensive side of the ball, Texas started hot, but finished poorly. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Maalik Murphy led the team to a 17-point lead in the first four drives, connecting on long balls to junior wide receiver Adonai Mitchell on multiple occasions. 

“We were dialed in,” Murphy said. “Honestly, all the receivers had a great week of practice (and) I was confident coming into this game.”

But the offense stalled, failing to score for over 13 minutes between the second and third quarters as they went five straight drives with turnovers or punts. They did rally off of a fumble forced by sophomore edge rusher Ethan Burke in the third, punching in a five yard run from sophomore running back Jonathon Brooks. Apart from that drive with field position starting at the Kansas State five, they failed to score any more touchdowns after 11:34 to go in the second quarter.

“There’s things in there that hopefully we can grow from in this game, that he can continue to improve,” Sarkisian said. 

Murphy finished with 248 yards passing with a touchdown and two interceptions, with Mitchell converting on the touchdown and 149 of those total yards. Sophomore running back Jonathon Brooks added 112 on the ground, while freshman Cedric Baxter added 90 with just 10 carries.

“We’re not a one-dimensional team,” Sarkisian said.  “We have a lot of ways in which we played really good football, and we’re not reliant upon one aspect to play well.”

The Longhorns will travel to Fort Worth next week to face the TCU Horned Frogs, with the Big 12 championship nearing closer.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Evan Vieth, Senior Sports Reporter
Evan is a sophomore journalism major from Washington, DC. He currently covers Baseball for the Sports section but has also covered Soccer and Men's Tennis in the past. In his free time he's either recording a podcast, watching sports, or constantly checking his fantasy football team.
Lorianne Willett, Double Coverage Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Double Coverage Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.