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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

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October 4, 2022

Turnovers from both teams crucial in Texas’ 33-30 win over Kansas State

Lorianne Willett

Turnovers changed the course of No. 7 Texas’ 33-30 overtime win over No. 23 Kansas State. 

Texas was able to force two true turnovers to start the second half. 

Sophomore defensive back Michael Taaffe picked off Kansas State quarterback Will Howard by snagging the ball out of the receiver’s hands as it was bobbled. The interception is Taaffe’s third in three games and he now leads all Texas players. 

“When the opportunity comes, I’m going to make my play,” Taaffe said. “I’m not going to go out of my way to do somebody else’s job to go get a pick, I’m gonna do my job. Terrance Brooks did a great job, breaking the pass up, and that allowed me to make my play.”

Taaffe is now the first Longhorn player since 2017 to have three interceptions in three straight games, following in the footsteps of DeShon Elliott. 

On the next drive, sophomore edge Ethan Burke forced Howard to fumble with a strip-sack and senior linebacker Jaylon Ford recovered the ball on Kansas State’s five-yard line. 

“It was a plug blitz, so I shot one side, (Anthony Hill) shot the other, and then Burke came off the edge,” Ford said. “The quarterback fumbled it, so I just tried to get in and try to get as close to the ball and then I saw it leak out of his back and just instincts grabbed the ball trying to get the turnover.”

Texas was able to use the turnover to its advantage, scoring a touchdown to extend its lead to 24-7. 

While forcing turnovers on defense, the Texas offense struggled with turnovers of its own. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Maalik Murphy threw two interceptions. In the fourth quarter, sophomore running back Jonathon Brooks fumbled, setting up another Kansas State touchdown. 

Despite his interceptions, Sarkisian still has full confidence in Murphy, knowing he has a lot to learn. 

“I think one thing for Maalik is that not every play is going to be the play,” Sarkisian said. “Hopefully he can understand that we’re going to be an aggressive play-calling team, and he’s gonna have plenty of opportunities to make throws.”

Even with all of the interceptions and fumbles, the biggest turnovers of the game were turnovers on downs. 

In the fourth quarter, Kansas State turned the ball over on downs after kicker Chris Tennant missed a 27-yard field goal attempt wide left. The field goal would have tied the game at 30-30. 

The Wildcats were able to tie the game at 30-30, sending it to overtime with a field goal with one second left. 

In overtime, Texas was held to only a field goal. Kansas State took the field on defense first, and it needed a touchdown to secure the win. Kansas State moved the ball downfield for a 19-yard gain on its first play. 

The Texas defense only allowed two more yards. Kansas State failed to gain any yards on first, second and third down, ultimately making the decision to go for the win on fourth down. 

On fourth down, Barryn Sorrell rushed Howard, who threw the ball in an attempt to make progress. T’Vondre Sweat batted the ball down for an incomplete pass, and Texas escaped with the win.

Sarkisian and his players said that this win is a testament to the team’s culture and its ability to face adversity. 

“Two years ago, I don’t know if we (would’ve) come up on top,” Taaffe said. “That just shows our culture, that just shows who we are as leaders and as a team. We’re bonded together.”

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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.