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 pushed through ‘self-inflicted wounds’ in 33-30 overtime win over Kansas State

Lorianne Willett

On the final play of overtime against Kansas State, senior defensive back Ryan Watts lined up in what looked like man coverage. He slightly nodded to senior defensive back Jahdae Barron and it was all senior Kansas State quarterback Will Howard needed to see to know he wouldn’t have the play he wanted to run.

With his top receiver covered, Howard dropped back into the pocket, but was met with immense pressure from junior defensive lineman Byron Murphy. Howard threw up a stray pass, but it was almost caught by senior defensive tackle T’Vondre Sweat and batted down by senior linebacker David Gbenda. 

Even though the game ended in overtime, Texas had a 27-7 lead going into the third quarter. Head coach Steve Sarkisian cited his team’s “self-inflicted wounds” for the reason Kansas State only needed five plays to tie the game. 

“We had two missed tackles by very reliable players which was uncharacteristic,” Sarkisian said. “Then on the sudden change after the turnover, the post for the touchdown where we blow the coverage, which again, (was) uncharacteristic.”

The Wildcats scored to end the third quarter and then immediately forced and recovered a fumble, setting up a second touchdown two plays later. On Texas’s next drive, Kansas State blocked senior punter Ryan Sanborn’s punt and then scored on its next play. 

“The three turnovers, the blocked punt, the turnover on downs, that’s basically five times we gave (Kansas State) the ball,” Sarkisian said. “Four of those five were with a short field and that created momentum and then two of the touchdowns they scored.”

Their multiple mistakes changed the course of the football game. Texas led by 20 and its lead was gone in less than three minutes. Despite the missteps, Sarkisian praised his team for playing well. 

“I was thoroughly impressed with the physicality in which we played that game,” Sarkisian said. “I would say for our team, we really played good football the majority of the game.” 

The physical defensive line led by Sweat and Murphy held a Kansas State team that averaged over 205 rushing yards per game to just 33 yards on the ground. The defensive line also brought heavy pressure to Howard. 

Murphy sacked Howard once and sophomore edge Ethan Burke sacked Howard twice, once being a strip sack recovered by senior linebacker Jaylon Ford. Burke missed the BYU game with a knee injury, but returned in dominant fashion, with his strip-sack leading to a Texas touchdown. 

“I thought our defensive line was absolutely dominant in the game,” Sarkisian said. “It was really across the board from you know, I think we’re all pretty clear of what Sweat and Murphy are doing inside, but Ethan Burke having him back (is great) so that the defensive front was fantastic.” 

When redshirt freshman quarterback Maalik Murphy struggled, throwing two interceptions, his second two interception performance in two starts, he stayed strong and finished the game. His second pick came in the fourth quarter and led to a touchdown that brought Kansas State within one score. 

“I was very proud of Maalik in the response that he had on the drive in that fourth quarter to get us down (the field) to kick that field goal,” Sarkisian said. “(He had) some really big throws to add a really critical fourth down conversion to JT Sanders. We settled for the field goal but that was a really critical drive in that game to take a three point lead.” 

While sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers has made progress with his shoulder injury and has been updated to a day-to-day status, Murphy is preparing to lead Texas on the road this Saturday against TCU.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
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.