Alamo Bowl: Sam Ehlinger helps Texas dominate Utah

Jan. 1 (UPI) — Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw three touchdown passes and rushed for another score to lead the Longhorns to a dominant 38-10 win against No. 11 Utah in the 2019 Alamo Bowl.

Ehlinger completed 12 of 18 passes for 201 yards and rushed for 73 yards in the 28-point triumph Tuesday at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Longhorns running back Keaontay Ingram had 108 yards and a score on 13 carries, while also catching a touchdown in the blowout. Linebacker Joseph Ossai had three sacks for the Longhorns. The Longhorns ran for 231 yards against the Utes, who entered the game with the nation’s best run defense.

“Wow, did they play hard and we knew that’s what it was going to take,” Texas coach Tom Herman told reporters. “We knew that this was probably going to be the most physical team that we played all year, and our guys rose to the occasion.”

Texas (8-5) built a 17-0 lead on Utah (11-3) before allowing the Utes to get on the scoreboard with a third-quarter field goal. The Longhorns scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.

“This was a great game,” Ossai said. “It gives the guys a lot of confidence in what we can do and what we stand for and what we can be on defense and how dangerous we can be on defense and equally on offense.”

Cameron Dicker gave Texas a 3-0 edge with a 29-yard field goal on the game’s opening possession. Texas went up 10-0 when Ehlinger connected with Collin Johnson on a five-yard touchdown toss in the second quarter. Ingram increased the lead to 17-0 with an 11-yard touchdown catch from Ehlinger about five minutes into the second half. Jadon Redding made a 23-yard field goal for Utah to make the score 17-3 with 4:58 remaining in the third frame.

Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley threw a four-yard touchdown to Demari Simpkins with 11:34 remaining, cutting the Texas lead to 14 points, before the Longhorns put the Utes away for good.

Ehlinger threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Devin Duvernay with 8:58 remaining. Ingram ran for a 49-yard touchdown on Texas’ next possession.

The Longhorns open the 2020 season against South Florida Sept. 5 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.

“I think when we are healthy and having fun and playing for each other, and playing mistake-free, we’re really, really hard to beat,” Ehlinger said. “I’m very optimistic about the guys coming back [next season]. There’s a lot of young guys that have a lot of experience and are really, really good football players, so I’m very optimistic.”

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