In a stunning upset, the 11th-ranked Texas Longhorns defeated the third-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide with a score of 34-24 in a thrilling game that showcased the Longhorns' potential return to national championship contention. Led by quarterback Quinn Ewers, who finished with 349 passing yards and three touchdowns, Texas delivered the biggest victory of coach Steve Sarkisian's tenure.
The game got off to a slow start, with only 19 points scored in the first half. However, both teams exploded offensively in the second half, combining for 39 points. Alabama opened the third quarter with a field goal, cutting their deficit to four points. Texas had an opportunity to extend their lead but missed a field goal on their next drive.
Seizing the momentum, Alabama took the lead late in the third quarter when Jalen Milroe connected with Jermaine Burton for a 49-yard touchdown. But Texas quickly responded in the fourth quarter. A 50-yard gain set up a touchdown pass from Ewers to Adonai Mitchell, putting the Longhorns up by four.
On the Crimson Tide's first play of the subsequent drive, Milroe threw an interception that Jerrin Thompson returned to the Alabama five-yard line. Running back Jonathan Brooks capitalized on the turnover, rushing into the end zone and extending Texas' lead to 27-16. Alabama fought back with a 39-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Amari Niblack and a successful two-point conversion, making it a three-point game.
However, the Longhorns once again found success with a long touchdown pass, this time connecting Ewers with Mitchell. With a ten-point lead, the Texas defense forced a three-and-out, giving their offense the ball with just over seven minutes remaining. The Longhorns ran the ball nine consecutive times, effectively running down the clock. On fourth down, Texas drew Alabama offsides, securing a first down and allowing them to kneel out the clock.
Ewers' standout performance was supported by receiver Ja'Tavion Sanders, who recorded 114 receiving yards, and Xavier Worthy, who contributed five catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. The victory over Alabama solidified Texas' status as a contender, especially as they prepare to join the SEC next year.
For Alabama, this loss marked the end of their 21-game home winning streak and a 57-game regular-season streak against nonconference teams. Jalen Milroe showed promise with big plays but was also responsible for two interceptions. Alabama now faces questions after losing multiple close games in recent seasons.
In conclusion, Texas' impressive victory over Alabama showcased their potential as a national championship contender. Led by Ewers' stellar performance and supported by key offensive weapons, the Longhorns outscored the Crimson Tide in a thrilling fourth quarter. This win not only solidified Texas' status but also raised questions about Alabama's ability to close out tight games.
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