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Longhorns Near-Miracle OT Win vs. Texas Tech Wiped Away By Fumble

The Texas Longhorns had a miracle, then they didn't, as the Texas Tech Red Raiders prevailed in the Big 12 opener.

The No. 22 Texas Longhorns entered the Big 12 opener in Lubbock against the Texas Tech Red Raiders with a load of confidence after showing some serious growth through the first three weeks of the season considering how last season ended. 

A near-upset over No. 1 Alabama was followed by a double-digit comeback against UTSA, as the Longhorns had clearly taken a step forward. 

But maybe a step back was inevitable, as the Longhorns (2-2) fell 37-34 in overtime to Texas Tech (3-1) on Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium.

The Longhorns defense had sustained one long drive too many, as the Red Raiders used 11 plays to drain five minutes off the clock before kicker Trey Wolff nailed a go-ahead 45-yard field goal to give Tech a 34-31 lead. 

However, the theme of the day continued, as the Longhorns answered Tech's long drive with a short, four-yard drive in 46 seconds that ended with Bert Auburn kicking a 48-yard field goal to send the game in to overtime. 

But a fumble from Texas running back Bijan Robinson - a normally sure-handed ball-carrier who had 16 carries for 101 yards and two touchdowns - came on the first play of overtime. Tech was able to run it to the goal line before kicking the game-winning field goal. 

Texas Tech dominated time of possession (35:34 to 24:06) as more certainly equaled better for the Red Raiders.

Texas quarterback Hudson Card finished 20 of 30 for 277 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Receiver Jordan Whittington led Texas 53 yards on four catches while Xavier Worthy had three grabs for 50 yards and a touchdown. 

It was quick pickings for the Texas offense on the first possession of the game, Card led a three-play, 62-yard touchdown drive. Keilan Robinson set things up with 31-yard return off the opening kick before finishing off the drive moments later with a stumbling 35-yard catch-and-run touchdown.

But quick action for Texas was countered with methodical football for the Red Raiders in the first half. Tech's first two drives of the game both resulted in touchdowns and took up 31 total plays against a tired Longhorns defense that started committing crucial penalties and allowing the Red Raiders to fight for extra yardage. 

Down 14-10, hopes for a bounce-back drive for Texas was negated after Card tossed his first pick of the season. But after a three-and-out by the Tech offense, Card made up for it and finally got the big play through the air the offense has been searching for.

A drive that was initially dominated by the legs, power, and elusiveness of running backs Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson, ended with 39-yard touchdown connection from Card to Worthy. 

Bijan then got in the scoring action right before the half to give Texas a 24-14 lead.

The Red Raiders opened the second half with the ball, but generously gave Texas a short field by going for it and failing at their own 40-yard line down 24-14. 

But the Longhorns, despite an impressive first half on offensive, took the short field and did nothing with it, turning it over on downs back to Tech. 

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An ensuing 15-play drive for the Red Raiders produced a field goal, making it a 24-17 lead for Texas. 

It didn't take long for the Longhorns to make McGuire wish he had gone for it on the goal line again. 

The legs of Card and Robinson helped capitalize Texas' next drive, one that ended with Bijan tip-toeing down the right sideline for a 40-yard touchdown. But it was Card's third-down pass to Casey Cain and 22-yard third-down scramble that got the Horns there. 

That's two-straight weeks that Card has broken open a big scramble. Maybe adrenaline takes command of the pain on that ankle once he hits the field. 

But credit is due to the Red Raiders, who responded on both ends after Texas' scoring drive with 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive of their own before forcing the Longhorns into a three-and-out. 

Another possession meant more aggression for McGuire, who made the offense attempt its sixth fourth-down try of the day. But despite previously successful results at the goal line, the Texas defense turned the tide in a major way with a fourth-down stop of Smith at the two-yard line to keep a 31-24 lead. 

However, the Red Raiders quickly got their chance again and converted this time around. After an ensuing punt from the Horns, Texas' defense fell asleep, allowing Smith to throw a strike to tight end Baylor Cupp for a 19-yard touchdown to tie the game at 31-31. 

From there, it was all Tech for the rest of regulation, as the Red Raiders snapped, ran, and threw the air out of the ball before Wolff's go-ahead field goal. 

When the Longhorns got the ball back, Card put together a miracle drive that saw receiver Tarique Milton make a spectacular one-handed grab on the right sideline for a 28-yard gain. 

But Texas got the ball first in overtime and Bijan's fumble overshadowed any such miraculous win the Longhorns were hoping for. 


You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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