AUSTIN (AP) — Backup quarterback Tyrone Swoopes scored three touchdowns and the Texas Longhorns defeated Kansas State 23-9 Saturday in game played in a heavy rain storm.
Swoopes, a 244-pound junior who started last season, is now used primarily in short yardage situations. His first two touchdowns were on short runs, but his last one, which secured victory, covered 10 yards with 1:47 remaining. Swoopes ran for 13 and 29 yards on the previous two plays.
Texas (3-4, 2-2 Big 12) rushed for 274 yards, maintaining a strength the Longhorns created with 313 yards on the ground — its most since 2013 — during a victory against Oklahoma on Oct. 10.
Tailback Johnathan Gray led Texas with 103 yards against Kansas State (3-4, 0-4).
Charles Jones, Kansas State’s junior running back, rushed for a career-best 122 yards. Jones gained 87 in the second half.
Kansas State has lost four consecutive games for the first time since 2005.
The Longhorns made their intentions known right away, running the ball on nearly every play while building a 16-6 halftime lead.
Texas gained 188 yards on the ground in the half, including 89 by Gray and 73 from quarterback Jerrod Heard. Gray set up one touchdown with a 46-yard burst along the right side in the second quarter.
Swoopes scored both touchdowns in the half, from 1 yard and 2.
Heard attempted just four passes in the half, three of them short, underhand flips to wide receiver Daje Johnson on sweeps that were more like handoffs.
The only conventional pass that Heard threw in the half was incomplete.
Texas dominated the half until Kansas State responded with a 78-yard touchdown drive that the Wildcats finished with 32 seconds remaining. Dominique Heath scored on a 7-yard pass from Joe Hubener.
The touchdown snapped a streak in which Kansas State was outscored 78-0 by TCU, Oklahoma and Texas.
Texas then let Kansas State off the hook midway through the third period. Hubener’s errant pass was dropped by safety Dylan Haines, who had open space ahead for a long return. Instead, Kansas State kicked a field goal.
Haines later made an interception that set up Swoopes’ final touchdown.
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