SAN ANTONIO (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The unranked Texas Longhorns pulled off an upset against a team that was a win away from a likely bid to the College Football Playoff.
But the Utah Utes (11-3) were no match for the Longhorns (8-5) on Tuesday night, who fell well short of expectations in 2019 after starting the year with a Sugar Bowl win against Georgia.
Texas defeated Utah 38-10 on New Year’s Eve and are the first Big 12 team to win a bowl game this bowl season.
Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw three touchdown passes and ran for a touchdown, while throwing one interception.
The Longhorns had not played in the Alamo Bowl since 2013, the final game of Mack Brown’s tenure as coach at Texas, and also played in the postseason game the previous year, beating Oregon State.
UT physically handled the Utes at the line of scrimmage.
Longhorns linebacker Joseph Ossai had three sacks of quarterback Tyler Huntley and six total tackles for a loss.
Texas also pounded out 231 yards rushing against the nation’s No. 1 defense against the run, which had held 10 opponents under 70 yards.
Texas’ biggest run came on a 31-yard burst by Ehlinger on third down on the drive that led to his 6-yard touchdown that made it 24-3 late in the third quarter.
Keaontay Ingram later added a 49-yard TD burst on the sideline late in the fourth.
Ehlinger finished with 201 yards passing. His first touchdown went to Collin Johnson, who missed six games this season with a nagging hamstring injury.
His last was to Devin Duvernay, who caught three passes for 92 yards.
Utah: The Utes delivered a dud after a season that was so good until December. Coach Kyle Whittingham had talked about what a boost getting a 12th win would be, particularly against a name program like Texas. Now the Utes head into 2020 needing to replace nine senior starters, six on a defense that was among the best in the nation much of the season.
Texas: For the second straight year, Texas used a bowl win to pummel a team that just missed the national playoff. What it means for 2020, there’s no way to tell. Texas will have new offensive (Mike Yurcich) and defensive (Chris Ash) coordinators in what will be a pivotal year for coach Tom Herman. The Longhorns expect to return 15 starters.
Utah plays BYU in Salt Lake City on Sept. 5.
Texas hosts South Florida on Sept. 5.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)