The 17th-ranked Texas Longhorns’ Big 12 Championship hopes were dealt a decisive blow on Friday following a heartbreaking, 23-20, loss No. 13 Iowa State, as the Cyclones’ first lead of the game came with 1:25 remaining in the fourth quarter on Breece Hall’s go-ahead touchdown run.
It was Iowa State’s first win at Texas since 2010 and all but assured the Cyclones a spot in the league title game on Dec. 19.
Longhorns coach Tom Herman was criticized after two fourth-down decisions backfired in the second half, including one attempt midway through the fourth quarter with the Longhorns leading, 20-16, inside the Cyclones’ 15-yard line. The Texas defense was unable to maintain its four-point lead in the final moments.
“I know it’s a tough situation there, but I like the call of going for it there on 4th-and-1,” said ESPN analyst Mike Golic Jr. during the broadcast. “In modern football when the offensive line is playing well today with a running quarterback, that’s like doubling down on 11. No matter what the dealer is showing, I’m ready to ride in that situation. We see great teams on Saturdays and Sunday riding in that situation.”
In what could amount to a “legacy game” for Longhorns senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger, as ABC analyst Mark Sanchez put it, the Texas veteran threw for 298 yards and ran for another 68 on the ground, accounting for two touchdowns.
Here’s some of the reaction following one of the most important Big 12 games of the season: