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Longhorns look to rebound in Sugar Bowl

The Texas Longhorns fell to the Oklahoma Sooners 39-27 on Saturday at AT&T Stadium, denying them of the program’s first conference title since 2009 and senior defensive end Breckyn Hager’s elusive haircut.

With the Sooners now headed to Miami Gardens for the College Football Playoffs, Texas will conclude its 2018 campaign with a New Year’s Six bowl appearance at the Sugar Bowl against the Georgia Bulldogs on January 1 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

In its loss to Oklahoma, Texas saw some trends end while some continued.

The Longhorns struck first on a nine play 75-yard drive capped by a 16-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger. Texas entered the game, 5-0 on the season when it scored first.

Ehlinger ran in another touchdown in the second quarter to extend the Longhorn lead to 14-6, it was Ehlinger’s sixth career rushing touchdown against the Sooners, the most by a Longhorn since at least 2000.

When Ehlinger was not rushing for touchdowns he was throwing the ball, particularly to junior wide receiver Collin Johnson. Johnson set the Big 12 Championship game record with 177 yards receiving, catching eight passes including a touchdown in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 27-21.

STATurday Nugget: If he plays in the bowl game, Collin Johnson will need just 55 yards to become the eight Longhorns’ player in program history to record at least 1,000 yards receiving in a season. The Only other time Texas featured two, 1,000 yard receivers in same season was 2008.

Johnson has recorded over 55 yards receiving in eight of the 12 games he has played so far.

Texas tied the game in the third quarter on a five-yard touchdown reception by junior wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Entering Saturday’s game, the Longhorns were 9-1 in Humphrey’s career when the junior scored a touchdown.

Humphrey currently has 1,109 yards receiving on the season, good for fifth place in Longhorn history. With just 80 yards in the Sugar Bowl Humphrey will be alone in second place on the list for most receiving yards in a single season (currently Kwame Cavil who had 1,188 yards in 1999).

Humphrey has eclipsed 80 yards receiving in seven of the 13 games he has played in 2018.

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STATurday Nugget: Lil’Jordan Humphrey ( 1,109) and Collin Johnson (945) have now combined for 2,054 yards receiving on the season. The total is the second most by a duo in Longhorns’ history (Jordan Shipley & Quan Cosby combined for 2,183 in 2008).

The Longhorns were outscored 12-0 in the fourth quarter continuing an ugly trend of the team being unable to produce late in games throughout the 2018 season. For the year Texas’ opponents have now outscored the Longhorns 127-51 in the final frame. Texas’ -76 margin in the fourth quarter is on pace to shatter the old record for worst by the program since at least 1950 (outscored 82-33 in 1956).

Texas will look to snap its fourth quarter woes on New Year’s Day, and finish a season with double-digit wins for the first time since 2009. Texas is 1-2 all time in the Sugar Bowl with the lone win occurring on January 1, 1948 against Alabama.

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