Stillwater, OK – Joe Bergeron scored the game-winning touchdown with 29 seconds remaining as the 12th-ranked Texas Longhorns edged Oklahoma State, 41-36, at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday.
Trailing, 36-34, Texas began the decisive drive at its own 25. After throwing an incompletion on first down, and running for no gain on second down, the Longhorns faced a critical 3rd-and-10 with 1:48 to play.
David Ash hit Jeremy Hills for a short four-yard gain, bringing up 4th- and-6. Showing excellent composure, Ash dropped back and connected with D.J. Grant in stride for 29 yards down to the Oklahoma State 42.
Ash found Mike Davis for 32 more yards on 2nd-and-5 and Bergeron capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown push, putting the Longhorns in front.
The play was reviewed, as it appeared that Bergeron lost the ball in the scrum at the goal line, but the call was upheld.
Facing 4th-and-8 on the final play of the game, J.W. Walsh completed a pass to Tracy Moore for 16 yards, but the series of laterals as time ran out amounted to nothing, sealing the win for Texas.
"I thought we did the things that we do at Oklahoma State, things that normally win the game," OSU running back Joseph Randle said. "We gave it our all. We fought to the end. Even before that last play, everyone in the huddle thought we were still going to win the game. We just lost."
Ash finished with 304 yards, three touchdowns and one interception on 30-of-37 passing, while Bergeron had two scores and ran for 48 yards on 15 carries for the Longhorns (4-0, 1-0 Big 12), who are 13-2 under coach Mack Brown in Big-12 openers.
"A righteous man falls down seven times and gets back up seven times," Ash said. "I think it showed that we have some resilience and that we've got some fight inside of us and we aren't going to lay down ever. That's probably what I'm most proud of. Guys giving everything they have. If we had lost that game, I'd still be proud of those guys because we battled and we battled hard against a great team."
Jaxon Shipley caught a career-high three touchdown passes and Davis added four catches for 49 yards.
Randle ran for a career-high 199 yards and added two scores on 25 carries, while Walsh finished with 301 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 18-of-27 passing for the Cowboys (2-2, 0-1) who have not beaten Texas in Stillwater since 1997. Josh Stewart and John Goodlett caught touchdown passes in the setback.
Oklahoma State needed just two offensive plays to find the end zone, as Randle took a handoff at the 31 and easily broke through several potential tackles before galloping 69 yards down the left sideline for the early lead.
The Longhorns struck back on their first drive of the game as Ash led them into Oklahoma State territory to the 44 before connecting with a wide-open Shipley in the end zone for the score, tying the game.
Walsh was picked off by Kenny Vacaro on the Cowboys next possession, giving the ball back to Texas at the Oklahoma State 23.
From there, it took just three plays for Ash to find Shipley in the back left corner of the end zone for a 20-yard TD strike and a 14-7 lead.
After the teams exchanged punts on their next drives, the Cowboys got the ball on their own 38. On first down at the Texas 44, Stewart hauled in a high throw from Walsh, bounced off a weak tackle attempt and sprinted 44 yards for the score.
But, on the ensuing kickoff, D.J. Monroe took it the length of the field for the touchdown, putting the Longhorns ahead, 21-14.
Oklahoma State bridged the first and second quarters with a 12-play, 51-yard drive down to the Texas 6 and Quinn Sharp hit the 23-yard field goal to bring the Cowboys within 21-17 early in the second frame.
The Cowboys had a chance to draw to within one just before the half as Sharp lined up a 53-yard field goal attempt with less than a minute to go in the opening half, but pushed it wide right.
Oklahoma State came up with a big defensive play early in the third quarter as Tyler Johnson picked off Ash and was downed at the Cowboys' 19.
From there, the Cowboys went 61 yards in 10 plays before Sharp was good from 38 yards out, cutting the deficit to one.
On the ensuing Texas possession, Ash completed six passes -- including a 7- yard touchdown strike to Shipley -- during a 13-play, 75-yard drive to give the Longhorns a 28-20 lead late in the third quarter.
The Cowboys needed just two plays on their next touch to make it a two-point game with 19 seconds to go in the quarter. Walsh hit Stewart for 23 yards and then connected with Goodlett on a 20-yard touchdown pass.
Originally the play was called an incompletion as it appeared that Goodlett never had control of the ball, but upon official review, it was determined that he maintained possession across the goal line long enough for the score. The two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
The Cowboys forced Texas to punt on its next possession and got the ball back at their own 11 early in the final quarter. Walsh gave his team some breathing room with a 50-yard run on first down, and Randle capped the eight- play, 89-yard march with a 2-yard touchdown plunge to give Oklahoma State a 33-28 lead.
Ash led a nine-play, 75 yard drive on the ensuing Texas possession, which culminated in a 1-yard touchdown run by Bergeron to give the Longhorns a one- point lead with 5:48 remaining.
Sharp booted a 24-yard field goal on Oklahoma State's next possession to make it 36-34.
Entering play on Saturday, Oklahoma State had won five consecutive games against ranked opponents ... Texas has won 42 of its last 46 games in the month of September ... The Longhorns lead the all-time series between the teams, 23-4 and has won 13 of the last 15 matchups ...It was Randle's fourth consecutive 100-plus yard rushing performance.