Texas Football: 4 takeaways from Horns heart-pumping OT win vs. K-State

Maalik Murphy, Texas football. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Maalik Murphy, Texas football. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ethan Burke, Byron Murphy II, Texas football
Ethan Burke, Byron Murphy II, Texas football /

A big-time test for No. 7 Texas football saw head coach Steve Sarkisian’s squad host head coach Chris Klieman and the No. 23 ranked Kansas State Wildcats at home at DKR in Austin on Nov. 4. Texas needed a win over Kansas State to keep its College Football Playoff hopes alive and control of its destiny in the race for a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game down the stretch.

Kansas State also came into this game looking to stay atop the Big 12 standings. Both Texas and Kansas State entered Week 10 with 4-1 records in conference play. Texas and Kansas State were tied atop the Big 12 standings with the No. 21 Kansas Jayhawks, No. 22 Oklahoma State Cowboys, and Iowa State Cyclones heading into the weekend.

This matchup against Kansas State was one of Texas’ most difficult for the remaining regular season schedule in November. The Wildcats were red hot coming into this game, having won their last two by a combined margin of nearly 80 points against the Houston Cougars and TCU Horned Frogs.

But Texas looked good last week in a convincing 35-6 win over the BYU Cougars. And the Longhorns took some of that momentum into the first quarter against Kansas State this weekend.

Texas looked like it was in firm control of this game until a blocked punt by Kansas State set up the Wildcat offense in plus territory for the first time late in the first half. The Wildcats scored a touchdown to close Texas’ lead to just 10 points just before halftime.

Steve Sarkisian and No. 7 Texas football barely survive No. 23 Kansas State in overtime

The Longhorns took the momentum back, though, with a solid start to the second half that saw the Texas defense turn Kansas State over twice. From then on out, though, the momentum was pretty much with Kansas State the entire way.

Kansas State made a big late push to go on a 23-3 run to close out the second half. Somehow, Texas was able to rattle off the overtime win behind a big fourth-down stop to get the 33-30 win over Kansas State.

Here are four takeaways from the Longhorns’ narrow 33-30 overtime win over Kansas State in Week 10.

Ethan Burke steps up to give Texas the impact pass rusher it sorely needs coming off the edge

Entering Week 10, we didn’t know if sophomore edge rusher Ethan Burke would be available for Texas after he suffered a knee injury in the Longhorns’ Week 8 win on the road over Houston. Sark listed Burke as “week-to-week” when he updated the injury status for key Longhorns players in a press conference earlier this week.

But Burke made a speedy recovery after undergoing a knee scope last week to get ready for this matchup against Kansas State.

Burke couldn’t have made a bigger impact on this game as a standout pass rusher and a key playmaker for the Longhorns up front. Burke’s impact on the game was felt early in the first half when he got his second sack in the last two games he’s played on senior quarterback Will Howard.

The strip sack by Burke early in the third quarter on Howard was recovered by senior linebacker Jaylan Ford. That turnover set Texas up on the doorstep of Kansas State’s end zone in a goal-to-go situation.

It only took one play for redshirt sophomore running back Jonathon Brooks to get in the end zone to put Texas back up by three scores at the time.