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Scottie Scheffler hoped his PGA Tour Player of the Year win could bring some mojo to his Texas Longhorns, and it did for about 59 minutes and 50 seconds.
But the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide narrowly avoided an upset to unranked Texas Saturday with a last-minute field goal from Will Reichard to beat the Longhorns 20-19.
This one looked to be a high-scoring affair early, as both teams exchanged field goals and touchdowns on their first two drives of the game before both defenses buckled down.
Nine of the next 10 drives ended in punts, but the one that didn’t was costly for Texas. Kicker Bert Auburn missed a chip-shot 20-yard field goal that would have given Texas a 13-10 lead at the end of the first half.
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But he got his redemption in the third quarter, knocking through a 33-yard field goal midway through to give Texas a 13-10 lead.
The Texas defense remained tough, forcing Bama’s sixth consecutive punt, and Auburn connected on yet another field goal to give Texas a 16-10 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young did not want an upset on his hands though and marched down the field, converting a huge 4th and 2 past midfield to keep the drive going. Two plays later, he found Jahmyr Gibbs for a touchdown, and the ensuing PAT gave the Crimson Tide a 17-16 lead with 8:29 to play.
With the lead, Alabama forced a three-and-out and was in full control with 7:28 to go. Young marched down the field again and let as much clock roll down as possible, but the Tide faced a 4th and 1 at the Texas 25 and opted to keep the offense on the field.
In the shotgun, Young handed off to Roydell Williams, and he was stopped an inch short of the line, giving the ball back to Texas with 3:55 to go.
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The Longhorns started their go-ahead drive at the Bama 25 down just a point, and they were in field goal range after a 29-yard pass from Hudson Card to Casey Cain.
A huge third-down sack by Will Anderson pushed Texas back to the 31-yard line. Auburn came out to attempt a 49-yard field goal, converting on the attempt and giving Texas a 19-17 lead.
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But Bama just had too much time. Young was quickly past midfield, and a huge 20-yard run put Bama inside the red zone. On 4th and 8, Bama went for the 33-yard field goal. Reichard was iced the first time, but it didn’t matter. He knocked it through, giving Bama a 20-19 lead.
Texas’ last chance was a Hail Mary with five seconds to go, but the pass fell incomplete, giving Bama the thrilling, yet scary, win.
Moneyline parlay bettors survive, but this time maybe Texas proved it could actually be here to stay.