SPORTS Texas clinches Big 12 Championship Game berth as No....

Texas clinches Big 12 Championship Game berth as No. 7 Longhorns trounce Texas Tech in regular-season finale


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No. 7 Texas will make its first appearance in the Big 12 Championship Game since 2018 after securing its spot with an 57-7 win over Texas Tech on Friday night. The outcome avenged Texas Tech’s upset victory over the Longhorns from a year ago and kept UT’s College Football Playoff aspirations alive for another week.

The Longhorns will play either Oklahoma State or Oklahoma at noon ET next Saturday inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, as they seek their first Big 12 title since 2009. If Oklahoma State beats BYU on Saturday, the Longhorns will face the Cowboys for the first time this season. But if Oklahoma State loses, then Texas will get a rematch with rival Oklahoma after the Sooners bested UT 34-30 on Oct. 7.

Either way, it will be a chance for the Longhorns to leave the Big 12 on a triumphant note as they prepare to join the SEC for the 2024 season. Amid conference realignment, Friday night’s victory marked the end of Texas’ annual series with the Red Raiders after the two met for 64 consecutive years. 

The in-state affair featured little drama as Texas led 26-7 at halftime and continued pouring on points in the third quarter, making a statement to the CFP Selection Committee. Sophomore running back Jaydon Blue enjoyed a breakout performance with a career-high 127 rushing yards as the Longhorns continue to adjust to life without leading rusher Jonathon Brooks, who was lost for the season during a win at TCU on Nov. 11.

Texas scored in all three phases of the game during the third quarter alone as Keilan Robinson returned the opening kickoff of the second half 95 yards for a touchdown. Then, with 3:26 remaining in the quarter, Jett Bush picked off Texas Tech quarterback Behren Morton and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown. 

With Texas leading 50-7 after Bush’s pick-six late in the third quarter, highly touted quarterback prospect Arch Manning made his collegiate debut and held down the position for the rest of the game. On his second series, Manning led a 13-play, 91-yard touchdown drive as the Longhorns capped their regular season in impressive fashion.


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