Ehlinger helps Texas beat Baylor 27-16 to end skid

Texas' Sam Ehlinger (11) runs for a first down past Baylor's Terrel Bernard (2) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Austin, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Texas' Sam Ehlinger (11) runs for a first down past Baylor's Terrel Bernard (2) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Austin, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

(AP) – Sam Ehlinger passed for an early touchdown, then ran for two more in the second half to lead Texas to a 27-16 win over Baylor on Saturday that snapped the Longhorns’ two-game losing skid.

After the game, Texas players stayed on the field for “The Eyes of Texas” school song that had been embroiled in controversy. And while some flashed the traditional “Hook’em” hand sign during the song, many didn’t.

Ehlinger set up Texas’ first touchdown with a 42-yard completion on a leaping catch by Joshua Moore. Those two connected again on a 3-yard scoring pass that put Texas ahead 13-3 at halftime.

Texas (3-2, 2-2 Big 12) went ahead 20-3 with a punishing 75-yard drive to open the third quarter, mixing in runs with freshman Bijan Robinson in his first career start, before a Baylor pass interference penalty set up Texas inside the Baylor 5. Ehlinger then powered in from 1-yard out.

Ehlinger scored again in the third when he rolled to his right before taking off for the end zone and splitting two defenders near the goal line. It was his seventh rushing touchdown on the season to go with 17 touchdown passes.

“Winning is very important, we had a bad taste in our mouth the last two weeks,” Ehlinger said, with a nod to the Texas defense that played its best game of the season. “I think we’ve showed we are capable of anything ... and that’s good or bad. When we stay out of our own way, we’re pretty darn good.”

Baylor (1-2, 1-2) hadn’t played since Oct. 3 and had to shut down its football program for 10 days because of a coronavirus outbreak on the roster. The Bears looked rusty on offense with struggles in pass protection and quarterback Charlie Brewer nearly throwing three first-half interceptions. Brewer finished with 256 yards and two late touchdown passes.

After forcing a turnover on downs in the final minutes, Texas ran out the clock near the Baylor goal line. When Ehlinger took a knee on the final snap, all focus turned to what would happen with the song and whether the Longhorns would stay on the field.