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Finally, No. 12 Texas gets the best of Oklahoma State

Houston Chronicle logo Houston Chronicle 9/22/2019 Nick Moyle

a basketball player with a bat: AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 21:  Devin Duvernay #6 of the Texas Longhorns celebrates with teammates after a touchdown reception in the second quarter against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 21: Devin Duvernay #6 of the Texas Longhorns celebrates with teammates after a touchdown reception in the second quarter against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

© Tim Warner/Getty Images

AUSTIN –The enmity between Texas and Oklahoma is too potent and too ancient to be overcome by any interloper. Those two are destined to remain tied together in some twisted Batman-Joker dynamic – they need one another, like it or not.

In any case, a good rivalry cannot be defined by domination. And make no mistake, Oklahoma State, though it remains the Sooners' overlooked and long-underestimated sibling, had been in the business of dominating the Longhorns. Five straight wins at Royal-Memorial Stadium – the only program to ever pull off such a feat – four straight wins overall and a 7-2 series record since 2010 was proof enough.

BOX SCORE:  NO. 12 TEXAS 36, OKLAHOMA STATE 30

RELATED:  Texas fools Oklahoma State

Saturday night, 12th-ranked Texas showed it was fed up with the beatings, fed up with the bitter home disappointments. The Longhorns showed this series could be theirs again with a 36-30 win over Oklahoma State at Royal-Memorial Stadium.

"Recent history would tell you, if it is a rivalry, we haven't held up our end of the bargain very well," coach Tom Herman said Thursday. "Obviously we've got a huge historic rival in Oklahoma. But I think because of how good they've been over the course of the last decade, we perk our ears up every time we have an opportunity to play 'em."

Both Texas (3-1, 1-0 Big 12) and Oklahoma State (3-1, 0-1) seemed plenty perky Saturday night.

Cowboys true freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders proved mostly unflappable in the first half, save for an errant pass picked off by sophomore safety Montrell Estell.

Sanders dropped in a gutsy 55-yard dime to wideout Braydon Johnson that traveled over 60 yards in the air, setting up a 7-yard touchdown scramble. He linked up with star wideout Tylan Wallace three times for 66 yards. He misfired on just three passes, completing 11 others for 180 yards.

As he has been since the start of last season, Sam Ehlinger was up for a battle of gunslingers.

The Longhorns' junior quarterback lofted a textbook 6-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Devin Duvernay near the back right pylon for a 7-3 lead after its defense halted a Cowboys drive at the goal line. Ehlinger then converted Estrell's interception into a 17-yard touchdown pass to freshman sensation Jake Smith, who sped past an outmatched Cowboys linebacker down the seam.

He even answered Sanders' bomb with one of his own, a 73-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wideout Brennan Eagles, who took advantage of lax coverage in the secondary.

Texas looked primed to head into the locker room up 21-13 until Smith muffed a punt which Oklahoma State recovered at the 15-yard line with 53 ticks left on the clock. Four plays later, sophomore tailback Chuba Hubbard plowed his way into the end zone from 1-yard out.

Oklahoma State opened the half with another long drive down into the red zone, but Texas held up once again. The Cowboys settled for a 27-yard field goal to take a 23-21 lead.

Then the Longhorns dipped into their bag of tricks. A reverse flea flicker – Ehlinger flipped the ball to tailback Keaontay Ingram, who tossed it to Smith, who underhanded it back to the quarterback – resulted in a 25-yard touchdown reception by tight end Cade Brewer.

Texas seized momentum back by stuffing Hubbard on a fourth-and-1 run play from the 3-yard line. It shifted right back as Ehlinger had a pass deflected and intercepted by Cowboys safety Kolby Harvell-Peel.

Coach Mike Gundy seemed intent on showing the Cowboys were capable of some timely razzle-dazzle, too. But his team's botched fake field goal attempt turned the tide for good.

Freshman tailback Roschon Johnson capped off an Ingram-heavy drive with a 2-yard touchdown plunge and added a two-point conversion to give Texas a 36-23 lead. On the Cowboys' ensuing drive, nose tackle Keondre Coburn swam past a pair of linemen and disrupted Spencer's pass, which safety Chris Brown plucked from the sky.

For the Longhorns, this miserable losing streak is no more. Now, they just have to figure out how to get past that other Oklahoma team a few weeks from now.

Related slideshow: Best photos of college football season (provided by imagn)

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