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No. 11 Texas upsets No. 3 Alabama in Tuscaloosa in battle of future SEC rivals

The horns are up in Austin, and Texas may actually be back after all.

The 11th-ranked Longhorns, as touchdown underdogs, went on the road and upset No. 3 Alabama in Tuscaloosa with a 34-24 victory Saturday night.

It was a tale of two halves – the first 30 minutes only saw 19 points of scoring while there were 39 points scored in the second half.

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Adonai Mitchell #5 of the Texas Longhorns celebrates his touchdown catch with Xavier Worthy #1 during the fourth quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Sept. 9, 2023, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Crimson Tide opened up the second half with their third field goal of the night to cut their deficit to four points, and the Longhorns missed their field goal on the ensuing drive. With momentum in their hands, Bama took advantage.

Right before the closing of the third quarter, on 2nd and 11, Jalen Milroe threw a dot to Jermaine Burton for a 49-yard touchdown, and after the PAT, it was a 16-13 Alabama lead.

But early in the fourth, Texas had a huge 50-yard gain, and on the next play, Quinn Ewers hit Adonai Mitchell for a touchdown, and the Longhorns were up four. On Bama’s first play of the next drive, Milroe threw an interception that Jerrin Thompson returned to the Bama five-yard line. Running back Jonathan Brooks rushed into the end zone on the next play, resulting in a 27-16 Texas lead.

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Jonathan Brooks

Jonathon Brooks #24 of the Texas Longhorns celebrates with teammates after running for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Sept. 9, 2023, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Tide wasn’t dead, though, as Amari Niblack had a 39-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown, and the two-point conversion was good. However, the Longhorns answered with another long touchdown, finding Mitchell again for the score, and Texas was back up by 10.

The Longhorns defense then forced a three-and-out, getting the ball back with just over seven minutes to go, and they ran the ball nine straight times to waste the clock. On 4th and 3, Texas was able to draw Bama offsides, giving them the first down, allowing them to kneel out the clock.

Texas outscored Alabama 21-8 in the fourth quarter.

Ewers completed 24 of his 38 passes for 349 yards and three touchdowns. Ja’Tavion Sanders led the Longhorns with 114 receiving yards, while Xavier Worthy added five catches for 75 yards with a score.

Quinn Ewers

Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) passing against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the second quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

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The two schools will be conference rivals next year when Texas joins the SEC.

The Longhorns will host Wyoming next week, while the Tide will head to South Florida.

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