For the past decade and change, a single question has hung over the Longhorn football program: Is Texas back? Saturday, the Longhorns finally put that question to rest.
Despite facing a harsh road environment in Tuscaloosa, the No. 11 Longhorns prevailed over No. 3 Alabama 34-24 behind the strong play of quarterback Quinn Ewers — who spent one season at Ohio State in 2021. Ewers torched the Alabama secondary to the tune of 349 yards and three touchdowns while completing 24 of 38 attempts.
Texas and Alabama found themselves engaged in a defensive battle late in the third quarter, but a go-ahead 49-yard touchdown reception from Crimson Tide receiver Jermaine Burton to put the Tide up 16-14 set the tone for a wild final frame. The Longhorns quickly retook the lead in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 points in 15 seconds to jump back in front 27-16 with 13:50 to go. Alabama later cut its deficit to three, but Ewers put the game on ice with a 39-yard touchdown strike to wideout Adonai Mitchell with 8:23 remaining.
Alabama's loss to Texas is the program's first regular-season non-conference loss since 2007, when the Crimson Tide fell to Louisana-Monroe 21-17 during Nick Saban's first season in Tuscaloosa. With this statement win, the Longhorns will likely take an inside track in the College Football Playoff race, while head coach Steve Sarkisian moved to 3-7 against ranked opponents since taking the reins of the program in 2021.
With Texas' victory, the SEC fell to 1-6 against Power Five opponents through the first two weeks of the 2023 season.