NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana. — The Texas Longhorns defeated the Georgia Bulldogs, 28-21, in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans on New Year’s Day.
The Longhorns received the ball first and orchestrated a near perfect opening drive. Sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger was 5-of-5 on the 10-play, 75-yard journey to the end zone. Texas took a 7-0 lead when Ehlinger punched it in from two yards out.
After the Texas defense held up on a third down -- forcing Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm to throw the ball away -- the Longhorns settled for a field goal on the ensuing drive. Cameron Dicker kicked a 37-yard field goal to break the school’s freshman record with his 17th field goal. Texas led 10-0 midway through the first quarter.
The Longhorns were slowed down a bit, however, on their next possession. Texas was forced to punt.
But on Georgia’s next drive, Texas forced the first turnover of the game when D’Andre Swift was stripped by Texas defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham.Three plays later, the Longhorns would tack on seven more points. Ehlinger punched it in from nine yards out for his 15th rushing touchdown of the season.The touchdown was school record for UT quarterbacks.
After the first quarter, the Longhorns outgained Georgia 101 yards to eight. Texas led 17-0 early in the second quarter.
Then, the Bulldogs finally snapped out of their rut to start the second. On a 12-play, 75-yard drive, Fromm connected with Brian Herrien for a 17-yard touchdown, but Texas maintained a 17-7 lead.
Texas added another field goal from Dicker and the defense thwarted an effort by the Bulldogs to keep the score 20-7 at halftime.
The Longhorns were more efficient with the ball, gaining 178 yards to Georgia’s 118 with near equal possession time. Georgia’s rushing attack, which led the SEC, gained just 29 yards on 20 attempts in the first half.
The Texas defense would steal the spotlight to start the second half, as well.
Senior defensive back P.J. Locke picked off Jake Fromm on the opening drive, forcing the second turnover of the game.
The Longhorns offense would come up empty after the interception, however.
Ehlinger collected his third touchdown of the game on the ground in the fourth quarter. After a successful two-point conversion, Texas extended its lead to 28-7.
But a quick response by Georgia ensued. The Bulldogs needed just six plays and 1:24 off the clock to revisit the end zone due to a short connection between Fromm and Mecole Hardman. Fromm's touchdown pass dwindled the deficit to 14 points.
The Longhorns held on despite a chippy ending that saw two targeting penalties eject Anthony Cook and Davante Davis. Those defensive penalties helped the Bulldogs strike once more with 33 seconds left in the game. An onside kick attempt by the Bulldogs failed as junior wide receiver Collin Johnson recovered the ball to seal the victory for the Texas, 28-21. Texas outgained Georgia in the ground game, 178 yards to 72 yards.
The Longhorns finished the season 10-4 -- the program's first 10-win season since 2009 -- which was when Texas last played for a national title.