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Sam Ehlinger leads Texas over Georgia at Sugar Bowl

By
Alex Butler
Texas Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) celebrates after the Longhorn beat the Georgia Bulldogs in the 85th annual Allstate Sugar Bowl on Tuesday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI
Texas Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) celebrates after the Longhorn beat the Georgia Bulldogs in the 85th annual Allstate Sugar Bowl on Tuesday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger led the Longhorns to a 28-21 victory against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl by rushing for three touchdowns.

The Longhorns never trailed during the triumph on Tuesday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Texas picked up its first 10-win season since 2009 with the victory.

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"This win is a huge steppingstone for our program," Ehlinger told reporters. "It's going carry a lot of momentum into the off‑season, and I look forward to getting back in January."

Ehlinger gave Texas its initial lead with a 2-yard scamper in the first quarter. Cameron Dicker added a 37-yard field goal to give the Longhorns a 10-0 first half lead. Ehlinger scored on a 9-yard run in the second frame to increase the Texas lead to 17 points.

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Brian Herrien caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Jake Fromm to put the Bulldogs on the board with 9:03 remaining in the first half. But Dicker added another field goal 4:37 before the break, giving Texas a 20-7 lead at halftime.

Ehlinger finished off his touchdown trio with a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter, giving Texas a 28-7 advantage. The Bulldogs closed out the bout with 14 unanswered points, but could not close the gap. Fromm found Mecole Hardman and D'Andre Swift on fourth quarterback touchdown passes down the stretch for the Bulldogs.

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"Well, it was tough," Fromm told reporters. "They did a really good job game planning for us. They had an entire month to do so. They were showing a lot of different looks. They were constantly mixing stuff up. Did a really good job with some eye violation stuff and showing you one thing one way and bringing it from the other."

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"But I think at the beginning they game planned really well. They showed us what that game plan was in the first couple drives, but we just couldn't make adjustments quick enough really to capitalize on that."

Ehlinger completed 19-of-27 pass attempts for 169 yards in the win. Fromm completed 21-of-35 pass attempts for 224 yards, three scores and an interception for Georgia. Senior running back Tre Watson had a game-high 91 yards on the ground for Texas.

"Really proud of our team," Texas coach Tom Herman said. "I know that the phrase 'team win' gets used quite a bit. But the way our offense, defense, and special teams complemented each other the entire night, I thought, was magnificent. It was what we needed to have happen in order to have a chance to win."

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