SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Casey Thompson passed for 170 yards and four touchdowns and No. 20 Texas overcame an injury to senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger and beat Colorado 55-23 in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Tuesday night.
Freshman running back Bijan Robinson had 183 yards on 10 carries with a TD for Texas (7-3).
The Longhorns are undefeated in five bowl games under Tom Herman.
Ehlinger missed the second half after sustaining a shoulder injury in second quarter. He returned to the field in the third quarter in warmups, with his right arm in a sling. There was no immediate word on the extent of Ehlinger’s injury.
Ehlinger played the entire first half, completing 10 of 16 passes for 160 yards and a score.
Colorado was playing its sixth game of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Pac-12 initially canceled its season only to reverse the decision and delay the start until Nov. 7.
The Buffaloes (4-2) had two games canceled due to virus issues, but competed in the Alamo Bowl despite failing to reach the traditional six win threshold required for the postseason due to this season’s unusual circumstances.
The Longhorns appeared more polished throughout, striking quickly to open both halves.
Fueled by a 39-yard pass from Ehlinger to Joshua Moore, Texas drove 74 yards on four plays in 50 seconds on its opening possession. Robinson dove in for an 8-yard TD run with 12:51 left in the opening quarter.
Robinson scored again two possessions later, catching a 14-yard pass from Ehlinger with 5:28 remaining in the first.
The Longhorns didn’t take a step back without Ehlinger.
Thompson started the second half in place of Ehlinger and led Texas to a touchdown on its opening possession. Thompson completed a 13-yard scoring pass to Moore just 37 seconds into the third for a 24-10 advantage.
Thompson completed 8 of 10 passes in the victory.
He added a 25-yard touchdown pass to Moore, a 23-yarder to Robinson and a 73-yarder to Kelvontay Dixon.
Texas’ Cameron Dicker set an Alamo Bowl record with a 53-yard field goal late in the first half that extended the Longhorns’ lead to 17-7.
Colorado’s only sustained drive of the first quarter ended in an interception when Sam Noyer threw into a group of four defenders. Linebacker DeMarvion Overshown had his second interception of the season, picking off Noyer at the Buffaloes’ 11-yard line.
Jarek Broussard rushed for 82 yards and two touchdown on 27 carries for Colorado.
Colorado: Despite the lopsided loss, Karl Dorrell’s tenure with the Buffaloes is off to a good start. Colorado went 3-1 in the Pac-12 under Dorrell, who signed a five-year contract in the offseason.
Texas: The Longhorns found a capable replacement for Ehlinger in Thompson. The 6-foot-1 sophomore displayed his elusiveness, escaping a heavy rush early in the third quarter for a 22-yard run. He also demonstrated his arm strength by throwing over the defense for a 73-yard touchdown to Dixon in the fourth.
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