NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Quarterback Sam Ehlinger took to the ground with three rushing touchdowns in a Texas win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, 28-21. The sophomore quarterback who prepped at Austin Westlake High, Drew Brees attended the same school, went 19-of-27 passing for 169 yards. His heroics helped garner the Sugar Bowl MVP.
“It is incredible. We are on the way. This was a stepping stone for Texas to get back to the elite level. This is going to give us great momentum headed into the off season, and I am really excited for what we are going to do next year," said Ehlinger.
Texas improved their mark on the season to 10-4, Georgia dropped to 11-3. The future appears bright for head coach Tom Herman and the burnt orange.
“I told the senior class even in the locker room, despite an up‑and‑down year last year, they never wavered in their buy‑in and their commitment, despite us laying an egg in the first game. That could have been a time when a less‑bought‑in group, a less mature group, would have ‑‑ rats jumping ship, if you will. They didn’t,” said Herman.
“It brought them closer. It brought them more together. And they were the heart and soul of this season. And they are a huge part of ‑‑ or a huge reason why our trajectory is headed the way that it’s headed.”
Georgia rallied in the fourth quarter with two touchdowns, cutting the Longhorns’ lead to 28-21 with 14 seconds left to play. But Texas recovered an onside kick then to preserve the victory.
“I wouldn’t say it surprised me. They’re league (Big 12) guys. People don’t respect their league like we do, especially from a scoring standpoint. They do a great job in their league of up tempo, fast,” said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart.
“But when they have to play physical, they played physical. They did a good job of that. I thought their quarterback managed the game well with his quarterback run play. He really hurt us. We missed tackles and didn’t finish on him defensively. And then we weren’t really able to run the ball like we like to consistently and give Texas credit. They did a good job stopping that.”