AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Kellan Robinson returned a kickoff 95 yards for one of his two touchdowns, Bert Auburn kicked five field goals and No. 7 Texas beat Texas Tech 57-7 on Friday night to reach the Big 12 championship game.
After Oklahoma left the Southeastern Conference after this season, Texas (11-1, 8-1) has won six straight since losing to Oklahoma. The Longhorns will face an opponent to be determined Saturday in the championship game on Dec. 2 in Arlington.
Texas Tech (6-6, 5-4) was outgained by 528 yards to 198. Quarterback Bahren Morton was 5-0 in games he started and finished this season before Friday. But after being chased by a ferocious Texans pass rush, he completed 19 of 36 for just 88 yards with three interceptions.
His Texans counterpart, Quinn Ewers, threw for 196 yards and one touchdown against one interception. The pitcher was 17 of 26.
Texas Tech’s Tahj Brooks, who ranks third nationally in rushing yards per game with 122.5 coming, has 95 on 19 carries.
Texas Tech briefly looked like it might be competitive. Down 10-0, the Red Raiders used a 55-yard kickoff return by Drae McCray, a 25-yard run by Brooks, and a pass interference penalty against the Texans to set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Morton late in the first quarter.
Texas responded quickly with a 69-yard touchdown run by backup running back Jaydon Bleu to start the second quarter. Blue had 121 yards on 10 carries.
Later, after the teams traded interceptions, Auburn kicked its third field goal for a 23-7 lead. His second field goal, earlier in the quarter, set a school record of 16 in a row without a miss.
Auburn isn’t finished. Texas Tech, which converted 6 of 8 fourth-down attempts during its win over Texas last season, failed on its only attempt in the first half Friday. Texas, which had the ball at the Tech 45 with 31 seconds to make something happen, ended the half with a 44-yard scoring drive by Auburn.
Robinson started the second half with his long kickoff return, Auburn added a career-best 54-yard field goal, and Jett Bush returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown, catching the ball after it hit a technical receiver’s foot and popped up.
Texas Tech: Second-year coach Joey McGuire provided Texas with bulletin board material. After beating the Longhorns last season in Lubbock, McGwire gave a locker room speech that included the following: “The country is going to find out: It all goes through Lubbock!” Before this season, speaking about Texas and Oklahoma competing in the Southeastern Conference in 2024, McGuire told some Tech fans “those so-called blue bloods — and I really wonder — one of them (Texas) is really good at Olympic sports.”
Texas: In addition to celebrating a big win, Longhorns fans witnessed something they had waited for all season. Freshman quarterback Arch Manning, nephew of Royals quarterback Peyton and Eli, made his Longhorn debut in the second half. She completed 2 of 5 passes for 30 yards.
Texas Tech: Waiting for a bowl game invitation.
Texas: Waits for an opponent in the Big 12 championship game on Dec. 2.
___ AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll And https://apnews.com/hub/college-football