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No. 12 Washington hangs on to beat No. 20 Texas in Alamo Bowl

Dec 29, 2022; San Antonio, Texas, USA;  Washington Huskies running back Wayne Taulapapa (21) cuts back in front of Texas Longhorns defensive back Jahdae Barron during the first half in the 2022 Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Penix Jr. passed for 287 yards and two second-half touchdowns and No. 12 Washington dominated the line of scrimmage throughout on the way to a 27-20 win over short-handed No. 20 Texas on Thursday in the Alamo Bowl at San Antonio.

The Huskies (11-2) posted their first 11-plus-win season since 2016 and just the fifth in program history. Washington, which finished 4-8 in 2021, played in its first bowl game since 2019.

Wayne Taulapapa rushed for 108 yards, including a 42-yard first-quarter touchdown, on 14 carries for the Huskies.

Quinn Ewers passed for 369 yards and one touchdown for Texas (8-5). Casey Cain had four catches for 106 yards and Xavier Worthy had seven catches for 74 yards but dropped two deep balls in the third quarter.

Bert Auburn booted a 26-yard field goal with 1:40 to play to bring Texas to within one score, after which the Huskies recovered the ensuing onside kick. The Longhorns got the ball back with 31 seconds remaining but could not muster any magic.

The Longhorns played without their top two running backs, All-American and Doak Walker Award winner Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson, who opted out of the bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft.

The Huskies struck first, utilizing a short field provided by a blocked punt by Edefuan Ulofoshio to produce a 46-yard field goal by Peyton Henry with 11:44 to play in the opening quarter. Texas answered on a 30-yard field goal from Auburn that tied the game four minutes later.

Taulapapa ripped off his long scoring run on Washington’s next possession to cap a 10-play, 88-yard march. The score remain unchanged until a 24-yard field goal by Henry on the final play of a surprisingly defensive first half that ended with the Huskies up 13-3.

The Longhorns got back in the game on their first possession of the third quarter when Jonathon Brooks caught a screen pass from Ewers and sprinted 34 yards for a touchdown to make it 13-10.

Penix put Washington back in front by 10 points with a 6-yard scoring pass to Taj Davis with 6:44 to play in the third. He then engineered a 14-play, 90-yard drive than was capped off by an 8-yard TD pass to Jalen McMillan (who made an amazing shoestring catch) to push the Huskies’ lead to 27-10 with 13:08 remaining.

Texas responded with a 3-yard touchdown run by Brooks at the end of an 11-play, 74-yard march to get back to within 27-17.

–Field Level Media