By JIM VERTUNO
AP Sports Writer
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Sam Ehlinger ran for a touchdown and passed for another in the first half, then threw the game-clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter as Texas slugged its way to a 28-21 win over Tulsa in the Longhorns' home opener Saturday night.
Keaontay Ingram and Ehlinger scored on Texas' first two possessions as the Longhorns built a 21-0 lead. Tulsa rallied and pulled within 21-14 in the fourth quarter. Ehlinger completed seven straight passes and ran for a first down before tossing to Tre Watson for an 11-yard score that proved to be the difference.
Tulsa responded with Keenen Johnson's 35-yard touchdown catch before Texas was able to grind out first downs to finish off the final five minutes.
The Longhorns (1-1) needed the boost after a season-opening loss at Maryland burst the expectations of a big second season under coach Tom Herman and they had a fight on their hands with a team they were expected to handle with ease.
Tulsa (1-1) rallied behind two Shamari Brooks touchdown runs. The Golden Hurricane also dropped two passes in the end zone and missed three field goals.
Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane won just once in 2017 and will rue lost chances for a huge upset in this one. And there were many. An interception on the first play set up Texas' first touchdown, and Tulsa kickers missed field goals attempts of 43, 29 and 36 yards in the first half. The dropped passes in the end zone loomed even larger when the Golden Hurricane started getting late momentum.
Texas: The Longhorns won't like how this one ended. They were cruising before the offense stalled in the third quarter and the defense started giving up big plays in the fourth. What Texas avoided was the sort of critical late turnover that doomed the Longhorns against Maryland.
It's probably too early and the win too unimpressive to get Texas back into the Top 25 after the loss to Maryland knocked them from No. 23 to unranked. Beat Southern Cal next week and the Longhorns could get back in the conversation.
Tulsa faces Arkansas State next Saturday.
Texas hosts No. 17 USC next Saturday in a rematch of last season's 27-24 Trojans win in OT.
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