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No. 1 Alabama escapes with 20-19 victory over Texas

The Tide needed every minute to fight off the Longhorns on Saturday.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide narrowly avoided an upset in Austin, TX, on Saturday, escaping DKR Memorial Stadium with a 20-19 victory over the Texas Longhorns. Down by one with just over a minute remaining, reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young led his team downfield to set up a game-winning field goal by kicker Will Reichard with 15 seconds left.

Tied 3-3 late in the first quarter, the Tide pulled quickly pulled ahead when running back Jase McClellan broke off an 81-yard touchdown run to give the visitors a touchdown advantage. A major turning point of the game occurred on the following drive when Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers was tackled by Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner and injured his shoulder. The freshman starter would be replaced by backup Hudson Card and would not return to the action. Despite this major blow, the Longhorns worked themselves downfield and set up an easy one-yard touchdown for running back Bijan Robinson to re-tie the game at 10-10 early in the second quarter.

Texas continued to hang around and throw Young off his game. Backing the Tide up on 3rd and long deep in their own territory, the Horns seemingly got to the reigning Heisman Trophy winner for a safety, but it was controversially ruled that Young got the ball out just in time for an incomplete pass. With Card operating the controls at quarterback, UT would tack on two more field goals to take a 16-10 lead early in the fourth quarter.

As expected, the Tide wouldn’t go down that easy. On the ensuing drive, Young worked his magic and eventually hooked up with running back Jahmyr Gibbs for a seven-yard touchdown pass to give Bama a one-score lead. They had a chance to ice the game on their next drive, but were stuffed on 4th and 1 on the Texas 25 with 3:55 remaining.

Card and UT would take advantage of the opportunity by pushing the ball into field goal range. Even after Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. came up with a clutch sack on third down, UT kicker Bert Auburn still managed to boot a 49-yard field goal to put the Horns back on top. Unfortunately for them, too much time was left for Young to work his magic.

The Longhorns closed as 21-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook, and the total of 63.5 means the under was an easy winner as well.