In a wild game that featured a little bit of everything, the Texas Longhorns upset the No. 10-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish with a 50-47 double-overtime victory Sunday.
The Longhorns built a 31-14 second-half lead before the Irish came back with three straight touchdowns. Texas momentarily regained the lead, but Notre Dame blocked the extra-point attempt and returned it for two points to tie the game at 37 and send it to overtime.
After the teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime session, the Longhorns held the Irish to a field goal in the second. Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes then sealed the win with a six-yard touchdown run.
SportsCenter captured the emotional moment when head coach Charlie Strong celebrated with his team after the game:
ESPN's Adam Rittenberg summed up the Longhorns' improvements:
Strong also explained the difference from a year ago, per Max Olson of ESPN.com:
Texas used two quarterbacks in the game, including an impressive performance from true freshman Shane Buechele. He ended his night 16-of-26 for 280 yards, two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown.
Bucky Brooks of NFL Network had high praise for the young passer:
Swoopes was especially useful as a runner, tallying 53 rushing yards and three touchdowns, including both Texas scores in overtime.
Notre Dame also had a duel at quarterback, with DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire rotating early. While Zaire managed to complete just two of his five attempts and failed to move the offense, Kizer was a star, finishing with 215 passing yards, 77 rushing yards and six total touchdowns.
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller gave his thoughts on the junior:
As for Texas, the win showcased the resolve of the squad as it survived a unique game from start to finish.
Notre Dame started well, needing only six plays to score a touchdown on the opening drive. Tarean Folston broke through with a 54-yard run before Kizer and Equanimeous St. Brown linked up for the game's first score.
Just a few minutes into the game, the Irish appeared to be ready to take control. Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports described the atmosphere:
However, Texas answered quickly with a beautiful touchdown pass from Buechele to Armanti Foreman:
The offenses slowed down but not for long. Buechele and Swoopes shared time under center to help Texas take a 21-14 lead into halftime.
Notre Dame remained in the hunt thanks to St. Brown's athleticism on his second score of the game. Here's the highlight, via ESPN CollegeFootball:
As Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman noted, Texas fared much better in the first half than it did during last season's 38-3 embarrassment:
The highlight-reel plays continued in the third quarter, with Buechele finding John Burt for a 72-yard touchdown, via College GameDay:
A Texas field goal then made it 31-14, but the Irish made a run to get back into the game. Kizer cut the deficit to 10 on an impressive 29-yard touchdown scramble and then found Torii Hunter Jr. in the end zone three plays after a Texas turnover deep in its own territory.
By this point, it seemed as though the quarterback debate was over, as Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports pointed out:
A blocked field-goal attempt allowed Texas to maintain its 31-28 lead going into the fourth quarter, but it didn't last long, as Kizer put Notre Dame on top with his fourth passing touchdown of the game. The quarterback hit Josh Adams with a perfectly placed ball on a wheel route to help the Irish seize a 35-31 lead.
Somehow, the drama was just beginning.
D'Onta Foreman gave the Longhorns the lead on a tough 19-yard touchdown run. However, the Fighting Irish blocked the extra-point attempt and returned it all the way to the end zone, shockingly tying the game at 37 with nearly three minutes remaining.
Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports summed up the craziness:
Texas scored first in overtime with Swoopes' three-yard run, but Notre Dame answered with a 25-yard screen pass to C.J Sanders on its first play.
Texas finally made a defensive stop in the second overtime, holding the Irish to a field goal, which opened the door for the Longhorns to clinch the win on Swoopes' third touchdown of the night.
The Longhorns will look to build on their success next week with a home game against UTEP. The Miners won their first game over New Mexico State, but like the Longhorns, they went just 5-7 last year.
Notre Dame will have its first home game of the year against Nevada, which needed overtime to defeat Cal Poly in Week 1.
After all of the drama Sunday night, both squads will hope for an easy win in Week 2.
Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter.