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2 long passes in final 28 seconds doom Iowa State in 48-45 loss at Texas

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AUSTIN, Texas — Iowa State had just tied the game on E.J. Bibbs' second touchdown catch and was fully ready for Texas to settle in for overtime.

Then another long season just got a little bit longer, all in a span of 25 seconds.

Instead of playing for overtime, the Longhorns connected on two long sideline passes to set up Nick Rose's 21-yard field goal with 3 seconds left that sent Texas to a wild 48-45 victory Saturday night.

"One-on-one battles, that's what it came down to," Iowa State linebacker Jevohn Miller said. "Two big pass plays. We had guys near the man, but you just gotta win your one-on-one battles."

Cyclones defensive back Nigel Tribune was beaten by Longhorns receiver John Harris on a pass that set up Texas at the Iowa State 4 with 7 seconds to play. The catch had to hold up under review, and once it did, Texas sent out Rose for the game-winner rather than run another play.

"I've got to make that play and force a difficult field goal instead of the easy field goal," Tribune said.

Tyrone Swoopes passed for 321 yards and also ran for 95 yards and a touchdown for Texas (3-4, 2-2 Big 12). Sam Richardson passed for 345 yards and three touchdowns for Iowa State (2-5, 0-4). The teams combined for more than 1,000 yards total offense.

Texas' 2-4 start was its worst since 1956, the year before coach Darrell Royal took over the program and built the Longhorns into a perennial power. And the victory, while a struggle, could be a huge boost for first-year coach Charlie Strong who must still win at least three more to become bowl-eligible this season.

It will also be a huge lift for Swoopes, who made the big plays to push Texas to the win just two weeks after impatient fans were calling for him to be replaced.

"We watch him continue to develop right in front of us, to grow up," Strong said.

PHOTO: Iowa State quarterback Sam Richardson (12) runs the ball against Texas linebacker Dalton Santos (55) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Austin, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)
Iowa State quarterback Sam Richardson (12) runs the ball against Texas linebacker Dalton Santos (55) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Austin, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

Swoopes led Texas on what appeared to be the game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter, running and passing the Longhorns 75 yards in 10 plays to Malcolm Brown's second touchdown run that put Texas up 45-38.

Iowa State responded with an impressive march right back down the field and had the game set to go into overtime when Richardson connected with Bibbs in the back of the end zone.

Texas unleashed Swoopes' strong right arm to get the win. His first pass covered 39 yards to Shipley before the ball to Harris.

"Just throw one deep and we'll see what happens," Strong said.

"Earlier I'd left a couple short. I figured what's the worst that can happen if I let it fly," Swoopes said.

Swoopes only became the starter after David Ash was injured and ultimately had to give up football because of recurring concussion problems. But after acknowledging he was nervous two weeks ago in a loss to Baylor, Swoopes has put up impressive games in back-to-back weeks.

And Rose, who was struggling two games ago, has made all four attempts in the last two games, including a 45-yarder in the third quarter against Iowa State.

What may be unsettling for Texas is that a defense that looked like the best in the Big 12 could be so picked apart by the Cyclones. Yet the unit still came up with two huge plays to help get the victory.

Dylan Haines, a former walk-on, returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. An interception by Duke Thomas set up another score early in the fourth quarter.

Richardson overcame the miscues and kept driving the Cyclones to responding touchdowns until the defense gave up the two long passes to set up Texas' winning field goal.

Brown ran for 72 yards and two touchdowns for Texas. Aaron Wimberly ran for 110 yards and a touchdown for Iowa State.

"We could have easily folded up," Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. "We did nothing of the sort. Not once did they flinch."

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