Nearly a year ago to the day, Texas hosted No. 1 Alabama in Austin. It took a near last-second field goal for the Crimson Tide to escape with a win, and for the Longhorns to narrowly miss one of its biggest wins in a decade.
The stars are aligning better for Texas in a rematch on Saturday. Quinn Ewers is back and healthy after he exited last year’s game early. The Texas receiving corps is loaded, as is the secondary. Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe will be making only his second start, and he will be throwing to an inexperienced secondary.
There’s just one catch for Texas: the game is in Tuscaloosa. Under Nick Saban, Alabama has lost only nine games at home, and not once since falling to LSU in 2019. It has not lost to a non-SEC team at home since falling to Louisiana-Monroe in November 2007.
Beating No. 3 Alabama would confirm to the Texas fanbase that the program is, in fact, back. It would help put the No. 11 Longhorns back on the map, and vault them into the College Football Playoff conversation. But a loss would likely mean another year in waiting for Texas to return to national prominence, while helping Alabama end plenty of uncertainty that has surrounded the Crimson Tide coming into 2023.
MORE: Watch Alabama vs. Texas live with Fubo (free trial)
The Sporting News is tracking scores and highlights from Saturday’s matchup between Alabama and Texas. Follow for live updates from the college football matchup.
Alabama vs. Texas score
Alabama vs. Texas live updates, highlights from Week 2 game
(All times Eastern)
8:41 p.m. Alabama scoring play: Reichard makes it a one-score game again with a 30-yard boot as time expires. Texas 13, Alabama 6
8:40 p.m.: Another penalty, this one for a snap infraction, on Alabama, makes it third-and-17. Milroe scrambles on the next play up to the Texas 12, but with a fourth-and-5 coming up with five seconds left, Alabama will have to settle for a field goal.
8:39 p.m.: Alabama almost had an incredibly lucky touchdown with a deflection off what could’ve been an interception landed in the hands of Burton for what might have been a score. However, as Milroe was scrambling, Darrian Dalcourt found himself too far down field, bringing up a penalty for an ineligible man downfield, erasing the penalty and bringing up a third-and-13.
8:37 p.m.: Milroe finds Williams on the sideline for five, but after a timeout, he’s sacked for a loss of three and Alabama has to use its second timeout. Third-and-7 coming up for the Crimson Tide with 23 seconds left in the half.
8:36 p.m.: Another big gain for the Crimson Tide with Milroe finding Prentice again, this time along the left sideline, for a pickup of 15 to Texas’ 17.
8:35 p.m.: Huge play for Alabama, with Milroe connecting with Kobe Prentice on a pass right up the middle. Prentice then carves through the field and winds up with a gain of 28 up to Texas’ 32.
8:32 p.m.: Excellent punt from Ryan Sanborn, which sails 56 yards to the Alabama 34, and McKinstry is brought down at the 28. But Texas is called for holding, which will move the drive up to the Crimson Tide 38.
8:31 p.m.: Not an ideal drive for the Longhorns. Baxter is rushed for one yard out of bounds, which stopped the clock, before Ewers throws back-to-back incompletions. Ultimately took 14 seconds off the clock before being forced to punt the ball away.
8:29 p.m.: The punt will again pin Texas back, with the ball rolling to the Longhorns’ 9 with 1:58 left in the first half.
8:28 p.m.: Texas bowed up after that big rush. The defense brought down McClellan for a loss of one, forced a rushed incompletion from Milroe then flushed him out of the pocket again and brought him down after a pickup of three to bring up fourth down.
8:26 p.m.: Milroe starts the Crimson Tide drive off by running right up the middle for 20 yards on a QB draw. He now has 36 rushing yards on five attempts and 33 passing yards on 4-for-10 passing.
8:22 p.m.: Alabama’s drive will start at the 25.
8:19 p.m. Texas scoring play: Ewers scrambles out of the pocket as the Alabama defense blitzes, but he’s brought down just for a gain of two. Auburn comes back out and drills the 29-yard field goal to push Texas’ lead to 10. That drive took 14 plays, 82 yards and 6:25. Just 4:05 left in the first half. Texas 13, Alabama 3
8:18 p.m.: On a second-and-10, Ewers had a touchdown to Jonathan Brooks, but Kool-Aid McKinstry slaps the ball out of Brooks’ hands. Now a critical third-and-10 for both teams.
8:17 p.m.: Texas is moving fast now. On a third-and-3, Baxter picks up three yards to the Alabama 13 to pick up the first.
8:16 p.m.: Worthy stays upright after a hit and manages to pick up nine yards on the outside to get the first down to the Alabama 23. The drive keeps rolling for Texas.
8:15 p.m.: Arnold makes a touchdown-saving tackle on a jet sweep by Worthy, tackling him just for a gain of three. With another blocker down field, Worthy might have been off to the races.
8:14 p.m.: Another big gain as Worthy catches a short pass and darts up the left sideline for a gain of 17 to the Alabama 38.
8:13 p.m.: Following a pickup of seven on a pass from Ewers to Jaydon Blue, Blue is brought down for a loss of two on a rush. But as Ewers is brought down on third down, he finds Sanders up the middle and makes an impressive 18-yard completion to keep the drive alive.
8:12 p.m.: Baxter is stopped at the line, but he’s brought down by a face mask, which draws the 15-yard penalty, moving Texas up to the 22.
8:08 p.m.: Worthy lets the punt bounce after it started to carry toward the sideline, but it stays in bounds and rolls down to the Texas 7.
8:07 p.m.: The Texas defensive line is ramping up its defense of the run game. It holds Williams to no gain, halts Milroe after only three then sacks Milroe for a loss of 10 yards. Alabama will have to punt for the first time today.
8:04 p.m.: Williams picks up five yards on the ground to start the drive, but Milroe’s throw out wide to McClellan is dropped. Milroe finds Jermaine Burton for 10 after scrambling out wide to keep the drive going. Alabama up to its own 39 with 12:30 left in the half.
8:03 p.m.: Alabama will start at the 25.
7:59 p.m. Texas scoring play: Ewers to Worthy, this time past the line of scrimmage and then some. The pair make a deep connection of 44 yards into the end zone to give Texas the lead again. Texas 10, Alabama 3
target acquired 🎯
📺 https://t.co/eM6elaePIa pic.twitter.com/HBv0ek6hyT
— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) September 10, 2023
7:58 p.m.: Some trickery by Texas as Worthy catches a lateral and tries to hit Mitchell with a deep ball. Terrion Arnold has to interfere with Mitchell to avoid the deep touchdown, and is flagged for 15 yards.
7:57 p.m.: Ewers has plenty of time in the pocket, and he finds Jordan Whittington across the line. Whittington picks up 13 and the first.
7:56 p.m.: Ewers over-shoots Worthy on a deep shot to start the drive, and Baxter picks up just three yards to bring up a third-and-7.
7:55 p.m.: Texas takes the touchback to start its third drive of the game.
7:54 p.m. Alabama scoring play: The Crimson Tide start the second quarter by evening the game up with a 42-yard field goal from Will Reichard. Alabama 3, Texas 3
7:49 p.m.: A gain of zero from McClellan and two straight incompletions bring Alabama to a fourth-and-10 heading into the second quarter.
7:47 p.m.: Milroe converts with a 6-yard strike to Malik Benson for a first down. He then hits Amari Niblack for another gain of six before McClellan rushes for six and another Alabama first. The Crimson Tide are rolling now up to Texas’ 24.
7:46 p.m.: Runs of one by McClelland, five by Roydell Williams and one by Williams leave the Crimson Tide three yards short of a first on fourth down. The Crimson Tide appear to be going for it from the Texas 42.
7:45 p.m.: This Alabama rushing attack is gashing Texas. The defense had to wait on the option to see if Milroe would keep it, and that hesitance allowed McClellan to pick up 15 up the middle.
7:44 p.m.: Milroe again hurting the Texas defense with his legs, barely getting tackled down after a gain of 11.
7:43 p.m.: Alabama will start at the 25 after the touchback.
7:39 p.m. Texas scoring play: Bert Auburn gives Texas the early lead. A bit surprising to see Texas settle for the field goal four yards away from the end zone after going for it on fourth down earlier on the drive. Texas 3, Alabama 0
7:39 p.m.: Perfect throw by Ewers hits Worthy in the hands, but he can’t hang on. He wasn’t contacted. Appears the Longhorns will settle for the field goal.
7:35 p.m.: Huge third down coming up for Texas after a Ewers incompletion and a rush for just one by Robinson. Coming up on a third-and-goal from the Alabama 4. Have to imagine the Longhorns would go for it if they can’t score on third.
7:33 p.m.: Ewers’ pass to Worthy is tipped, and Texas has to go for it on fourth-and-2. The decision pays off right away as Sanders catches a seven-yard pass to pick up the first.
7:32 p.m.: Adonai Mitchell picks up five yards on a jet sweep, but loses the football. Fortunately for Texas, Sanders is there to scoop it up and save the turnover.
7:31 p.m.: Baxter starts the drive with a pickup of eight followed by a gain of two by Keilan Robinson to get the first down.
7:29 p.m.: Milroe misses the corner looking out left, and is picked off by Jahdae Barron, who takes it 17 yards back to Alabama’s 30. The Longhorns are in business.
JAHDAE BARRON INTERCEPTION!! pic.twitter.com/M69qm2gOET
— College Football (@elitecfbnow) September 9, 2023
7:28 p.m.: Now Milroe puts his legs to use, escaping a blitz and picking up 12 yards up to the Alabama 41.
7:27 p.m.: Jase McClellan has been a weapon early so far for Alabama. He starts the game with rushes for nine and five yards to pick up the first down, then catches a toss from Milroe to pick up another first on a gain of 12 yards.
7:23 p.m.: Excellent punt coverage by Kitan Crawford, whose leaping stop at the goal-line kept the punt from reaching the end zone. The rest of the unit pins the ball at the 3, where Alabama will take over.
7:22 p.m.: Steve Sarkisian decides to just let the clock run out and take the delay of game penalty to set up the punt.
7:20 p.m.: Following a run of three by Brooks, Ja’Tavion Sanders appeared to fumble a pass from Ewers. Texas recovered the ball anyway, but officials reviewed the play and determined it was an incomplete pass to bring up a third-and-7. Brooks picks up another yard on third down, and now the Longhorns are going for it on fourth.
7:17 p.m.: Ewers shows off the legs, breaking out of the pocket to his right and diving for a gain of 11 into Alabama territory for a first.
7:16 p.m.: The Longhorns start off the game strong, with a pass out to CJ Baxter picking up 11 yards and a first down on the first play of the game. Xavier Worthy is stopped for just two on second down, and Baxter is halted five short of a first down. Third-and-5 coming up.
7:15 p.m.: Texas will start with the ball at the 25 after a touchback.
7:11 p.m.: These two teams have taken to the field. Kickoff is moments away.
7:08 p.m.: Plenty are in attendance in Tuscaloosa to see the game. Except the Texas band, which is among the planes to be stuck in the air, according to CBS’ Dennis Dodd.
Sources: As of an hour ago at least 52 planes — including the one carrying Texas band — could not land in Tuscaloosa bc of the amount of air traffic in the area.
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) September 9, 2023
6:35 p.m.: Less than 30 minutes away from the start of Alabama vs. Texas. Both teams are ready for the critical early season matchup.
Locker room scenes 📸 pic.twitter.com/4QbMJckftP
— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) September 9, 2023
Timeless Traditions. #RollTide pic.twitter.com/LWBRvIQg1y
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) September 9, 2023
How to watch Alabama vs. Texas
Saturday’s contest between the Crimson Tide and the Longhorns will be carried on ESPN. Chris Fowler (play-by-play) and Kirk Herbstreit (color analyst) will be in the booth, while Holly Rowe will be reporting from the sideline.
There will be the option for fans to stream the contest on either ESPN+ or on Fubo, which offers a free trial.
Note: Spectrum cable customers are unable to watch ESPN due to the ongoing carriage dispute between Disney and Charter Communications.