AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- Second-ranked Texas may have been caught looking ahead, but looked back just in time.
Quarterback Chris Simms threw for one touchdown and ran for another and the Longhorns stopped a two-point conversion try with 4:04 left to hang on for a 17-15 win over Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.
The Longhorns (5-0, 1-0 Big 12 North) won their 16th straight home game and will take a perfect record into next week's showdown with third-ranked Oklahoma in Dallas. But it did not come easy.
"They were ready to play. They were what we thought they were," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "They will be a problem for a lot of people in this league."
Oklahoma State (2-3, 0-1) was intent on spoiling next week's party and cut the lead to two points on a 33-yard TD pass from Josh Fields to John Lewis. But Field's two-point conversion pass to Rashaun Woods was unsuccessful.
Oklahoma had one more chance, but that drive ended on an interception by the Longhorns' Rod Babers.
"It was more of a blessing than anything else. I think I caught (Fields) by surprise," Babers said. "I had a chance to keep my eye on the ball and just made the play."
Simms threw a nine-yard TD pass to B.J. Johnson in the second quarter and scored on a one-yard TD run in the third. The southpaw completed 24-of-46 passes for 267 yards with an interception.
"We came out ready to play. We had some opportunities to change the mindset of this game," Simms said. "It's not always as easy as it looks. It was good to have a difficult test like this."
Fields completed 14-of-29 for 134 yards and two interceptions for the Cowboys, who are no strangers to deflating high expectations of their conference brethren. Oklahoma State stunned Oklahoma last season, ending the Sooners' national title hopes.
"I'm looking forward to taking these guys further into Big 12 play," Cowboys coach Les Miles said. "If we continue to play like we did today, we are going to have a very successful team. This team likes the fight and they play with heart and resolve."
If the Longhorns are to have a chance at a national title this season, their defense must play better than it did in the fourth quarter.
Lewis' TD catch capped a nine-play, 99-yard drive that included a 25-yard pass from Fields to Woods and a 25-yard run by Shaw, who carried 21 times for 99 yards.
Oklahoma State's Luke Phillips opened the scored with a 39-yard field goal in the first quarter.
The Longhorns had first-and-goal at the Oklahoma State 8 in the second quarter and had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Dusty Mangum.
Mangum had a long afternoon, missing on attempts of 37, 24 and 46 yards.
Simms threw a TD pass to Johnson with 17 seconds left in the first half to give the Longhorns their first lead at 10-3.
In the third quarter, Sloan Thomas caught a short sideline pass from Simms and cut back over the middle for a 55-yard gain to the Oklahoma State 25. Simms later scored on a sneak, increasing the lead to 17-3 with 2:24 left in the third quarter.
Tatum Bell surprised the Longhorns less than a minute later with a 55-yard TD run up the left sideline. But the extra point was blocked, keeping the score at 17-9.
"We should have won this game," said Woods, who caught six passes for 63 yards.
Cedric Benson of the Longhorns carried 27 times for 117 yards. Thomas caught seven passes for 130 yards.
Texas has won five straight and 10 of the last 11 against Oklahoma State to open a 15-2 lead in the all-time series. The Cowboys' last victory came in Stillwater in 1997.