SAN DIEGO (Ticker) -- D.D. Acholonu and No. 14 Washington State made life miserable for Texas' quarterbacks all night long.
Acholonu recorded the last of seven sacks on the final play of the game as the Cougars held on for a 28-20 victory over the fifth-ranked Longhorns in the Holiday Bowl.
Sammy Moore had two touchdown receptions and a big punt return that set up another score for Washington State (10-3), which snapped the Longhorns' six-game winning streak.
The Longhorns (10-3) pulled within 28-20 on a 30-yard touchdown pass from backup Chance Mock to Roy Williams with 4:29 remaining, and after a defensive stop, the duo hooked up on a 46-yard completion to the Washington State 11 with 2 1/2 minutes to play.
But two plays later, Mock lost the ball while attempting a pass and Cougars linebacker Will Derting gathered the fumble. The Longhorns got the ball back one last time at their own 26 with 1:15 left, but got no farther than the Washington State 45 before Acholonu ended the contest with his sack of Mock.
"When you look at how hard we fought to get to fifth in the country, to come out with a loss in the final game of the season is really disappointing," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "Guys are having a tough time in the locker room, but they understand that if you play a good team and make a lot of mistakes or they make that many plays, they win the game."
Acholonu finished with three sacks and forced a pair of fumbles. The Longhorns fumbled five times, losing three.
"(Defensive pressure) was coming from everywhere," Mock said. "We knew coming in that was how they were going to play. We worked on it, and I thought we played hard, but I don't think we executed as well as we could have. The end result is a loss."
The Cougars trailed, 10-7, before Matt Kegel completed a 54-yard touchdown pass to Moore with 9:23 left in the third quarter that gave them the lead for good. After a stop, Moore returned a punt 52 yards to the Texas 26, setting up Jonathan Smith's 12-yard TD run off a direct snap with 5:50 left in the period.
"It feels really, really good," said Moore, a senior, of his final game. "This is a dream come true for me, to finish my college career this way."
Washington State opened up its biggest advantage, 26-10, on a 19-yard fumble return by cornerback Jason David after free safety Erik Coleman knocked the ball loose from Texas tight end David Thomas with 2:20 remaining in the third quarter.
"This is a great way for our guys to end their season," first-year Cougars coach Bill Doba said. "These guys have battled and evolved the program."
Longhorns starter Vince Young struggled, completing just 6-of-14 passes for 15 yards and was pulled for good after they fell behind, 20-10. Mock finished 14-of-35 for 181 yards, while Williams had nine catches for 97 yards in his final collegiate contest.
Kegel went 18-of-32 for 203 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Smith had 21 carries for 110 yards and five catches for 51 yards.
Cougars punter Kyle Basler had an excellent game, putting five of his seven kicks inside the Texas 15, including four inside the 5.
"You have to give a lot of credit to their punter - that guy is unbelievable," Brown said. "He put us in poor field position for the entire night. I thought he was probably the difference in the ballgame because we had to go so far to score."