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Texas DT T’Vondre Sweat wins the Outland Trophy

The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year is the third Longhorn to win the award given to the nation’s top interior offensive or defensive lineman.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 02 Big 12 Championship Game - Texas vs Oklahoma State Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Wrong trophy, right result.

Days after Texas Longhorns senior defensive tackle T’Vondre Sweat struck the Heisman pose in the Big 12 Championship game win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys, the Huntsville product was named the Outland Trophy winner on Friday evening by the Football Writers Association of America during The Home Depot Football Awards on ESPN.

The 6’4, 362-pounder won the 78th Outland Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top interior offensive or defensive lineman, over Notre Dame offensive lineman Joe Alt and Kansas State offensive lineman Cooper Beebe, the two other finalists.

Three other Texas player have won the award, given annually since 1946 — defensive tackle Scott Appleton in 1963, guard Tommy Nobis in 1965 and defensive tackle Brad Shearer in 1977.

Named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Sweat returned to school for a fifth season and broke out, establishing career highs with 42 tackles, 17 solo tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks and four pass breakups, while blocking an Iowa State point after attempt that Austin Jordan returned 82 yards for two points. In Arlington, Sweat also caught the two-yard touchdown pass against the Cowboys.

Sweat and the Texas defense lead the Big 12 in third-down defense (26.5 percent) and red zone defense (71.4 percent), respectively ranking second and fourth nationally in each category. The Longhorns are also 13th nationally in scoring defense (17.5 ppg) and 22nd in total tackles for loss (82).

Along with Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year Byron Murphy, a junior from DeSoto, Texas held eight opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing, the most for the Longhorns since 2009 (10). Texas limited Houston, BYU, Kansas State, TCU and Iowa State to less than 100 yards rushing, the longest for the Longhorns since 2009 and tied for the third-longest for a Big 12 team over the last 15 seasons.

Opponents only managed 241 yards (48 ypg) on 118 carries (2 ypc) in those five games combined, allowing the Longhorns lead the conference and rank third in the nation in rushing defense at 80.8 yards per game, the fewest surrendered by the school since 2008.