Alabama was co-champion of the Southeastern Conference who had been ranked #2 after their first game, but a loss to Georgia Tech and a tie four weeks later knocked them out of contention, though they won the SEC title due to them having a perfect SEC record along with Georgia. Their win over Auburn the previous game gave Bryant his 315th win. The Longhorns were ranked #1 before playing Arkansas in their fifth game of the season, but they lost to the Razorbacks, and a tie to Houston three weeks later knocked them out of serious championship contention.
Entering the fourth quarter trailing by 10, the Longhorns scored their first points with a quarterback draw by Robert Brewer on a 3rd-and-long with 10:38 remaining. On Texas' next possession, Terry Orr scored from eight yards out to cap an 11-play, 80-yard drive to put the Longhorns up 14-10 with 2:05 remaining. Alabama's Joey Jones returned the ensuing kickoff to the Texas 38-yard line, and Alabama quarterback Walter Lewis took over with 1:54 left. On the very next play, UT's William Graham picked off a Lewis pass at the one. The Longhorns took a safety to insure better field position and make the final margin 14–12.