Horns Upset Tech 31-22 in Lubbock
Head coaching icon Mack Brown and defensive mastermind Manuel “Manny” Diaz shut up detractors Saturday afternoon when they inspired their charges to a 31-22 win over favored Texas Tech. Due to an editing error in last week’s “Hornucupoia” column, it appeared that I had pegged the Horns for “a certain defeat” against Tech.
Actually, what I had originally written was that Texas could not yet "acertain the feat" that would ensure its victory.
The crucial play was a blocked field goal by a possessed Carrington Byndom that kept Texas ahead by 9 points- two scores- late in the fourth quarter. Tech gained 441 yards on Texas and had 25 first downs to the Horns’ 18, but Manny’s D repeatedly came up big when it had to, aided by some coaching clams by Tommy Tuba on the other sideline. The way TTU Coach Tuberville was using time outs, he should get an endorsement deal from Kleenex.The Horns didn’t give up a single explosive play (25 yards or more) to the Seth Doege-steered offense which had led the nation in passing touchdowns. Could we stop Seth? That's a Yeth!
The team whose hand sign is a gun pointed upward continually shot itself in the foot. Tech had first and goal from the 2 with just over 6 minutes left in the game and didn’t score. A TD was called back for holding and then Doege threw the ball away on 3rd and goal from the 6, leading to the 23-yard FG attempt that our #23 blocked.
The game's biggest offensive play was a 25-yard touchdown pass from David Ash to Magic Mike Davis which put Texas up 31-22 with 9 minutes to go. Given Tech's scary rep, that didn't seem like it would be enough. But we kept stopping them, then grinding clock on the ground.
Texas had lost to ranked opponents nine times in a row, but ended that streak when the frosh prince Johnathan Gray, who had 106 yards on 20 carries, gained the first down on 3rd and 3 from the "whildcat" with 1:30 in the game. Coach Brown reacted with almost maniacal jubilation and Coach Duane Akina finally settled down. With the dean of DBU going nuts on officials earlier, we hadn’t seen a Hawaiian so expressively agitated since a plate lunch place on Oahu added a surcharge for “gravy all ovah.”
Give Coach Brown credit for sticking with Ash after the QB played in Kansas like a senior citizen trying to figure out Skype. He started off hitting 9-10 against Tech, then went cold before the 4th quarter hookup with Magic Mike. The Belton Bomber ended at 11-19 for 264 yards and 3 TDs and no turnovers.Texas scored first on a short pass to wide-open Jaxon Shipley and never trailed in the game. Leading by 11 at the half, the Horns D braced for an offensive onslaught that never came. They gave up first downs by the bushel, but not big touchdowns. It was the biggest team win Texas has had all year. Offensive player of the game was Davis, who also caught a 75-yard bomb from Ash in the second quarter and finished with 165 receiving yards. And no drops! Last year, his "Magic" nickname seemed ironic, like a fat man named "Tiny," but this season he's making tight coverage disappear. Loved Gray's contribs, too. Though he's been compared to Adrian Peterson for the demand for his services after high school in Texas, Gray is more reminiscent of Emmitt Smith. He hits the holes, has subtle fake-out moves and powerful legs on his 5' 10" frame. Defensive game balls go to Byndom and Steve Edmond.. Byndom stood up to Tech receiver Eric Ward's bullying attempts and broke up a key two-point conversion near the end of the third quarter, Linebacker Edmond grew up on Saturday and batted down a third down pass late in the game that would've been caught for a first down. That was as big as a turnover.
In Lubbock, they call it Jones AT&T Stadium, but to the 2012 Texas Longhorns it was Redemption Field.I lied earlier. There was no editing mistake. I had Tech all the way. They beat WVU by 35 the week after the Mountaireers beat Texas in Austin. They had the #12 defense in the country to go with a top passing game. I thought the Red Raiders would win and beat the 7-point spread. But crow never tasted so good.I haven't been so happy to be wrong since I kept my lunch down after viewing the Hulk Hogan sex tape. Texas is now 7-2 with a tough Iowa State coming to town, followed by TCU. Then it's up to Kansas State in Manhattan Jr. If Heisman frontrunner Collin Klein, who left the Okla State game Saturday with what appeared to be a concussion, doesn't play Dec. 1, Texas could very well end the season at 11-2. Just need to dodge A&M in the bowl game, what with Johnny "Not-Good-Enough-for-UT" Manziel looking like Robert Griffin the second.