Since being ganked by Oklahoma Oct. 13, the Texas Longhorns have won three games in a row. But the first two, 56-50 over Baylor and 21-17 over Kansas, don't seem to count to detractors, who always vote against mass transit propositions but would approve their tax dollars going to a rail built to ride coach Mack Brown and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz out of town.
Oh, they whine, these coach potatoes who have so much more football knowledge and instincts than those guys who live it 18 hours a day. I know because I'm one of them. After Saturday's decisive win over a favored Texas Tech in Lubbock, Mack n' Manny have a message for us: Shut your fajita holes! (Gladly.) Previously unranked Texas is now No. 19 in the almighty Associated Press poll. But more importantly, a lot of pressure is gone with the win. We can all fucking breathe easier.
Now that the Horns have finally bagged the prom queen after almost three years of front porch pushaways, they can't let up. Here comes Iowa State for a game Saturday at 11am on the Longhorn Network. ISU's record is just 5-4, but one of those L's was to No. 3-ranked Kansas State, 27-21. They've beaten both TCU and Baylor by 14 points and are coming from Ed Ames, Iowa, with a tomahawk for UT's crotch. With the recent death of coach Darrell Royal, UT will lineup in the Wishbone Offense on the first play from scrimmage and should be fired up all game. This could be a "trap game," one where "at least Case McCoy played well."
But first let's revel in the 31-22 Tech-down a little more. We're still getting 'venge for the most overrated play of all time, the Michael Crabtree TD that knocked UT out of national championship game contention in Colt McCoy's junior season. (If Crab had gone out of bounds, Tech still would have won with a 20-yard field goal, so that TD was not even essential.) Point is, we hate the Red Raiders almost as much as we do the Aggies. Their taunting fans are almost as obnoxious, so it was sweet to wake up Sunday morning with a big butt and a smile.
The crucial play was a blocked field goal by Carrington Byndom that kept Texas ahead by 9 points – two scores – late in the fourth quarter. Tech gained 441 yards 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.
Could we stop Seth? That's a Yeth! 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. 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 third and goal from the 6, leading to the 23-yard FG attempt that our No. 23 blocked.
Texas had lost to ranked opponents nine times in a row, but ended that streak when the frosh prince Johnathan Gray, who had an Emmitt-like 106 yards on 20 carries, gained the first down on third and 3 from the "whildcat" with 1:30 in the game. Coach Brown reacted with almost maniacal jubilation, and coach Duane Akina finally tamed his scowl. When the dean of "DBU" yelled at officials earlier, we hadn't seen a Hawaiian go so ballistic 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 fourth-quarter hookup with Magic Mike. The Belton Bomber ended at 11-19 for 264 yards and three TDs, with no turnovers.
They all came to play on Saturday. Saying it's the best game of the season so far for the Longhorns is like calling Bob Marley the most talented of the Wailers. In Lubbock, they call it Jones AT&T Stadium, but to the 2012 Texas Longhorns it was Redemption Field.
9/1 Texas 37, Wyoming 17
9/8 Texas 45, New Mexico 0
9/15 Texas 66, Ole Miss 31
9/29 Texas 41, Oklahoma State 36
10/6 West Virginia 48, Texas 45
10/13 Oklahoma 63, Texas 21
10/20 Texas 56, Baylor 50
10/27 Texas 21, Kansas 17
11/3 Texas 31, Texas Tech 22
11/10 vs. Iowa State 11am
11/22 vs. TCU 6:30pm
12/1 at Kansas State TBA
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