The outcome was: Raise your hand if you thought Texas was finished heading into the fourth quarter. I freely admit it: me, too. With Vince Young at quarterback, there was always enough time on the clock, as a touchdown was always one play away. This time, down 35-14, with a team quarterbacked by Colt McCoy failing to generate much explosiveness for three quarters, I thought the 'Horns were done. In many ways, though, it made the comeback all the sweeter. With VY, there was that feeling that he'd get it figured out. When it happened, you felt excited, but also just relieved.
Yesterday's comeback seemed so improbable - fans here and elsewhere were frustrated enough to type comments about how the team looked like it had quit. I didn't see a whole lot on the field to disagree with that. And yet, they never, ever gave up. 24 points in the fourth quarter? With the pressure of a skeptical fanbase doubting this team's competency all year? That took a ton of guts and determination. Those kids fought like hell to win the game. And they did. They made all of us proud to be Longhorn fans yesterday - we couldn't possibly overstate the greatness of that comeback.
Three cheers for all those kids yesterday. And to their coaches, who refused to let things end as poorly as they began.
The Offensive MVP was: Again. Once more, to the rush chart:
Touchdown runs bolded and underlined.
For Charles, another masterful fourth quarter and stunning final line: 16 rush attempts, 180 yards, 3 touchdowns. The 75 yard touchdown run was one of the most beautiful runs I've seen - certainly the most aesthetically pleasing rush by a Longhorn since 2005. As Charles turned the corner, there was a lane to the open field beyond, but with two defenders closing to the space, looking something like this:
You can count on one hand the number of tailbacks in college football who could make it through that hole before the defenders got there. Charles accelerated, hit full speed within moments, split the defenders, and was gone for the 75 yard score. MVP, indeed.
The Defensive MVP was: Deon Beasley, Rod Muckelroy, and Lamarr Houston were all phenomenal on Saturday - especially Muck (9 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 forced fumble) and Beas (5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass broken up).
The offensive Offensive Player Of The Week was: No negative comments about those kids in this particular report. They all deserve to enjoy a special win.
The offensive Defensive Player Of The Week was: Same as above. There were plenty of problems on Saturday, but no one's getting singled out after such an enjoyable and gutty win. This team dug a deep, deep hole and clawed its way out. We're gonna celebrate that.
John Chiles Watch: It's good that Davis didn't panic when McCoy started so poorly, but not using Chiles at all is simply a waste of a weapon. Especially as we become a team whose explosiveness centers around the run - not the pass.
Vondrell McGee Watch: McGee was used as a feature back on one drive in the first half, then returned to his short-yard duties thereafter. The way Charles is running right now, that's not going to change any time soon. Even so, I'd guess Davis - sooner, rather than later - will start calling more running plays. It's looking like Texas ought to be emulating the Arkansas offense best it can. Which should mean some nice carry opportunities for McGee as Charles' complement.
Texas Tech Fear Factor: (5) is the baseline. (+3) for Zac Robinson just threw for 430 yards. (+1) for all the injuries we're saddled with right now. (+1) for who the hell knows with this Texas team?
Heading into next week I feel: I'm not literally intoxicated, but I certainly feel it. I'm parts giddy, nauseos, and disoriented all at the same time. Texas picks up its first quality win of the season, moves to 8-2, and gives the fans a performance to file in the videotape archives.
You know what? I'll take it.