"There was the same buzz in the meeting room yesterday that we had
before the OU game," said head coach Mack Brown.
Texas has their own version of the Comeback Kid.
Colt McCoy has made a career out of the comeback.
The senior quarterback for No. 3 Texas has led 11 second-half rallies in his 39 career victories, seven of them in the fourth quarter. He has twice pulled Texas back from 21 points down to win, including a 38-35 win at Oklahoma State in 2007 after Texas started the fourth down 35-14.
Malcolm Williams needed to earn one person's trust.
To get his football career back where he wanted it to be, Malcolm Williams knew he had to earn the trust of one man.
To earn that trust, he started hanging out with a machine.
Clearly, there are fundamental differences between Texas quarterback Colt McCoy and the mechanized JUGS apparatus the Longhorns use to fire footballs at receivers before and after practice. But Williams figured if he could master an electric version of McCoy, the human one wouldn't be a problem.
"You can always amp up the speed on the JUGS machine," Williams, a sophomore receiver from Garland, said. "Colt has a max."
"He’s got real good pocket presence,” said UT defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.
"They use a lot of pocket movement. It’s hard to get pressure.”
So what exactly does that goon defense entail?
The term "goon" doesn't have the best of connotations. Thug, punk and bully are some of the nicer definitions you'll find for the word. UT linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy said none of those fit this defense. Instead of sinister, the nickname simply means the Longhorns' intend to give an all-out, dominating effort the entire game. "It means throwing your body around without a care," Muckelroy told the Austin American-Statesman. "It means making the tackle, no matter what it takes. It means having fun."
The parallels are impossible to ignore for No. 3 Texas.
As the Longhorns enter Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla. on Saturday, they will face a charged, intimate night-game setting against a rising Big 12 South power with BCS hopes of its own. Texas remembers an all-too-similar situation that occurred 364 days previously.
The Longhorns went into Jones AT&T Stadium on Nov. 1, 2008, fell behind Texas Tech by 19 points, and lost the game and control of its national-title destiny.
The lessons learned that night in Lubbock could prove invaluable Saturday.
"We're going into a hostile environment," safety Earl Thomas said. "It's going to be the Tech atmosphere of last year on Halloween, with crazy fans."
(Brown starts talking about Oklahoma State at the 3:06 mark. Part 2 here.)
We may eventually hear Jordan Shipley's name associated with something other than football.
Shipley’s music has also drawn interest from other musicians. This past summer, the country singer Aaron Watson invited Shipley to his house in Abilene, Tex., and the two sat on the back porch playing acoustic guitars into the early hours of the morning.
“He claims that he hasn’t been playing the guitar very long, but he’s outpicking me already,” Watson said in a telephone interview from a tour stop in Huntsville, Tex. “Maybe I’ll be opening up shows for him someday.”
For now, Shipley’s top priority is football, but someday he plans to make a demo of his songs. He is also hopeful that the rest of this season gives him more material.
“It doesn’t have anything about a train or being drunk or his momma or anything like that,” Bob Shipley said of his son’s career. “So I don’t know how much of a county music song it’ll make, but then again the final verse hasn’t been written yet.”
Football is hard, according to the guys over at Barking Carnival.
"I haven't beat them since I've been here, same for the guys in there,"
senior quarterback Zac Robinson said. "It's a little extra motivation obviously
with what's on the line and both teams playing well right
now. Having them at our place will be a lot of fun."
Zac Robinson knows exactly what he is up against on Saturday night.
"There’s no question it’s going to be the best defense we’ve faced to date," he said. "They are playing extremely well right now. ... They’ve got players everywhere. It’s going to be a challenge for our skills guys, our offense line and myself."
The Cowboy defense keeps people guessing.
Staying unpredictable: OSU has allowed only four sacks all season and is giving up an NCAA-low 2.86 tackles for loss per game. Avoiding negative yardage plays has helped the Cowboys to keep defenses guessing.
Will the Pokes run against Texas?
"Ultimately, it comes down to this what must we do to score one more point than they do?" OSU offensive line coach Joe Wickline said. "I'm not looking at statistics or last year's game. We will never bail on our run game. It's our bread and butter."
Cowboy coach Mike Gundy and co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer said OSU must sustain its typical run-pass balance. Even if yards are tough to come by against Texas, OSU will not abandon its attempt to run the football.
Maybe we shouldn't have written off the Cowboys.
The Cowboys are a quiet 6-1 and 3-0 in the conference, despite being written off for dead after a 45-35 loss to Houston on Sept. 12. One week earlier, OSU knocked off Georgia, 24-10, but by losing to the Cougars — who are also 6-1 and ranked 15th in this week's Associated Press poll, by the way — the critics howled.
Can't handle prosperity, they cried.
Overrated all along, they huffed.
Same old Pokes, they claimed.
Essentially, the Cowboys were ignored, another flash in the pan that failed to turn that sizzle into substance. And when all-world wide receiver Dez Bryant was suspended on Oct. 7 for misleading NCAA officials about his relationship with former NFL star Deion Sanders, OSU reportedly didn't stand a chance without its main offensive weapon.
Mike Gundy keeps overcoming obstacles to keep OSU in the Big 12 race.
“When you have as many off-the-field distractions and injuries or things come up that we have this year, you have to have leaders other than the coaches,” Gundy said. “That’s just the chemistry of your team and they enjoy being around each other and enjoy practicing. So no matter what happens, they’ll buy in and go play hard.”
Texas and OSU experts weigh in on the game.
What makes you think this could be the year the Cowboys break through against the Horns?
Hunziker: This Oklahoma State team has tremendous chemistry which is accentuated by a strong senior class. Defensively, the Cowboys continue to make big strides. They are catching Texas on the back end of a brutal stretch of games.
Carlson: They were close last year in Austin, only losing 28-24. They are playing just about as well offensively now as they were a year ago, but their defense is better. That could be enough to make up the difference.
Tramel: OSU's defense is better and its offense still is playing at a high level.
Helsley: Halloween. Night game. Record crowd. The stars are aligned, right?
Halliburton: Because at some point, the Cowboys have to win. Plus, Zac Robinson is a senior quarterback playing at home.
Golden: The law of averages. Much better teams than this current Texas team have fallen behind the Cowboys in Stillwater. Sooner or later, the Longhorns are going to get bitten. Could be this year.
Chatmon: It's gotta happen sometime right? The Pokes have dealt with so much adversity and have developed a mental toughness that will pay off against Texas. Their senior leadership and team chemistry could be the difference this year.
Mayes: The years that I played Texas, I just remember draft pick after draft pick on their roster. This year although talented as usual they just don't seem invincible. All in all, this year the Cowboys seem to match up better against the Horns.