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You Can't Call 'Em Quitters

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It certainly hasn't been pretty, but Texas now finds itself at 8-2 and in excellent position for BCS Bowl consideration should it pick up wins over Texas Tech and A&M. Perhaps no win was more gratifying than last week's thriller in Stillwater - a highly, highly improbable comeback from 21 points down in the fourth quarter, with Ryan Bailey drilling another 40+ yard field goal as time expired.

Perhaps not coincidentally, quarterback Colt McCoy has been a microcosm of the team this year - at times great, at times terrible, but always fighting for a chance to win. Last season he was much better, of course, often rescuing the 'Horns from a running game which had totally flatlined. This season, it's been the running game which has helped rescue a wounded passing game that's desperately missed Limas Sweed.

Whatever the ailment, the past two years have been a roller coaster ride for the Longhorns. Looking back at the 18 games the 'Horns have won since McCoy took over at quarterback, Texas has trailed in 9 of those games - often late in the contest.

2006

Oklahoma - Texas starts the second half trailing 10-7 before McCoy completes 2 TD passes to rally Texas to a 28-10 victory.

Baylor - The Bears jump out to a quick 10-0 lead before McCoy scorches Baylor for a school-record 6 touchdown passes en route to a 63-31 blowout.

Nebraska - The 'Horns squander a fourth quarter lead and find themselves trailing 20-19 before Aaron Ross' clutch forced fumble. McCoy moves the 'Horns 39 yards in 8 plays to set up Ryan Bailey's last second game-winning field goal in the snow.

Texas Tech - Texas finds itself in a 21-0 first quarter hole, trails 31-21 in the fourth, but rallies to win 35-31 after McCoy finds Quan Cosby for a 28-yard TD, the final score of the game for either team.

Iowa - Texas trails 21-20 in the fourth quarter, but McCoy pushes Texas to a 26-24 victory behind 308 yards passing, 2 TDs and 0 turnovers.

2007

TCU - The 'Horns trail 10-0 at halftime after two McCoy interceptions, including one returned for a TD. McCoy and Jamaal Charles (144 yards rushing) right the ship and blow out TCU in the second half, winning 34-13.

Central Florida - Texas sloppily lets UCF hang around and, eventually, take a 24-23 lead in the fourth quarter. Charles finally buries the Golden Knights with a 46-yard TD run and Texas hangs on to win 35-32.

Nebraska - The Longhorns flounder for three quarters and trail 17-9 before Jamaal Charles buries the Huskers with 210 yards and 3 scores in the final quarter.

Oklahoma State - Texas trails 35-14 through three quarters before McCoy, Charles, and the 'Horns make a furious rally to outscore the pokes 24-0 in the fourth quarter and win on a walk-off field goal.

Cardiac kids, indeed. It's a double-edged sword, of course - sometimes Texas has remained flat throughout the game and just lost. The McCoy-led Longhorns have five losses sprinkled in among the 18 wins, but it's important to remember McCoy's just a sophomore.

And it'd be nice if there were more consistent help. Some better line play would be nice. John Chiles packages would alleviate some pressure and give defenses more to think about. And, if we're lucky, maybe Jordan Shipley can replace some of those downfield passing yards the team was counting on getting from Limas Sweed.

Like I said at the beginning - not always pretty. But it's been mostly fun.

And hey, if we can beat Tech and A&M to get to a fancy bowl, we'd be ending this season on a damn good note to build on for 2008.

--PB--