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2008 Greatest Football Games - Longhorns Survive Battle With Cowboys
July 13, 2009
2008 Greatest Games Countdown

By Wendell Barnhouse | Correspondent

Hindsight is so accurate and revealing because it's, well, hindsight. It's a chance to look at something that's already happened.

Based on the historic nature of the 2008 season, Texas' victory 28-24 over Oklahoma State in Austin represented perhaps the Longhorns' high point.

It was the third consecutive week that Texas had played and defeated a team ranked 11th or higher, starting with No. 1 Oklahoma on Oct. 11, then No. 11 Missouri on Oct. 18. And after beating the Cowboys, Texas knew if faced another challenge - a trip to Lubbock to face undefeated Texas Tech.

"Our reward is Tech won 63-21 (over Kansas)," Longhorns coach Mack Brown said after the game. "We've still got some work to do."

By surviving a strong challenge from the Cowboys, Texas protected its No. 1 ranking. But other than the annual Red River Rivalry tussle with the Sooners (ranked No. 1 at kickoff), Oklahoma State gave the Longhorns their toughest test.

"We kind of let them off the hook," said Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson, his hands shaking with emotion. "We had them where we wanted them all game, and we were just a few plays short."

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy finished with 391 yards passing, completing 38 of 45 for two touchdowns. But an interception and a fumble both proved important roles in the Cowboys nearly pulling off the upset.

Both of McCoy's TD passes came in the first half and they helped the Longhorns build a 21-7 lead four minutes before halftime. But Robinson led a drive that ended with his touchdown pass to Bo Bowling that pulled the Cowboys to within 21-14 at intermission.

Texas extended its lead to 28-14 on McCoy's 3-yard run. Oklahoma State counterpunched with Keith Totson's 1-yard TD run. A McCoy interception led to Dan Bailey's 39-yard field goal that made it 28-24 with 13 minutes remaining.

The Longhorns appeared to be driving for at least a field goal, taking 7:31 off the clock with a 15-play drive. But McCoy was sacked and fumbled, giving the Cowboys the ball at their 10 with 5:27 remaining.

Texas' defense, though, sacked Robinson and then dropped wide receiver Dez Bryant on a fourth-down play that came up short.

"It took everything we had," Shipley said, "to win this game."

For Texas, it was the 11th consecutive victory over Oklahoma State. Some of the recent triumphs involved the Longhorns mounting memorable rallies to erase early deficits. But this time, it was Texas who was holding off a late charge.

"I'm very relieved to be out of that game," Texas defensive tackle Roy Miller said.

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