2007 Texas vs. Oklahoma State football game
|Largest fourth-quarter comeback in Texas Longhorn history|
|Date||November 3, 2007|
|Stadium||Boone Pickens Stadium|
The 2007 Texas vs. Oklahoma State football game was a college football game played November 3, 2007 between the 2007 Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Oklahoma State (OSU) took an early lead in the game and led 35–14 at the start of the fourth quarter. For the fourth time in five years, the Longhorns staged a big rally to win the game. This time, Texas overcame a twenty-one point fourth quarter deficit to win by three points as time expired in the game. It was the biggest fourth-quarter comeback in Texas Longhorn history.
Before the game
Through 2006, Texas had played the OSU Cowboys football program 21 times and held a 19–2–0 record from 1916 through 2006. Texas came into the 2007 game with a nine game active winning streak against OSU. The Cowboys' only two victories occurred in 1944 and 1997. In the 1997 game, the OSU fans took down their own goal posts after the Cowboys pulled off a 42–16 win over the defending Big 12 Conference Champion Texas.
Since then, Texas had won every game, but most have been close-fought contests. The Horns won the 1998 game 37–34 on a Kris Stockton field goal with 3 seconds left. In 2000, Texas trailed 7–3 before scoring 39 unanswered points. In 2001, Texas trailed by 10 points in the first quarter but ultimately won 45–17. Texas made an interception to preserve a 17–15 win in 2002.
In three of the previous four meetings, the Longhorns needed come-from-behind rallies in order to win. The 2003 Longhorns fell behind by 10 points in the first quarter but won 55–16. In 2004 the Cowboys led 35–7 in the second quarter, but the Longhorns scored 49 unanswered points to win 56–35. In the 2005 game UT trailed 28–9 but rallied to win 47–28. Over the three meetings from 2003–2005, the Longhorns outscored the Cowboys by a combined second-half score of 118–0. Texas won the 2006 game 36–10 in a game the Austin American-Statesman called "the only snoozer in a decade". Texas never trailed in that game; they outscored OSU 20–3 in the first half and 16–7 in the second.
The day before the 2007 game, Las Vegas casinos favored Texas to win by 3 points. The pre-game festivities included an appearance by Challenger, the first bald eagle ever trained to free-fly into sports stadiums, and a fly-over by four F-16 Fighting Falcons from the Oklahoma Air National Guard’s 138th Fighter Wing piloted by Oklahoma State alumni.
The Cowboys got the ball to start the game and they mounted a nine-play, 2:35 touchdown-scoring drive. On the Longhorns' first play, Colt McCoy's pass was intercepted by Jacob Lacey, who returned the ball for a touchdown to put OSU up by fourteen. On the Longhorns' next series, McCoy was again intercepted by Lacey. The Cowboys and the Longhorns were each forced to punt and the first quarter ended with OSU having the ball on their 42-yard line and leading by 14 points.
Cowboy quarterback Zac Robinson scored a rushing touchdown on that drive to give OSU a 21-point lead. Texas narrowed the lead back to 14 with an eight-play drive that culminated in a touchdown by Jamaal Charles. The Horns' defense forced the Cowboys to try for a field goal and the 37-yard attempt by Jason Ricks was no good. Texas pulled within 7 points on a 20-yard touchdown pass from McCoy to tight end Jermichael Finley. The Cowboys fumbled the ball to the Longhorns at the Texas 23-yard line but the Longhorns could not make a first down and they were forced to punt. OSU took over at their 36-yard line with 4:00 left in the half. OSU drove to the Texas 14-yard line and benefited from a clock-stoppage due to a Texas injury. An incomplete pass left the Cowboys with 14 seconds left on the clock and one time-out. Robinson's pass to Brandon Pettigrew was complete for 13 yards and both teams left the field as time seemed to expired in the game. However, the officials ruled that OSU had managed to call a time out and they ordered two seconds to be placed on the game clock. From there, the Cowboys scored on a pass to Brandon Pettigrew to take a 28–14 lead into half-time.
The Longhorns got the ball to start the second half and used 4 plays to drive to the OSU 31. Colt McCoy threw a pass to Nate Jones that was originally ruled an incomplete pass. After a lengthy review, the officials decided that Jacob Lacey had made his third interception of the game. OSU drove 10 plays and scored a touchdown on a 20-yard pass to Adarius Bowman. The Cowboys defense stopped Texas' drive and they punted the ball to the OSU 8-yard line, the second series in a row for OSU to start inside their 10-yard line. The Cowboys began with a 44-yard pass to Seth Newton. Despite the good start, they were unable to score and they punted the ball to the Texas one-yard line. The Horns punted after failing to earn a first down. At the end of the third quarter OSU had a 35–14 lead and possession of the ball at the Texas 39-yard line.
That drive ended when the Cowboys failed to convert on 4th-and-five and gave the ball to the Longhorns at the UT-41. The drive culminated in Jamaal Charles' second touchdown of the game, trimming the lead to 35–21. OSU was forced to punt and for the second time they pinned Texas at the UT 1-yard line. This time, Texas advanced the ball on a 3-yard pass to Nate Jones and a 15-yard pass to Quan Cosby for a first down. Colt McCoy ran for 6 yards to put the ball at the UT-25. Jamaal Charles broke through for a 75-yard touchdown run and the Longhorns trailed by seven points. The Texas defense forced the Cowboys to punt and Texas took over at their own 9-yard line. Texas opened with a pair of big rushing plays: 16-yards by McCoy and 14-yards by Charles. Then McCoy threw a 60-yard pass to Jordan Shipley, who was finally brought down at the one-yard line. On their third-attempt at running the ball in, UT's Vondrell McGee managed to score the game-tying touchdown with 3:22 left in the game.
On what was to be the final kick-off, Texas committed a 15-yard face mask penalty and the Cowboys started the series on their own 45. Zac Robinson completed a pass to Dantrell Savage for 35 yards to the Texas 20. The UT defense forced OSU to try a field goal; the 32-yard attempt by Jason Ricks was no good, leaving the score tied at 35 with 55 seconds left. Texas started their drive at their 20. The Longhorns used 8 plays, the longest being a pass to Jermichael Finley for 31 yards, to get to the Oklahoma State 23. Texas called a time out with 2 seconds left and sent in Ryan Bailey to make the game-winning kick as time expired off the clock. The Longhorns prevailed, 38–35. Bailey's kick was reminiscent of his very first kick for UT. In the 2006 Nebraska game Bailey kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired. At the time, he was a walk-on player who was not even listed on the Longhorn depth chart.
Fox Sports selected Jamaal Charles and Jacob Lacey as their player-of-the-game for Texas and Oklahoma State, respectively. Charles rushed for 180 yards and averaged 11.3 yards per carry. ESPN remarked, "For the second straight week, Jammal Charles led a late charge for the 15th-ranked Longhorns. He scored two of his three touchdowns in the fourth quarter as Texas (No. 14 AP) outscored Oklahoma State 24-0 in the final 15 minutes." OSU's leading rusher was Dantrell Savage with 102 yards and 1 touchdown on 23 carries. McCoy was 20 of 28 passing attempts for 283 yards. He had one touchdown pass and three interceptions; he also rushed for 105 yards. Zac Robinson was 30 of 42 for 427 yards, 1 touchdown, and no interceptions. Robinson's passing yardage broke the school record, previously held by current head-coach Mike Gundy. Together, the teams had 1,170 yards of offense. The 594 yards allowed by Texas was the most in the 2007 season. Oklahoma State ran 87 plays and used 35:11 minutes of ball possession, compared to 70 plays and 24:49 for Texas.
Alan Trubow of the Austin American-Statesman reported, "It was hideous before it was pretty. It was one of the worst performances before it was one of the best finishes. It was so bad. Yet it ended so good." Kirk Bohls, also writing for the Statesman, said "Texas may be the prettiest ugly team in the country, but winning hides a lot of blemishes". Bohls pointed out that Texas had won five games (during 2007) in which the team has trailed and that three times Texas has had to recover an onsides kick to preserve their win. He credited Texas' customary no-huddle, hurry-up offense and their confidence for seeing them to victory in pressure packed games. He also opined that the Horns might be the best two-loss team in college football and that they might make it into a Bowl Championship Series game. Trubow said that the punting by OSU's Matt Fodge may have been the most impressive performance of the game.
The Longhorns suffered several injuries according to the Statesman, "Center Dallas Griffin left the game with a knee injury, linebacker Jared Norton left with a right shoulder injury and Eddie Jones left with a shoulder injury. Brandon Foster injured his chest in the third quarter, and Drew Kelson left the game with a left knee injury." The paper reported that the loss of Griffin may have contributed to several mistakes in snapping the ball to McCoy and that UT might not have been able to win had any of the bobbles ended up being turnovers for Texas.
For the Cowboys, the loss dropped them to 5–4 overall, 3–2 in the Big 12, and likely eliminated their chance of winning the Big 12 Conference South Division. The Cowboy coaches appeared shaken-up after the loss. OSU offensive coordinator Larry Fedora called the loss "gut-wrenching". Mike Gundy said "There's nobody whose heart has been ripped out more right now than myself." He said he could not explain how the Longhorns were again able to come from behind except "they made the big plays in the fourth quarter and we didn't." Defensive coordinator Tim Beckman added, "I’m extremely disappointed for the seniors, the fans and for everybody involved with Cowboy football."
The Stillwater News Press reported, "It’s almost too much to take, hearing that Twilight Zone music playing as it happens in front of you. There’s not enough antacid in this community for Oklahoma State football fans, as they were witness to another gut-grinder at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday afternoon...24 unanswered points, all coming in a 311-yard fourth quarter for the Longhorns. It was the kind of comeback that probably made a lot of people in attendance want to puke."
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