Sunday, November 4, 2007

Texas storms back, stuns Cowboys again



Brody Schmidt/AP Photo

Texas running back jamaal Charles, right, finds a gap in the Oklahoma State defensive line. Charles scored three touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter, in the Longhorns' 38-35 comeback victory against the Cowboys on Saturday in Stillwater, Okla.

— Mack Brown isn't sure if Texas has a psychological edge on Oklahoma State. It certainly seems a plausible explanation for what his Longhorns have done to the Cowboys in recent years.

Four times in the past five seasons, Texas has come from way behind to break Oklahoma State's heart.

The latest came Saturday, when Ryan Bailey kicked a 40-yard field goal as time expired to lift No. 14 Texas to a 38-35 victory to cap a comeback from a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit.

"We've won a lot, and that is a positive thing," Brown said. "The mind is a powerful, powerful thing, especially in sports. At first, we did not put pressure on (the Cowboys), and we had to to get it turned, because we did believe we were going to win.

"When we put pressure back on them, I think that question arises again, 'Uh oh. Here we go again. We've been there.' ... I don't understand it. I don't know how it works that way, but sometimes it does."

For the second straight week, Jamaal Charles led the late charge for the Longhorns, scoring two of his three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Texas (8-2, 4-2 Big 12 Conference) twice trailed by 21 points, including a 35-14 deficit entering the quarter.

That margin seemed daunting for those unfamiliar with the history of the Texas-Oklahoma State series. In 2003, Oklahoma State led 16-7 in the first quarter but Texas won 55-16. In Austin in 2004, Oklahoma State sprinted to a 35-7 first-half lead before Texas roared back for a 56-35 victory.

In 2005 - the season Texas won the national title - the Longhorns trailed 28-9 in the first half in Stillwater, but rallied to win 47-28 behind Vince Young.

This time Charles, who scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns in a comeback win over Nebraska last week, was the star. He scored on a 17-yard run with 11:40 left and reeled off a 75-yard touchdown jaunt with 7:30 left, pulling the Longhorns within 35-28. Charles finished with 16 carries for 180 yards.

A 60-yard pass from Colt McCoy to Jordan Shipley led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Vondrell McGee that tied the game with 3:22 left.

"It's just within us," McCoy said. "I wish we could play like that in the beginning, I promise. I hate that it has to come down like that, but it just shows the toughness and shows the fight and shows the character of our team."

Oklahoma State kicker Jason Ricks sent a 34-yard field-goal attempt wide right with 1:13 left. McCoy, who finished 20 of 27 passing for 282 yards and rushed 16 times for 106 yards, guided the Longhorns into position for Bailey's game-winner, the second of his career.

"The entire team kept coming up to me in the fourth quarter, saying it's going to come down to the last kick," Bailey said. "You always think about it, but you try not to. You just do the same routine."


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