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Mack Brown is coaching his tail off at Texas

COMMENTARY — The Longhorns have reversed tide and won a slew of close games, thanks in large part to an outstanding job by their head coach.
by Berry Tramel Published: November 12, 2013
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The Texas offense came to the line of scrimmage with 59 seconds left in the game, down three points at West Virginia and facing fourth down.

Seemed like dire straits for the Longhorns. But no. Down-to-the-last-strike is in the Texas wheelhouse.

The 'Horns converted that fourth down, drove to a game-tying field goal and won in overtime. Which is nothing out of the ordinary. Three times in its last 19 games, Texas has won despite facing a fourth down in the final two minutes of a game in which it trailed. Plus a similar escape at Iowa State earlier this season, except with two third-down conversions.

Somebody buy Mack Brown some new trousers. He's been coaching his butt off.

Not so very long ago, the Texas coach was Dead Mack Walking. Brown looked old and confused and dazed. Looked like he would welcome the water at the end of the plank.

But Texas hosts OSU on Saturday, and Mack's Longhorns haven't lost since way back on Sept. 14. UT is 6-0 in the Big 12.

All without its quarterback of choice; with a slew of injuries to key players like Jordan Hicks, David Ash, Johnathan Gray and Chris Whaley; and with an oppressive cloud hanging over Longhorn football and Mack's future in general.

“They're coaching their tails off,” said 'Horn quarterback Case McCoy.

Mack certainly gets roasted enough in Austin's City Limits and beyond for his many coaching foibles. It's only right that he's hailed when the ship is righted.

“The staff and the players aren't making excuses,” Mack said. “They're just moving on.”

And the Texas brass likely will move on, too. Mack long ago was fired in the court of public opinion, athletic director DeLoss Dodds is out and 'Horn honchos have admitted to even trying to entice Nick Saban to a job that's not yet open.

Hard to put the horses back in that barn. But hard not to appreciate what Mack's staff has done after losing September blowouts to Brigham Young and Ole Miss.

This is a coaching job along the lines of Les Miles in 2002, when OSU lost to Louisiana Tech and UCLA, then got off to an 0-2 start in the Big 12 but then won six of seven to ignite a Cowboy renaissance.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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