Staff writers from The Oklahoman are joined by other OSU-Texas series experts in tackling a wild series. The Longhorns are 11-0 against the Cowboys under Mack Brown, but there have been many close calls and several extraordinary escape jobs by Texas.
The discussion participants: Berry Tramel, Jenni Carlson, Brandon Chatmon and John Helsley from The Oklahoman; Dave Hunziker, OSU play-by-play voice; Suzanne Halliburton, Texas beat writer for the Austin American-Statesman; Cedric Golden, columnist for the Statesman; and Sam Mayes, former Cowboy lineman and current talk radio personality.
What is the defining moment for you in the OSU-Texas series?
Hunziker: The 2007 disappointment. The Cowboys led 35-14 after three, but lost 38-35. Twelve of the Cowboys 13 offensive possessions ended in Longhorn territory, but OSU failed to score on seven of those possessions. The Cowboys may have been the better team that year.
Carlson: The 5-yard touchdown pass from Vince Young to Bo Scaife might not be on many highlight reels, but it came only seconds before halftime in 2004, helping Texas gain some momentum and ultimately turn a 35-7 deficit into a 56-35 victory.
Tramel: 2004: Texas' 80-yard drive in nine plays in the final 1:18 of the first half. OSU had just taken a 35-7 lead, but Texas quickly responded and never even faced third down. Emboldended at halftime, the 'Horns dominated the second half and won 56-35.
Helsley: Watching an OSU offense that rolled to a big first-half lead in 2004 stumble around in the early series of the third quarter. You could sense the Cowboys shrinking, while the Longhorns seized momentum and rode it to a comeback that's still hard to comprehend.
Halliburton: I remember that 80-yard Vince Young touchdown, where he pump faked (Donovan Woods). I also remember the game two years ago, when all the weirdness happened early, and then watching Ryan Bailey calmly kick the 39-yard field goal.
Golden: The 2005 game when the eventual national champions won 47-28 after trailing 28-12 at the half in Stillwater. Vince Young's pump fake of Donovan Woods en route to an 80-yard touchdown run stands out as one of the most underrated plays in Longhorn team history.
Is there a single reason to explain the Longhorns' mastery?
Hunziker: Yes, they've had much better players. Texas has exponentially more NFL players than OSU does in the past 10 years. There were some seasons, 2005 comes immediately to mind, when based on talent, the game should not have been close.
Tramel: When you score a bunch on Texas, you have to keep scoring. OSU went scoreless in the second half in both 2004 and 2005, plus was scoreless in the fourth quarter in 2007.
Helsley: Beyond the fact that they have more great players, a lack of depth has played a factor in the Cowboys wearing down late in some games, making it hard to fend off the charging Horns.
Golden: Halftime adjustments. Several times the Longhorns have trailed at the half and for some reason, they came out a different team in the third quarter each time.
Chatmon: The mental edge gained by finding a way to pull out so many crazy games. It started in 2004 and has continued ever since. And let's be honest, Texas tends to be the deeper team.
Mayes: In this case "mastery" is a combination of talent and good fortune. And that combination was too much for Oklahoma State to overcome.
Which loss do you consider the worst?
Hunziker: 2007 was the worst, when OSU blew a 35-14 end of third quarter lead in Stillwater. The Cowboys dominated, had almost 600 yards of offense, and missed a late field goal that would have given them the lead back.
Carlson: The 36-10 loss in 2006. Other games were heartbreaking and gut-wrenching for the Cowboys, but at least they were competitive in them. That drubbing in Austin was one year where that wasn't the case.