Berry Tramel

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Texas football: Wild night in Ames

by Berry Tramel Modified: October 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm •  Published: October 4, 2013
Texas head coach Mack Brown, left, talks with Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads before an NCAA college football game, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Texas head coach Mack Brown, left, talks with Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads before an NCAA college football game, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Wild, wild Thursday night game the Big 12. Texas beat Iowa State 31-30, leading to more Mack Brown rambling and more Paul Rhoads ranting and more wondering just how many lives the Longhorns have.

* Brown’s fate would have been sealed with a defeat. In fact, I believe Brown would have resigned, effective the end of the season, and gone into the OU game having settled the raging debate.

But a victory keeps the Brown’s hopes alive. And why not? Ladies and gentlemen, the Longhorns lead the Big 12 at 2-0. Beat the Sooners, however unlikely that may be, and Texas is the conference favorite.

Brown talked about what a great victory it was, and who can argue? It was a great victory for a beleaguered program playing with its backup quarterback.

* More goal-line drama for the Longhorns. Texas scored the winning touchdown with 51 seconds left, only after two straight plays of fumbles at the goal line. On the first, by Jonathan Gray, the Cyclones recovered, but Gray was ruled down on the field. Then the replay booth reviewed the play and said the call stands.

I don’t understand the non-reversal. If the ballcarrier was ruled stopped by forward progress, then it’s not reviewable. If it’s reviewable, the booth is determining whether the runner was down before the ball came loose, and the ball seemed to come loose before Gray went down. And that didn’t make Rhoads happy. His emotional rant was vintage Rhoads. You can listen to it here.

The game was reminiscent of Stillwater last season, when OSU scored the winning touchdown with 29 seconds left, but only after a fumble, recovered by the Cowboys, went undetected.

* Here’s the scary part about Texas’ slide the last four years. The Longhorns are winning the close ones.

They beat Iowa State on a touchdown with 57 seconds left, OSU last year on a touchdown with 29 seconds left, Kansas last year on a touchdown with 12 seconds left  and Texas A&M in 2011 on a last-play field goal. Plus, the ‘Horns rallied from a 27-17 deficit in the Alamo Bowl last year to beat Oregon State, scoring two touchdowns in the final nine minutes, the latter with 2:24 to go.

* I completely understand Rhoads’ anger. But the bigger officiating issue were all the penalty flags against Iowa State. The Longhorns literally ran out of ideas on offense and resorted to just throwing downfield to speedy Mike Davis. Iowa State had no one who could physically match up with Davis, who ended up with six catches for 64 yards.

Iowa State was penalized 10 times for 118 yards, including five pass interference penalties. Three of UT’s four touchdown drives were supplemented by interference penalties, including two on third down and two on the game-winning drive.

* Texas needs David Ash back and quick. The ‘Horns have no chance with Case McCoy against OU. They have little chance with Ash. But the Sooners can stack the line against the UT run game, put athletic cornerbacks on the Texas receivers and make McCoy (or Ash) try to beat them. McCoy would have no chance.

 

 


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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