Oklahoma State ran a well-designed and nearly well-executed final play trying for a miracle touchdown.
Ultimately, receiver Charlie Moore was tackled 38 yards short of the end zone after a fourth-down play that began at OSU's 27-yard line and Texas escaped with a 41-36 victory.
The play began with an 11-yard completion from J.W. Walsh to Tracy Moore, who initiated a series of four laterals, the third of which returned to Walsh near the right sideline. He fired the ball backward across the field to Charlie Moore around the 20-yard line, who had a wall of blockers ahead of him — but not enough to clear an 80-yard path.
Charlie Moore sprinted along the sideline for what turned out to be a 41-yard gain.
The play design was reminiscent of the Music City Miracle, the touchdown scored by the Tennessee Titans on a cross-field lateral in January 2000 to beat the Buffalo Bills in a playoff game.
OSU coaches have debated using high, hanging kickoffs that fall near the goal line, trying to give the coverage team extra time to get down the field and pin the opponent deep.
However, Texas punched a hole in the theory when D.J. Monroe caught a kickoff at the goal line and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown late in the first quarter.
“We had two guys that hit him in the legs and neither one of them wrapped up and got him down,” coach Mike Gundy said. “Those are big plays that, when you get in a game with a team as talented as Texas, you can't make those mistakes.”
From that point on, all of Quinn Sharp's kickoffs went deeper into the end zone for touchbacks.
OSU last allowed a kickoff return touchdown against Texas last season, when Fozzy Whitaker returned one 100 yards as well.
OKIES IN ACTION
Two Oklahoma products played a part on the Texas defense Saturday night.
Tulsa Central's DeMarco Cobbs, a junior, started at strongside linebacker for the Longhorns and finished with two tackles.
Josh Turner, a sophomore from Millwood, had seven tackles in the secondary, playing mostly in five-defensive back situations.
Texas grad and Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant watched the game from the Texas sideline in a burnt orange T-shirt.
But during the second half, he saw himself on the big screen in OSU orange.
Durant was the target for the OSU video crew's “Live Orange” segment, which uses an on-screen graphic to depict a fan in a bright orange OSU shirt.
Once he noticed he was centered in the graphic, Durant quickly began to move around the sideline, but the camera worker stuck on him better than most NBA defenders could.
Durant was celebrating his 24th birthday Saturday.
Sharp's punting average took a hit Saturday night, with two punts averaging 38.0 yards. But to be fair, Sharp only kicked one — a 50-yarder — with his normal (right) kicking foot.
In the second quarter, Sharp scooped up a mishandled snap and while dodging a rusher, punted the ball with his left foot, covering 26 yards.
Oklahoma State allowed its first quarterback sack of the season in the second quarter, when Texas' Jackson Jeffcoat wrapped up Walsh. Texas had two sacks in the game... Texas now leads the all-time series with OSU 23-4... The Cowboys finished with 576 yards Saturday, 156 yards more than they had in Austin last year, when they defeated Texas 38-24... With 36 points, OSU extended its nation-leading streak of consecutive 30-point games to 22... The Cowboy offense has scored on all 25 of its red zone opportunities this season... Joseph Randle's 199-yard rushing performance was his career best, surpassing the 152-yard outing he had against Baylor last year. His 69-yard TD run on the opening drive was also a career-best... The uniform combination of black helmets, orange jerseys and black pants was worn for the second time, previously appearing in OSU's Bedlam victory last season... Saturday's attendance of 56,709 was the seventh-largest crowd in Boone Pickens Stadium history. The attendance totals for each of OSU's home games this season rank in the top 10 in stadium history.