Monday, December 07, 2009

Texas Edges Nebraska 13-12 to Win Big 12 Championship

From the Houston Chronicle:

But at Cowboys Stadium, in the biggest game of his life, his moment found him anyway. And on a night when Nebraska’s superstar lineman threw Lawrence’s larger teammates around and UT’s Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback nearly threw the game away, it was Lawrence whose 46-yard field goal as time expired lifted the No. 3 Longhorns to a 13-12 victory in the Big 12 Championship Game.

With the victory, UT (13-0) likely advances to a Bowl Championship Series title game showdown with Alabama on Jan. 7 in Pasadena, Calif.

The Longhorns nearly didn’t get that chance. One play before Lawrence’s kick, Nebraska players stormed the field celebrating after Colt McCoy inexplicably ran a play and threw the ball high out of bounds with time running out. The stadium clock showed 0:00 after the play, but a replay official reviewed it and ruled McCoy’s pass hit the turf with one second remaining.


Well, I've always said I love a great defensive struggle.

It's just that I wasn't expecting this one at all. I mean, last week the Aggies shut down the Texas defense and ran all over the field; this week the Cornhuskers (it's really hard not to say "Cornholers," but I'm trying) shut down the Texas offense. Naysayers insist this all means that Texas has no business playing against the Crimson Tide in the BCS championship game. The way I see it is that we won, both times, against good but radically different teams, in different ways. That is, Texas knows how to win, especially when it looks like they're not going to.

Despite their struggles these last two games, the fact that they won them both makes me feel good about taking on Alabama. The Longhorns don't get flustered. I mean, that big-ass defensive tackle playing for Nebraska, the guy who created so much mayhem again and again behind the Longhorn offensive line, by himself should have scared the fuck out of Doctor McCoy. But no. He just kept on playing. Another day at the office. And in the end he did just enough to pull it out.

Okay, the shades-of-Les-Miles clock bullshit at the end is troubling, but this is the only time I've seen Texas flail around in this way in years--LSU's Tigers, conversely, do this shit all the time. This was a fluke moment, not likely to be repeated. Personally, I think we're ready, and Houston sports analyst guy
Richard Justice agrees. Indeed, struggling to win these last two games is actually good for Texas: there's no way they're going to the Rose Bowl thinking it's a gimme; they'll be tough and hungry, desperate for redemption in the national spotlight.

It's time. Let's do it again. Hook 'em 'Horns!

Hunter Lawrence kicks the game-winning field goal.
Ronald Martinez / Getty Images