And Colt McCoy a little Simms-ish.
Or so I said midway through the third quarter, when the Longhorns could have taken back the game following a big defensive stop while trailing 22-13. McCoy’s INT-returned-for-a-TD capped off an already dismal sequence of offensive plays (incompletion, penalty, penalty), though the Longhorns QB’s absence of rhythm was surely more a product of his line (and perhaps the absence of Quan Cosby). Kid got knocked around for most of those three quarters, than came back and got it done.
The only problem wasn’t too tough to foresee — when UT took its 33-32 lead (its first one of the game), Mike Leach’s offense still had 99 seconds to work with. In need of just three points, they got a TD on some nonpareil Michael Crabtree footwork, after chipping at the Longhorns defense 10 yards and 10 seconds at a time. Texas Tech 39, Texas 33. Anybody have “Red Raiders safety” as a Vegas prop bet for first score?
If I was voting, I would make the Raiders #2, and I say that as a Penn State fan. The only reason they can’t leapfrog all the way to #1 (as Texas did) is ’cause they didn’t start out higher (and because they’re Texas Tech). Of course, as a Penn State fan, I also hope they lose to Oklahoma State (and then beat Oklahoma).
Also, now that Georgia has two losses, are we allowed to wonder if they aren’t a top team (and therefore the SEC is not as good?) instead of going, “wow, if Alabama beat the preseason #1 they must be awesome too.” (And yes, again, I say that as a fan of the team from the weak conference).
As exciting as the UT comeback and Tech finish was, it would have been quite fitting had the Horns returned the final kickoff for a score – the Raiders had to launch it from their
five seven because of not one, but two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the home fans with 1 second left. Yeah, I get it, it was the school’s first win ever over a top-ranked team, and they are Texas Tech not Texas. “Act like you’ve been there before” does not apply.
I already got this game wrong – should have watched more film (though that didn’t seem to help Will Muschamp’s scheme against the jailbreak screen) – but my prediction: Everybody loses still. Alabama, Texas Tech, Penn State. Of course, I’m hoping for a nice, dull, low-scoring rematch of the 1979 Sugar Bowl. And any Big 12 school against Florida or USC could be quite entertaining.
In other news, it’s just a little weird that Tim Tebow passed Emmitt Smith as Florida’s all-time rushing TD leader. I suppose at some point we could also see a running back break somebody’s all-time receiving record, right?
Similarly, it turned out Northwestern’s replacement for injured tailback Tyrell Sutton plays the quarterback position. Mike Kafka, himself a fill-in for CJ Bacher, had 216 rushing yards against the Gophers in a 24-17 win that ended on an NU interception return for a TD. Can’t see the Wildcats beating OSU, but they better handle Michigan, and the Illini game could be as entertaining as that intra-state game ever is. Alamo Bowl, here they come!
Update: I did not realize… Tech is already #1… in graduation rates among all Top 25 teams, at 79%. Penn State is second (78%, behind unranked Northwestern in the Big 10) while UT and Oklahoma (50% and 46%, respectively) continue to bring up the rear of the Big 12.