Greatest Moments in Horns Football History series

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USC vs Texas, January 4th, 2006

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It is arguably the greatest college football game of all time. Texas taking on USC for the national championship.

Two of the sport’s most historic programs faced off in The Rose Bowl, college football’s most legendary setting in a game that exceeded the unprecedented hype that lead up to it.

In the fourth quarter, with just over two minutes to play, the Texas defense stopped USC running back LenDale White on fourth down, giving the ball to Vince Young and the offense.

And Young delivered — running for the game-winning touchdown on a 4th and 5 call that will forever live in Longhorn lore.

Texas won its fourth overall national championship, 41-38, and snapped USC 34-game winning streak.

August 13th

Texas at Arkansas, December 6th, 1969

AUSTIN(KXAN)–It’s been called The Game of the Century, The Great Shootout. Texas went to Fayetteville, Arkansas undefeated and ranked number one in the nation to take on number two Arkansas.

The Longhorns trailed 14-8 late in the fourth quarter and were facing 4th down and three yards to go from the Arkansas 44 yard line. Quarterback James Street was 5-9 for 80 yards in the game when he hooked up with Randy Peschel over two Arkansas defending the play down to the Razorbacks two yard line. Running back Jim Bertelson capped off the drive with a two yard touchdown to tie the game with 3:58 to go in the game. Happy Feller kicked the extra point to give Texas the lead. Arkansas still had plenty of time, but Tom Campell intercepted Bill Montgomery’s pass at the Texas 22 to seal the victory.

After the game President Nixon, who was in attendance, proclaimed the Longhorns National Champions in the Texas locker room. Texas did beat Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl to complete their second perfect season in six years.

August 12th

Texas at Texas A&M, November 24th, 2011

AUSTIN (KXAN)–Texas traveled to College Station in 2011 knowing that would be their final scheduled game for the foreseeable future. The Aggies were leaving the Big 12 for the SEC and there were no plans for the two schools to schedule a non-conference game.

This was all about the rivalry, Texas was 6-4 and ranked 25th, A&M was 6-5.

Texas A&M took a 25-24 lead with 1:48 to go in the game. Texas got the big play they needed from quarterback Case McCoy who ran 25 yards down to the Aggie 23 yard line. Three plays later Justin Tucker ended the game and for now, the rivalry with a 40 yards field goal on the final play of the game.

August 11th

Texas at Ohio State, September 10th, 2005

AUSTIN (KXAN)–Before there was the epic win over USC for the National Championship, Texas had to travel to Columbus, Ohio for a primetime game against Ohio State. The Buckeyes had won 36 straight home non-conference games and welcomed a record crowd of 105,565 into Ohio Stadium.

Texas trailed 22-16 late in the 4th quarter when Vince Young hit Limas Sweed on a 24 yard touchdown pass with 2:37 to go in the game and after the extra point Texas led 23-22.

Texas then iced it when linebacker Drew Kelson stripped quarterback Justin Zwick, and Brian Robison recovred the fumble for Texas. Longhorns added a late safety to win 25-22.

From there Texas won there next 10 games by an average margin of victory at just under 38 points per game before their thriller against USC for the National Championship.

August 10th

Texas vs Nebraska, December 5th, 2009 Big 12 Championship game.

AUSTIN(KXAN)–Texas went to the Big 12 Championship game in 2009 with a 12-0 record and knowing a win over Nebraska would send them to the National Championship game in the Rose Bowl against Alabama.

The Longhorn struggled to move the ball on the Nebraska defense, scoring just 10 points through more than 58 minutes. Nebraska took a 12-10 lead with 1:44 to go when Colt McCoy was able to put together a drive. McCoy hit Jordan Shipley for 19 yards and a personal foul penalty turned it into a 34 yard gain to the Nebraska 26. But Texas lost yards on their next two plays before McCoy tried to pick up some additional yardage on third down and when his passed landed out of bounds the stadium clock read 0:00 and Nebraska was on the field celebrating. After review :01 was put back on the clock setting the stage for Hunter Lawrence’s 46 yard game winning field goal. It was UT’s 3rd Big 12 championship.

Texas would go on to suffer the loss to Alabama in the National Championship game when McCoy was injured early in the first quarter.

August 7th

Texas vs Oklahoma, October 6th, 2018

AUSTIN (KXAN)– It’s one thing for a Longhorn to make a name for themselves against Oklahoma, it’s another thing to do it as a true freshman. That’s what happened in 2018 when 19th ranked Texas faced 7th ranked Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

For three quarters it didn’t look like there would be any last second drama as Texas led 45-24 heading into the final 15 minutes. But Oklahoma stormed back in the fourth quarter to tie the game on a Trey Sermon seven yard touchdown run with 2:38 to go.

Texas got the ball on its own 25 yard line and Sam Ehlinger got the drive going with an 18-yard pass to Devin Duvernay. Ehlinger then converted another third and 3 with a four yard run.

That set the stage for freshman kicker Cameron Dicker from Lake Travis high school. With 14 seconds on the clock Dicker drilled a 40-yard field goal to give Texas a 48-45 win over the Sooners.

Texas kicker Cameron Dicker (17) watches his game-winning field goal during the second half of an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Dallas. Texas defeated Oklahoma 48-45. (AP Photo/Cooper Neill)

The two teams met again later that season in the Big 12 Championship, a 39-27 win for Oklahoma. But Texas still ended the season on a high note, beating Georgia, 28-21, in the Sugar Bowl for the school’s first 10-win season since 2009.

August 6th

Texas vs Michigan, January 1st, 2005 The Rose Bowl

AUSTIN (KXAN)–After an 10-1 regular season Texas made the most of their first ever trip to the Rose Bowl. The Vince Young put on quite a show for the 6th ranked Longhorns against 13th ranked Michigan. Young ran for 192 yards and four touchdowns and threw for another 180 yards and one touchdown.

Texas trailed 31-21 heading into the 4th quarter but Young’s 23 yard TD run with 5:11 to go gave Texas a one point lead. Michigan kicked the go-ahead field goal with 3:08 to go in the game to grab a 37-35. That set the stage for one final Texas drive. Young led Texas to the Michigan 20 yard line with just two seconds to go. Walk-on senior kicker Dusty Mangum connected from 37 yards on the final play of the game to give Texas the 38-37.

After the game Young stood on the winners’s podium and told they nation “we’ll be back.” Texas did return the next to play USC for the national championship.

August 5th

Texas vs Texas A&M, November 27th, 1998

AUSTIN (KXAN)–Mack Brown said that his best recruiting job when he got to Texas in late 1997 was to convince Ricky Williams to come back for his senior season. In Williams final regular season game of that senior year he was looking for NCAA history against Texas A&M. Williams came into their annual rivalry matchup 53 yards shy of Tony Dorsett’s 22 year old record for most rushing yards in NCAA history.

Williams had 53 yards late in the first quarter so the question wasn’t if he was going to break the record but how. Williams did it in style. On a first down from the Texas 40, Williams took the handoff from Major Applewhite and ran 60 yards, not only for the record to but touchdowns.

Williams was greeted on the sidelines by Dorsett who set the record of 6,082 yards at Pitt in 1976. That run also left no doubt about Williams joining Earl Campbell as UT’s second Heisman trophy winner. Texas went on to beat 5th ranked A&M 26-24 and Williams rushed for 259 yards.

Williams capped his UT career at the Cotton Bowl with 203 yards and two touchdowns in UT’s 38-11 win over Mississippi State.

August 4th

Texas vs Oklahoma, October 11th, 2008

AUSTIN (KXAN)– In 2008 Texas rolled to a 5-0 record and climbed to 5th in the rankings heading into their showdown with Oklahoma. The Sooners came into the game ranked #1 led by quarterback Sam Bradford.

Texas fell behind 14-3 early in the second quarter when they got the spark they needed. Jordan Shipley took the kickoff back 96 yards for the touchdown. That was the start as Texas outscored OU 42-21 and a 45-35 victory. Shipley also had 11 catches for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Texas vs Ohio State, January 5th, 2009, The Fiesta Bowl

After the heartbreaking loss to Texas Tech, Texas settled for a trip to the Fiest Bowl against Ohio State. The Buckeye’s outscored UT 17-0 in the 4th quarter before Texas put together one last drive. Texas went 78 yards in 1:42 capped off by a Colt McCoy touchdown pass to Quan Cosby with just 16 seconds to go.

Texas won 24-21 and for Cosby who still ranks in the top five in all time receptions, a magical last touch of the football as a Longhorn.

Monday, August 3

Nov. 6 and Nov. 13, 2004 Texas vs. Oklahoma State, Texas at Kansas

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It was back to back high drama for the Longhorns in 2004.

Oklahoma State came to Austin and jumped all over Texas, leading 35-7 with 1:18 to go in the 2nd quarter. But Texas went on to score an astonishing 49 unanswered points, taking the lead on a Cedric Benson touchdown early in the 4th quarter to take the lead and go on to a 56-35 win.

Then it was off to Lawrence, Kansas as the Longhorns took on a 3-6 Jayhawks team. But Kansas had a 23-13 lead with just under 10 minutes to go in the game. After cutting the lead to 23-20, Texas was facing a 4th and 18 at their own 44 and it was the magic of Vince Young, rushing for 23 yards and first down, 3 play later his hit Tony Jeffery on a 21 yard touchdown pass to bring Texas back for a 27-23 win.

The Longhorns closed the regular season with a win over the Aggies, and then went on to close out the season with a last second win over Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

Friday, July 31

Nebraska vs Texas, December 7, 1996 – Trans World Dome in St. Louis

AUSTIN (KXAN) — In the first season of the Big 12 Conference’s existence, James Brown produced the most famous play of the John Mackovic era in the conference’s first championship game.

The Longhorns went into St. Louis as a three-touchdown underdog to No. 3 Nebraska.

While holding on to a three-point lead late in the fourth quarter, Mackovic called the play that is now known among UT faithful as simply, “Roll Left.” A bootleg rollout where Brown connected with Derek Lewis for a 61-yard gain on fourth down.

The play all but sealed Texas’ first Big 12 championship. Priest Holmes made it official with an 11-yard touchdown run to put the game on ice.

UT stunned the Cornhuskers with a 37-27 win.

Thursday, July 30

Oklahoma vs Texas, October 14, 1989

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Peter Gardere cemented his place in UT football history in 1992 when he led Texas to a 34-24 win over Oklahoma, his fourth straight win over the Sooners. Texas and OU have played 117 times and Gardere is the only Texas quarterback to go 4-0 in the rivalry.

The legend started his redshirt freshman year when he took over the starting job the week before the Oklahoma game with a 31-30 win over Rice to even the Longhorns record to 2-2. .

Then it was on to Dallas to face the 15th ranked Sooners. Texas led 21-7 at the half, but Oklahoma scored 17 unanswered points to take a 24-20 lead with 3:42 to go in the game.

Gardere then engineered a seven play, 66 yard drive that culminated with a 25 yard touchdown pass to a diving Johnny Walker to give Texas a 28-24 win.

Gardere led Texas to three more wins over the Sooners by a combined 14 points.

Wednesday, July 29

October 8th, 1977 Oklahoma vs Texas at The Cotton Bowl

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The story of the 1977 Texas Longhorn football season centered around the soft spoken, hard hitting Earl Campbell rushed for 1,744 yards and 18 touchdowns in 11 games.

One of his toughest tests was the annual showdown in Dallas against Oklahoma. Texas went into the game ranked 5th while the Sooners were numer two in the nation.

The only touchdown in the game came late in the first half when Campbell rambled 24 yards to give Texas a 10-3 lead. The Longhorn defense did the rest, holding OU to just 209 total yards in a 13-6 Texas win. Campbell finished the game with 124 yards on 23 carries.

Texas would move to number two in the nation after the win, eventually moving to number one a couple of weeks later. Texas ran the table in the regular season and in December Campbell won UT’s first Heisman trophy. Texas missed out on a chance at a perfect season and a 4th national title with a loss to Joe Montana and Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl.

Earl Campbell poses with the Heisman trophy he was awarded Thursday night December 8, 1977 in New York as the outstanding college football player in the country for the 1977 season. (AP Photo)

Tuesday, July 28

October 3rd, 1970, Late touchdown against UCLA leads to 3rd National Title

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Following the Longhorns perfect season and second National Championship in 1969, Texas went to work on back to back titles. The Longhorns entered the season second in the nation. After easy wins over Cal and Texas Tech, Texas ran into a tough 13th ranked UCLA team in Austin.

Texas scored 13 points in final 8:12 of the first half to take a 13-3 to halftime. But UCLA scored 14 unanswered points in the third quarter to take a 17-13 lead. The Bruins had that same lead when Texas got the ball with just 46 seconds to go on their own 49 yard line. Quarterback Eddie Phillips was just 5-14 passing for 56 yards before he hit Cotton Speyrer on a dramatic 45 yard toucdown pass with just 12 seconds to go in the game.

The Longhorns won 20-17 and went on to a perfect regular season and were named National Champions by the UPI. Texas did lose the Cotton Bowl to Notre Dame, but the UPI title was named before the Bowl games.

Texas coach Darrell Royal and his quarterback Eddie Phillips check signals during their onslaught of Arkansas in Austin, Tex., Dec. 5, 1970. Texas won, 42-7 to take the Southwestern Conference and a ticket to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl against Notre Dame. (AP Photo)

Monday July 27

January 1st, 1964 Texas shuts down Navy for perfect season

AUSTIN(KXAN) — 1963 was Darrell Royal’s seventh season as Texas head coach. The Longhorns were coming off a back to back top five finishes in the polls with a combined record of 19-2-1. That ’63 season featured a suffocating defense, allowing just 62 points in their 10 regular season wins including three shutouts.

FILE – In this Nov. 16, 1963, file photo, Texas head coach Darrell Royal is all smiles as he laces his shoe in the Texas dressing room after his Longhorns defeated Texas Christian University 17-0 in Austin, Texas Royal, who won two national championships and turned the Longhorns program into a national power, died early Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, at age 88 of complications from cardiovascular disease, school spokesman Bill Little said. Royal also had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. (AP Photo/Ted Powers, FIle)

That set the stage for the New Year’s day Cotton Bow game in Dallas in front of 75,504 fans, against Heisman trophy winning quarterback Roger Staubach and number 2 ranked Navy. The Longhorns defense did to Navy what they had been doing all season. The Midshipman rushed for -14 yards on 29 attempts. Texas jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead on the strength of a pair of Duke Carlisle touchdown passes, both to Phil Harris along with a touchdown run from Carlisle.

Texas went on to win 28-6 capping a perfect season. While National Champions were actually decided before the bowl games by both the AP and UPI, this left no doubt.

Join us each weeknight on KXAN News at 6 p.m. through August 14 for a Greatest Moments in Horns History segment.

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