No. 6 Texas 43, Texas Tech 40
AUSTIN, Texas -- On a day honoring Texas' 20 seniors and the nation's Veterans, the No. 6 Longhorns provided one of the most exciting games of the 22 played by the seniors in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, as Texas (9-2, 6-1 Big 12) completed a 43-40 come-from-behind victory over Texas Tech (7-4, 4-3 Big 12). Chance Mock made his first appearance of the game in the final drive and found senior Roy Williams on a 54-yard pass play and later senior B.J. Johnson for a nine-yard touchdown with 46 seconds to go as the Texas seniors completed their home careers with a 21-1 record.
"(Chance) Mock grew up in Lubbock, and both his mom and dad are graduates of Texas Tech," said head coach Mack Brown, who secured his sixth-consecutive nine win season. "He has been really positive throughout the year. He really stepped up for us tonight. We talked to him early in the game and told him that we would put him in during the third series, but he said that we were in a rhythm and to leave Vince (Young) in. That is the kind of classy guy he is. We decided that since passing is what Mock does best, we would put him in to throw downfield. We had no doubt that he would go in and play well. The receivers responded and made some great plays."
Mock was 4-of-5 on the drive for 74 yards, including the 54-yarder to Williams that was part of an eight-catch, 136-yard performance by Williams in his final home game. Vince Young threw the remaining 82 yards to Williams, while completing 16-of-25 passes for a season-high 213 yards with two touchdowns to go along with his 53 yards rushing.
"It was really a big play," Williams said. "You have to be ready for a play like that. I think that both quarterbacks could have made the play, but Chance Mock has the one-minute drill down better. However, Vince will eventually get it, and then we will have two guys (who could come in the game in situations like that)."
Young now has 1,043 yards passing for the season, combining with Mock (1,288) to give Texas two passers with over 1,000 yards in the same season for just the third time in school history. Cedric Benson added 142 yards on the ground with two touchdowns for the 14th 100-yard game of his career, tied for fourth-most in UT history.
Texas Tech opened a 12-play, 80-yard opening scoring drive, which RB Taurean Henderson finished with a 5-yard touchdown run. Marcus Tubbs blocked the extra point for the fourth blocked kick of his career, to hold the score at 6-0. The four blocked kicks tied Tubbs with Shane Dronett for a UT record at the time.
Texas answered with a touchdown on its opening drive, as well, as Young connected on all three of his passes for 54 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown to Bo Scaife for a 7-6 Longhorn lead.
On Texas' second possession, Benson broke free for a 33-yard run to the Red Raider 14-yard line as part of a seven-play, 80-yard drive. After two plays that lost yardage, Young found Sloan Thomas, who tipped the ball and pulled it in at the back of the end zone for his 12th career touchdown reception, tying him for eighth on UT's career touchdown receptions list, and giving Texas a 14-6 lead 52 seconds into the second quarter.
The Longhorns also converted on their third possession, as Benson rushed for 37 yards during the drive, which began on the Texas 31. Benson finished the drive with runs of 17, eight and five yards, the last of which he took up the middle for his 15th rushing touchdown of the season with 10:21 left in the half.
Tech would get on the board one more time before the intermission, as QB B.J. Symons threw the first of his three touchdown passes in the game with 1:33 remaining, connecting with TE Mickey Peters from 19 yards out to cut the lead to 21-14 following a two-point conversion. Symons finished 32-of-56 for 365 yards.
However, Texas was not done, as it moved 46 yards in nine plays, highlighted by passes of 19 and 12 yards from Young to Williams and Johnson, respectively, which helped set up a 45-yard field goal by Dusty Mangum as time expired for a 24-14 lead.
An interception by Young on the Longhorns' first drive of the second half gave the ball to Texas Tech at the Texas 45, and five plays later, Symons hit Clay McGuire down the right sideline for a 24-yard touchdown with 10:42 to go in the third.
The Longhorns responded with scores on each of their next two possessions, including a 34-yard Dusty Mangum field goal and a three-play, 36-yard touchdown drive that followed a failed fourth-down conversion attempt by Texas Tech at its own 39. Benson scored his second touchdown of the night from 11 yards away, his 16th rushing touchdown of the season, putting him alone in fourth place on UT's single-season rushing touchdowns list. It was also the 40th rushing TD of his career, which ties him with Earl Campbell for second on UT's career list. The score came with 5:46 left in the third and gave Texas a 35-21 lead.
Texas Tech then began its comeback with a 13-play, 80-yard drive that closed with Symons' second touchdown pass to Peters, this time from 14 yards out, with 55 seconds to go in the third, making the score 35-28.
After Young's second interception of the night, Henderson scored on a four-yard run, completing a 77-yard drive and cutting the Longhorns' lead to 35-34 with 9:10 remaining. However, Brian Robison blocked the extra point attempt, also giving him four blocked kicks for the season, which ties both the UT single-season and career blocked kicks record.
With 2:40 to go in the game and the ball sitting on the Texas 26-yard line, the Red Raiders faced a fourth-and-5, and Symons found Wes Welker for an eight-yard gain. From there, Henderson carried the ball twice and scored from 10 yards at the 2:03 mark, giving the Red Raiders the lead at 40-35. Texas Tech's two-point conversion attempt was incomplete, keeping the lead at five.
Following the kickoff, which was returned to the Texas 14-yard line, Chance Mock entered the game at quarterback and on the second play, completed the 54-yard pass to Williams down to the Texas Tech 32-yard line.
Three plays later, Mock found Tony Jeffery at the 20-yard line before rushing for 11 yards on the next play, spotting the ball at the nine with 50 seconds left. Four seconds later, Johnson caught the 16th touchdown of his career while fading into the right corner of the end zone, and the Longhorns retook the lead 41-40. Following two penalties on two-point conversion attempts, Mock snuck the ball in from the one, for a three-point lead.
Texas Tech made one last effort, getting the ball with 46 seconds left and moving 53 yards to the Texas 31-yard line with five seconds remaining. However, a Keith Toogood field goal attempt was wide left and the Longhorns held on for the victory.
"Tonight was a great college football game," Brown said. "You have to give Texas Tech credit. Neither team should have lost. I credit the way they kept coming back and I am proud of our guys for responding the way they did. I am proud of our seniors, who are 21-1 at home. It is a fitting tribute for them to finish like this."