Richmond McGee was preparing to kick off, the Longhorn defense was gathered for one final effort and only 11 seconds remained in a game with a breath-taking finish.
There, on the artificial surface in the Texas bench area at Kansas‚ Memorial Stadium. Vince Young was by himself, kneeling on both knees, his hands clasping his bowed head.
It would be intrusive to suggest what he was doing. Only Vince and God know.
And God knows Vincent Young pretty well.
In sports, there are those who play as hard as they can and get the most out of their ability. Those who are extremely talented, those who are exceptional.
And there are those, like Vince Young, who have "the gift."
It is important here to make it very clear that great players in the sport of football do not win games by themselves. It would be wrong to tell you the story of Lawrence, Kansas, and the remarkable comeback which brought Texas from 10 points down to a 27-23 victory over an inspired Kansas Jayhawk team without credit all around.
It would be unfair to overlook the gallant effort of Cedric Benson, who set an all-time NCAA record by scoring in his 36th football game, and spearheaded a running game that accounted for almost 300 yards on a near 600-yard day. You don't put up those kinds of numbers without a tremendous effort from the offensive line, and you don't throw for almost 300 yards without great effort from six receivers, including Benson himself.
And it is not right to discount the defense, which seemed "snake bit" throughout much of the game, barely missing on plays that could have put the game out of reach long before those final 11 seconds. Unofficial game statistics credited Derrick Johnson with eight tackles, three for losses, and three pass breakups.
The kicking game may have struggled, but Dusty Mangum kicked two field goals (including a 50-yarder) and three extra points to more than account for the margin of victory.
The Kansas winds played havoc with the kicking game, and the kickoff coverage was ineffective, but just when they needed it most, Ahmard Hall knifed through the Jayhawks and his tackle forced them to start at their on 23 on their final drive with just four minutes left in the game.
For longtime Texas observers, this game had the haunting similarity to two losses in the Darrell Royal era when TCU and Rice, both with losing records just as Kansas, broke the Longhorns' hearts and ended dreams for significant national honors.
In fact, it has been over 40 years since a Longhorn team, with so much on the line, faced such a challenge late in the game. There have been great comebacks, last second touchdowns, but since the 1963 National Champions trailed Texas A&M, which was 2-6-1, no Longhorn team has come back from facing so much with so little time with everything to lose.
Even in that game, the score that cut the Aggie lead to 13-9 came early in the fourth quarter.
Somehow, even as the sports writers began their epitaphs for this remarkably team-oriented team, the players and the coaches never lost faith.
And neither did Vince Young.
Here was a guy who just a month ago was being slammed by the critics.
Now, with only 7:36 remaining in the game, he stood at 87 yards away, his team down by 10 points and on the brink of extinction in the hunt for an opportunity of a fantastic finish to the 2004 season.
It was fitting that the drive began with a pass to Cedric Benson that gained 12 yards. He, too, has been incredibly gifted, and we have all been blessed just for the chance to see him play.
But as important as Benson, the receivers and particularly senior wide out Tony Jeffrey were this day, it would be Vince Young who would post a game to remember.
Faced with third-and-10 on a day when bogging down was more the rule than the exception, Young ran for 12 yards. On third and four, Benson gained seven.
And finally, one more time on third and seven, Young broke out to the right side, and went 18 yards for a touchdown. When Mangum kicked the extra point, Kansas led, 23-20.
That was when Hall tackled the Kansas kickoff return man at their 23, and the defense held.
The coaches, that veteran staff which masterminded everything, even when a lot of things seemed not to work, faked an all-out punt rush, and got a shank out of the Kansas punter.
It was first down at the Kansas 47, but Young was sacked on the first play for an eight-yard loss.
Two pass incompletions later, it was fourth-and-18.
Throughout the day, from a tackle in the first quarter until this moment with only a minute left in the game, Kansas linebacker Nick Reid had played superbly. He had 14 tackles and had talked smack to Young after every one.
The late song writer Jim Croce made a song famous which said, "You don't tug on superman's cape," and you don't spit into the wind, and in hindsight, Reid might add, you don't talk smack to Vince Young.
For as Young dropped back, then scrambled, Reid wrapped his arms around what he thought would be Young's leg, well shy of the first down.
And he tackled air. Young needed 18 yards, he got 22.
So it was that four plays later, after converting yet another third down play, with only 11 seconds remaining Young found Tony Jeffrey after a brilliantly run route in the end zone for the winning touchdown.
Then, and only then, did Vince Young rest.
Major Applewhite, who has done significant quarterbacking around these parts, acknowledged that it is a gift that sets Young apart from other players.
"God's a pretty good coach," said Major, and you could make a case for that.
What we do know is, for Vince Young, he's blessed with many gifts.
And Saturday in Lawrence, that made all the difference.