Far from Flowery

27 Oct

Texas 21, Kansas 17

Oct. 27, 2012 • Lawrence, Kansas

Since Kansas is the “sunflower state,” we spelled Texas using sunflower seeds last year. I figured we’d stick with the theme this year but up the ante with the flowers themselves. Besides, sunflowers are so pretty and fall-y, you know? And since this game was going to be easy-peasy, why go for a tougher, more manly medium?

Ugh.

Our Horns were 12 seconds away from losing to Kansas. Kansas, the team that has never beaten us in conference play. Kansas, the team that came into this one having lost its last 16 Big 12 games. For most of this game, it looked like the Jayhawks were going to break that streak. Against TEXAS!

Our Horns again showed flashes of greatness here and there, but our team mostly looked hapless. For the second time in recent weeks, our QB was surprised to find the football in his face. Shouldn’t he be one of the two people in the whole stadium who know when the ball’s going to be snapped? We couldn’t wrap up tackles (STILL!). We couldn’t hang on to passes. When your tacklers don’t tackle and your receivers don’t receive, bad things happen.

A loss to Kansas would’ve been a very bad thing.

It’s funny how such a poor performance can surprise me. It really shouldn’t. We saw it against ou, and even though we beat Baylor, we saw many of these same problems against the Bears last week, too. Still, after our first defensive possession ended in a punt and we scored soon after that, I thought maybe we’d rediscovered our swagger. (Of course, I thought the same thing after last week’s quick score, too. I’ll never learn!)

When the bottom fell out, the tweets started flying. Of course, whenever our team’s struggling, the Texas beat writers flood the Twitterverse with critiques, but this time, national sportswriters were taking notice, too. Many were speculating which coaches would be fired Monday. A loss to Kansas could NOT go without some kind of retribution, a consequence that would not wait for season’s end.

Enter Case McCoy.

McCoy (the Sequel) replaced David Ash in the fourth quarter, and in his first possession, the coaches called for several running plays. Genius! I thought maybe the coaches had finally figured out a way to get the ball to our powerful backs. But no. After the game Case said he was cold (literally), so those hand-offs were intended to help him warm up!

I shouldn’t complain, though, because McCoy did get warmed up. The McCoy-helmed Horns scored to tie the game 14-14 in the fourth, and after a Jayhawk field goal made it 17-14 Kansas, Case led the Horns down the field for the winning TD. Along the way, we faced a 4th and 6 situation that was way too similar to that 4th and 18 in the nearly disastrous 2004 game. This time we didn’t have VY to bail us out, but we did have the tried-and-true “McCoy to Shipley.” Jaxon made the reception for an 18-yard gain, and just a few plays later, Case hit D.J. Grant in the endzone for the game-winner.

Where do we go from here? Who knows? I know we’re heading Lubbock to take on Tech next Saturday, but I don’t know who will start at quarterback. I know who our coaches are now, but I don’t know how much longer they’ll be at UT.

I don’t know if we’ll win another game this year, but I know I’ll be rooting for my Horns—and spelling Texas!

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