for this game

McCoy, Texas survive scare from Oklahoma State

Oct 26, 2008 - 3:12 AM AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- Colt McCoy looked human for the first time in weeks. But just when the Heisman Trophy contender slipped up a bit, Texas' defense displayed its championship mettle.

McCoy threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score while the top-ranked Longhorns used a late defensive stand Saturday to escape with a 28-24 victory over No. 8 Oklahoma State.

"When the No. 1 team is playing (the eighth-ranked team), I don't count that as a scare," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "I call that a close game, very honestly. We thought this game would be this way. I heard somebody say this week that this game would be a blowout, and they were fools."

With the win, Texas (8-0, 4-0 Big 12 South) remained on its collision course with undefeated Texas Tech (8-0, 4-0), which hosts the Longhorns next weekend.

"I think it's going to be another great crowd (at Texas Tech)," McCoy said. "That's what you come here for. It's one of those things where honestly if you love this game and have passion for this game, it's really hard not to get fired up."

McCoy thrust his name to the top of most Heisman lists by completing over 85 percent of his passes in convincing victories over then-No. 1 Oklahoma and then-No. 12 Missouri over the last two weeks.

McCoy was impressive again in this one, finishing 38-of-45 for a career-high 391 yards.

But despite completing a school-record 19 consecutive attempts at one point, McCoy made a pair of uncharacteristic mistakes in the second half, throwing a third-quarter interception - his first in 101 attempts - and losing a fumble deep in Cowboys territory with 5:30 remaining.

However, Texas' defense answered the call after Oklahoma State (7-1, 3-1 South) moved the ball to its own 31-yard line.

After stopping quarterback Zac Robinson on a pair of short runs to force a 4th-and-6, the Longhorns regained possession by tackling wide receiver Dez Bryant well short of the first down with 2:38 remaining.

"After two turnovers by our offense, which is uncharacteristic, the defense really stepped up at the end of the game," Brown said.

"Give credit to our defense at the end for making a huge stop," McCoy added. "That's on us as an offense. We can't turn the ball over down there."

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy blamed his play-calling for the Cowboys' inability to move the ball after McCoy's fumble.

"It was my fault," he said. "The players deserved the opportunity to win, and we didn't have very good play calling on the drive previous to the one at the end of the game."

Although they failed to score on the ensuing possession, Texas pinned the Cowboys at their own 1-yard line with less than a minute left.

Oklahoma State, which nearly upset the Longhorns in Stillwater last year, drove the ball all the way to midfield to set up a final play.

But Texas sealed the win and preserved its perfect record when Robinson's Hail Mary attempt was batted down short of the goal line.

"It was a heck of a college football game," Gundy said. "It was a great setting, great atmosphere. I was very proud of our team today. The guys played with a lot of heart. The guys made good decisions. We played very well as a team."

"This is not the same Oklahoma State team that we've played in the last couple of years," Brown added. "They're really a good football team. If you watched film, you knew it, and they looked better on the field than they were on film."

Before his second-half turnovers, McCoy quarterbacked the Longhorns to a 14-point lead midway through the third quarter. The junior found Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby for TD passes in the first half and scored on a 3-yard keeper to make it 28-14 with 8:43 left in the third.

"I can't say enough about Colt," Shipley said. "He's delivering the ball right where it needs to be every time and he he's playing with a lot of confidence and a lot of faith right now. It's just a lot of fun."

McCoy finally made a mistake when his long pass was intercepted by Jacob Lacey at the Oklahoma State 42 with three minutes left in the third.

The Cowboys responded with an 11-play drive capped by Dan Bailey's 39-yard field goal that trimmed the deficit to 28-24 early in the fourth quarter.

"That might be one of the more balanced teams that we've played, one of the best offenses that we've ever played," Texas defensive tackle Roy Miller said. "I'm very relieved to be out of that game."

Texas consumed nearly eight minutes on its next drive, but McCoy was stripped of the ball at the Oklahoma State 10 to end what would have been a game-clinching march.

McCoy certainly had a reliable target in Shipley, who finished with career highs of 15 catches for 168 yards. Cosby chipped in 76 yards on eight catches, highlighted by his acrobatic 17-yard TD reception in the second quarter.

Kendall Hunter turned in another outstanding effort for the Cowboys, who were off to their best start since 1945. The sophomore rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown against the vaunted Longhorns, who entered with the nation's No. 2 defense against the run.

"(Texas) had a pretty good defense, but I have to give credit to my offensive line," Hunter said. "Our guys opened up some lines for me all day, and I felt comfortable with the way the line played."

But Hunter, the Big 12's leading rusher, made a critical error late in the first quarter when he lost a fumble following an 18-yard run deep in Texas territory.

Rather than facing a 7-7 tie, the Longhorns reeled off a 91-yard drive capped by Vondrell McGee's 3-yard TD run that made it 14-0.

Robinson completed 17-of-26 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown for Oklahoma State, which hosts Iowa State next Saturday before visiting the Red Raiders the following weekend.

"We want this one back, but unfortunately, we're not going to get it," Robinson said. "They're a very good team, that's why they're No. 1 in the country. We're not very far behind."