Seniors Lead Cowboys To Verge Of Big 12 Title

AUSTIN, Texas - During the fourth quarter's final stages senior middle linebacker Caleb Lavey was standing on the sideline yelling at the defenders on the field, still intense and still fully engaged even though the 38-13 verdict was fully decided. Texas still had the ball and there was still a chance to make a play and Lavey wasn't going to let down for even a second until the game was over.

"That's my man, and no, he isn't going to let up," said safety Daytawion Lowe watching Lavey scream and yell as if the game were in the first quarter and totally up for grabs on the scoreboard. "That is who he is, and Caleb is always going to be that way."

Lavey, Lowe and Shaun Lewis are the three "L's" when it comes to Texas, and they lead to losses. The trio have averaged 7.5 tackles each in their career in games against Texas and they did not disappoint on Saturday in the Cowboys 38-13 win over the Longhorns. It's the worst loss for Texas at home during the Mack Brown era.

Lewis led the Cowboys in tackles with four unassisted and six assisted tackles for a total of 10, with two tackles for losses. Lavey had six solo tackles and two assisted stops for a total of eight and he had an interception return of 23 yards that set up a touchdown. Lowe has five solo tackles and two assisted tackles for a total of seven. That adds up to 25 tackles and keeps that average of 7.5 tackles each against Texas.

Another senior in the secondary, Justin Gilbert, had nine tackles and two interceptions including one returned 43 yards for a touchdown.

At one time a year ago the thought was Gilbert would not stick around for his senior season but a subpar year at cornerback led him to return. That and the thought that he could be part of something special.

"I saw last season that we had something special going on heading to this season," said Gilbert in the locker room in Austin. "I wanted to be a part of that and enjoy my senior year with these guys that I've built a relationship with, and it's been a fun ride."

Gilbert injured his left shoulder on his second interception landing on it and the receiver landing on top of him. Gilbert had the shoulder x-rayed and it was negative. He vows to be good to go against Baylor next Saturday.

Back to Caleb Lavey, who seems to be the vocal straw that stirs this defense. He is just as enthusiastic about what is going on and just as lively in the locker room afterwards as he is pushing his teammates on the field and on the sidelines during a huge win like the one over Texas.

"I just think the whole defense and the offense, we're already zoned in on Baylor," said Lavey minutes after the Texas win. "They are a great team and I know (Sunday) at four o'clock we'll be zoned in on wrapping up this game and then getting on to Baylor."

It is not just Lavey, Lowe, Lewis, Gilbert and the Cowboys defense. The offense is zoned in too. Tracy Moore made big plays including a very special touchdown catch after the ball got through the hands of Texas safety Adrian Phillips.

Moore is having fun.

"When you are playing for something and you just have two games left it's special," said Moore. "Coach (Kasey) Dunn sends us these texts daily that talk about the mountain we have to climb and how hard it is to climb it. We're getting close to the top, but that is when the climbing is the hardest. We have work to do."

It is that attitude that has allowed this team to regroup and bounce back since opening conference play with a loss at West Virginia. If you are not completely proud of these coaches and players and what they have done and how they have done it then you can't really call yourself a Cowboy football fan. They are truly special.

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