Five Thoughts on Texas-Texas A&M

From the late game heroes to the rivalry's future, here are five thoughts from the 27-25 Texas win over Texas A&M.

1) What a rebound for Justin Tucker. With Tucker booting through a 40-yarder in the wind the way that he did, most people will forget that part of the reason the Longhorns were down in the first place owed to his struggling as a punter. Tucker averaged 34.5 yards per punt, while his Aggie counterpart, Ryan Epperson, averaged 41.9 yards per boot. And because of his punting, and the Longhorns' offensive ineptitude, only once did the Aggies have to travel longer than 57 yards for a score. In fact, Texas A&M scored 12 of its points without having to travel half of the field, with scoring drives of 14, 28 and 25 yards in there. And Texas A&M scored its first 10 points following punts of 32 and 31 yards.

2) A Harsin trick play strikes again. Cue the Jaxon Shipley for quarterback chants. The Longhorns were in desperate trouble, down 13-0 when a Tucker punt bounced up and caught return man Dustin Harris. Jamison Berryhill pounced on it, and Texas was in business. Most coaches will go for the jugular on an immediate switch like that, and Harsin called a doozy. Case McCoy flipped the ball out to Shipley on a backward pass, and as the Aggie safeties raced up, Shipley threw the ball over their head to Blaine Irby for a 41-yard touchdown strike. The score brought Texas back into a ballgame that seemed to be slipping away. On a side note, Shipley's quarterback rating is now 513.2.

3) But other than that, very little offense was to be found. Texas got back into the game thanks to the above muffed punt, a Carrington Byndom pick-six and a huge Quandre Diggs punt return. Add in a Kenny Vaccaro interception that set up a touchdown drive, and the Longhorns scored 24 points on drives of 41, 0, 3 and 24 yards. In fact, Texas never had a drive take up half the field or more, and were out-gained by 91 yards on the night. Texas averaged just 3.6 yards per play and was generally ineffective.

4) Yet, like Tucker, McCoy will live on as a hero. While the 15-yard personal foul call will linger on in Aggie memories, two bigger plays came shortly thereafter. Facing a third-and-1 with the clock running, McCoy hit Miles Onyegbule for four yards and a first down as Onyegbule stepped out of bounds to stop the clock. On the very next play, McCoy took off into a valley of open space, running for 25 yards to set up the game-winning field goal. On one hand, it bears mentioning that McCoy — despite committing no turnovers — struggled to move the ball all game. On the other, the Texas coaches were quick to give credit to Kansas State's Collin Klein for doing the exact same thing: eliminating mistakes and making plays when it mattered.

5) There are mixed emotions about continuing on with the series. On one hand, what a fitting end? The school that won a high majority of the games — now 76-37 with some ties in the mix — won the contest. And it was a great game, one that came down to its final seconds. On the other, after a game like that, all you want is more. It doesn't seem fair to end a series that has given us so many great memories over the years. To be sure, this series will be continued. There's no such thing as a 'forever ban' on rivalries. But the rivalries that have lasted on an out-of-conference basis are typically those that started off as non-conference rivalries, like Michigan-Notre Dame (which also went through lengthy lay-offs) and Notre Dame-USC.

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