Kansas Game Turning Point

<B>turning point</B> - <I>n.</I> The point at which a very significant change occurs; a decisive moment.

Adversity is an interesting state in life; in football. It results in one of two reactions. Some teams fold like a cheap deck of cards. Others not only relish the opportunity and readily take on the challenge, but also consider adversity almost an insult even if it is a result of their own actions. It is an affront to their collective manhood, to their strength as a team. For the Longhorns the last two weeks, it's obviously been the latter. They've responded in each contest as if they were miffed that the opponent would have the audacity to think they were better and could win the game. With each response has also come the turning point. Against OSU, it came at the end of the first half and carried over throughout the second half. Against Kansas, it came much later than anyone expected. Can you say heartburn?

A true description of adversity in the context of sport is this: 7:41 remaining in the game and you're down by 10. For good measure, add in the mix an offense that has amassed a ton of yards but has only 13 points to show for it. Now that's adversity of Red Sox proportions. We're talking trailing by one in the bottom of the ninth, two outs and no one on base. One mistake and it's over -- the game and more importantly, any hopes of getting a shot at a BCS bowl. Texas quarterback Vince Young got the two-out rally started.

Young, who was also greatly responsible for the Longhorns' offensive woes for the second time in as many games, got an extreme offensive makeover in the blink of an eye. The new and improved Vince Young appeared on the ensuing offensive possession after Kansas went up by 10.

If you don't believe it, look at what he did on seven of the 13 plays during the 87-yard touchdown-scoring drive that brought the Horns within three and more importantly, within a realistic chance of pulling off another come-from-behind miracle.

    • 1st and 10 from Texas 13 - 12-yard pass to Cedric Benson
    • 3rd and 10 from Texas 25 - on designed pass play, escapes pressure and runs for 12 yards
    • 2nd and 12 from Texas 35 - with heavy pressure including what on replay looks like a questionable hit to the head, completes a 13-yard pass to Tony Jeffery
    • 1st and 10 from Texas 48 - scrambling to his left and a precursor of things to come, completes pass to David Thomas for 18 yards.
    • 2nd and 10 from Kansas 34 - under heavy pressure Young should have been brought down for a four-yard loss but he escapes and picks up six
    • 2nd and 17 from KU 28 - 10-yard pass to Limas Sweed
    • 3rd and 7 from KU 18 - on yet another designed pass play, avoids heavy pressure, steps up, then in prototypical Vince Young style makes two defenders look silly and finds the end zone.

Let's be perfectly clear though. The Longhorns were teetering on the verge of disaster this offensive drive, the next defensive series, and the final game-winning offensive drive. One mistake and we're talking about a totally different turning point. However, everything fell into place including the questionable offensive interference call on Kansas to bring back a first-down completion (one of many horrible calls, questionable calls or no-calls by the refs during the game), the shanked punt by the Kansas punter, Young's improbable first-down run of 22 yards on 4th and 18, and of course, his running to the left, dangerous, across-the-body pass and completion to Tony Jeffery for the game-winning touchdown with a smidge of time remaining. That's exactly how it all unfolded and we found out once again that you can't spell adversity without the V and the Y.

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