Dusty Mangum's Oklahoma St Game Turning Point

turning point - n. The point at which a very significant change occurs; a decisive moment.

For the third straight year, Texas made Oklahoma State think it was a better team than it actually is, only to come out of the locker room at halftime and dismantle the Cowboys in the second half en route to a blowout victory. Here is an interesting stat. Over the last three games versus Okie State, the Horns have outscored the Cowboys 118-0 in the second half after being down going into halftime. Texas seems to be showing USC that the Horns can trail at half as well and come back to win in dramatic fashion.

The Longhorn offense started out slow with a couple of early miscues. A blocked field goal on the first drive prevented the Horns from striking first, as they usually do. Then, after a beautiful David Thomas touchdown reception, another blocked David Pino kick prevented the Horns from squaring it at 7 apiece. The Horns' third drive of the evening ended after only one play when Vince Young was intercepted. Oklahoma State quarterback Al Pena immediately made Texas pay, scampering 17 yards on the first play to put the Cowboys up 21-6, and leaving the Longhorn nation scratching their heads. Could this be the end of the dream season happening right before their very eyes?

No. Any true-blooded Longhorn fan knew this was not the end. It was just a matter of time before history would repeat itself, largely because of No. 10 in the Orange and White. And Vince Young indeed gave the Longhorn offense the jolt of life it needed to get going.

Just before halftime, Texas added a field goal to close the score to 28-12. The Horns knew they would be getting the ball to start the second, so any points they could muster were welcomed. And after a touchback on the 2nd half’s opening kickoff, Young and the Horns began to do their thing. After a Jamaal Charles rush for no gain and a VY incompletion, Texas faced a 3rd and 10 at the 20 yard line, and the game's turning point. Young dropped back to pass. OSU brought a blitz off the left end, but VY saw it coming, stepped up to elude the rush and then scrambled out to his right, pump-faking Cowboy safety Donovan Woods in the process. He took off for the sideline, turned the ball up field where he picked up a text-book block by Limas Sweed (taking the DB and turning him inside away from the play creating an alley along the sideline) and then just did what we’ve seen him do so many times. Eighty yards later, Vince had his first rushing TD of the day and the Longhorns had silenced the crowd. It almost seemed that the OSU fans knew what was going to happen at this point. And they were right, the rout was on.

The Longhorns went on to rack up over 600 yards of total offense, with Vince accounting for 506 yards. That says Heisman to me, ladies and gentlemen. With several Texas running backs sidelined with injuries or cramps, Ramonce Taylor stepped in and helped take the load off of VY. A 57-yard TD run through the right-side of the line put the Horns up 12 with just over 8 minutes to play, deflating any Cowboy hopes of a late comeback.

Do not think this was all an offensive effort. Take nothing away from the defensive effort, particularly in the final three quarters. After giving up a couple of long drives in the first quarter, the defense buckled down and did not allow a drive over 38 yards in the final 47 minutes of play. A couple of inopportune turnovers put the defense in tough situations early, but Gene Chizik's guys did what they knew how to do and stood strong after the break, keeping the Cowboys off the board while the offense got rolling. The University of Texas…State of Oklahoma Football Champions.

Dusty Mangum played for Texas from 2001-2004 and holds several Longhorn kicking marks. His final kick in the Orange and White, a 37-yarder in the 2005 Rose Bowl, provided the ultimate turning point in the Horns' first-ever BCS win. His Turning Point column appears on Monday after each game during football season here on InsideTexas.com.


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