Second Quarter Wake-up Call

This wasn't good. One quarter in the books, and Texas trailed Baylor at home, 10-0. Colt McCoy looked like a freshman for the first time.

The Texas defense couldn't cover anybody. The crowd was mumbling and grumbling. It felt a little like spilling coffee in your lap on your way to work, a sure sign that maybe you should've just called in and stayed in bed.

Fortunately for Texas coach Mack Brown, his Longhorns more than adequately cleaned up the mess in their front seat. Texas literally blew up on the Bears in the second period, scoring 28 points and gaining control against a Baylor team that looked ready to stand toe-to-toe with the Longhorns . . . for 15 minutes.

The second quarter was filled with big plays that went Texas' way, starting from the very first play from scrimmage. Facing a 3rd and three from his own 38 yard-line, Baylor quarterback Shawn Bell was jarred from the ball in the backfield by Texas defensive end Tim Crowder. Defensive tackle Derek Lokey recovered, giving the Longhorns a much-needed momentum swing and giving the crowd the awakening it needed.

Three plays later, McCoy hit Billy Pittman on a 24-yard touchdown strike, and just one minute and 44 seconds into the quarter, Texas trailed only 10-7. The McCoy-to-Pittman strike was the beginning of the end for the Bears.

Baylor started its next possession on the Bears' 20 yard-line, but three penalties and three ineffective plays from scrimmage found them punting from their own seven yard-line. Texas started its drive after the punt on the Baylor 45 yard-line, and 10 very methodical plays later, McCoy found tight end Jermichael Finley floating in the back of the end zone behind the Bears' secondary.

Finley used his 6-5 frame perfectly, simply reaching over 6-1 cornerback C.J. Wilson to snatch the touchdown pass, and with 6:16 remaining in the half, Texas had its first lead of the game at 14-10.

Forty-three seconds later, it was 21-10.

Facing a blistering rush, Bell's pass over the middle was picked by senior Matt Melton, who weaved his way to the end zone.

How do you blow open a game and demoralize your opponent? Score 14 points in 43 seconds.

Baylor appeared to have somewhat weathered the Texas storm when Mikail Baker returned a kickoff 58 yards to the Texas 42. After a sack and an incompletion, Bell hit Thomas White over the middle at the Texas 37, but Michael Griffin whacked the ball loose and it was recovered by Rashad Bobino.

McCoy drove Texas to the Baylor 22 yard-line, and the drive stalled. Texas called timeout in apparent preparation for a 39-yard Greg Johnson field goal attempt with 58 seconds left in the half.

Then came the real I-35 Surprise.

Texas holder Jordan Shipley took the snap and wheeled around the left end, sprinting to the seven yard-line. Two plays later, McCoy hit tight end Peter Ullman with a two-yard touchdown pass, and Texas took a 28-10 into the locker room.

Yes, Baylor responded with a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the third period that ended when Dominique Zeigler hit Shaw with a 16-yard reverse pass for a touchdown, cutting the Texas lead to 28-17.

But thanks to the explosive second quarter, it was too little, too late.

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