Friday Longhorn Sports Page

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Holiday Bowl Bonanza
So much for a slow start. The Texas Longhorns (10-3) set bowl records as they flew out to a big first quarter lead and never let go, beating Arizona State (10-3), 52-34, in a wild game that included one of the most bizarre plays in the history of football.

Texas wins wild Holiday Bowl
Austin American-Statesman
Nothing's normal in San Diego — at least not when Texas comes to town for the Holiday Bowl. The 17th-ranked Longhorns defeated No. 12 Arizona State 52-34 on Thursday night, extending their bowl win streak to four seasons. The victory gave Texas a 10-3 record, their seventh consecutive year with double-digit wins. But it didn't come easily or without bizarre moments — including a defensive tackle catching a touchdown pass and a member of coach Mack Brown's family being flagged for interfering with a live play.

Better late than never
Austin American-Statesman
Here's a quick synopsis of Texas' electric performance in the Holiday Bowl: Raises for everyone. Now that's not something you hear every day around Bellmont Hall. Well, then again, it is. But in all seriousness, it sure does beat the alternative of discussing potential pink slips.

Brown's stepson made bizarre appearance
Austin American-Statesman
Colt McCoy and Jamaal Charles, as expected, had their fingerprints all over Texas' 52-34 victory over Arizona State. So did a member of Mack Brown's family, his stepson Chris Jessee. Jessee, who works on the team's operations staff, was part of a bizarre play on the Longhorns' sideline that changed the pace — and momentum — of the second quarter.

Longhorns handle Arizona State, 52-34
Dallas Morning News
Texas coach Mack Brown promised changes after an embarrassing loss to rival Texas A&M, and he delivered. Not even a bizarre sideline blunder by Brown's stepson, Chris Jessie, could derail the 17th-ranked Longhorns in a 52-34 victory over No. 12 Arizona State on Thursday night in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl.

Texas coach's stepson steps in way
Dallas Morning News
It wasn't quite Tommy Lewis coming off the bench for Alabama to tackle Rice's Dicky Maegle in the 18th Cotton Bowl in 1954. But it was close. Mack Brown's stepson, Chris Jessie, a member of Brown's football operations staff, briefly became the focal point of the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl against Arizona State on Thursday night in one of the most bizarre plays in Longhorns' history.

Texas' Lokey finds the gravy in grunt work
Dallas Morning News
As if playing on the interior of the defensive line was not enough grunt work, Derek Lokey has carried the additional duty of blocking on offense in short-yardage situations. The Texas senior got a big payoff for his extra work Thursday night in the Longhorns' win against Arizona State. Lokey, a former standout at Denton Ryan, made his first career reception and scored his first touchdown.

Horns hang ten
San Antonio Express-News
In the end, all Texas quarterback Colt McCoy had to do was tug on his blonde hair and let out a squirrelly sigh. Wreckage followed by recovery allows for such a reaction, and the Longhorns know something about this. McCoy scrambled for 30 yards late in the third quarter of Thursday's Holiday Bowl against Arizona State, before fumbling at the 3-yard line only to have Jermichael Finley fall on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. The disaster-turned-dagger put the Longhorns ahead by three possessions and paved the way to their 52-34 victory over the Sun Devils at Qualcomm Stadium.

Identities revealed in wild Holiday Bowl
San Antonio Express-News
For six or seven cringe-worthy, anonymity-soaked minutes, he was The Mystery Man. While reporters searched for his name and giddy YouTubers fired up their Internet connections, Chris Jessie stared blankly into the night in a what-have-I-done stupor, perhaps praying for camera failure or TV pre-emption to save him from infamy. But bowl games have a way of exposing true identities, and it doesn't just happen to overzealous Steve Bartman impersonators. For just as sure as the world was bound to discover that the man who reached onto the field of play during the Holiday Bowl was in fact Mack Brown's stepson, it also was inevitable that we'd eventually learn what we did about Arizona State and Texas. Specifically, that the Sun Devils aren't as good as they've been given credit for. And that the Longhorns, when they feel up to it, still can be.

Brown alters UT lineup after bowl practices
San Antonio Express-News
Texas coach Mack Brown played coy when asked before Thursday's Holiday Bowl if his "all jobs are open" decree would have any noticeable effects. "Yes," is all Brown would say, elaborating that starters would not be announced until game time. Once it came, there were some telling moves.

Readers wrap up '07 by slamming the coaching
San Antonio Express-News

Texas starts fast, finishes big
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Texas' football team became the poster child for tough love Thursday night. After weeks of tough 6 a.m. practices, the No. 17 Longhorns came out a new, more intense team and rolled through No. 12 Arizona State 52-34 in the 30th annual Pacific Life Holiday Bowl in Qualcomm Stadium.

One Holiday to remember
Houston Chronicle
Even after a month of boot camp-like workouts, Mack Brown wasn't sure how his team would respond Thursday against Pac-10 co-champion Arizona State. He didn't have to wait long for an answer. Playing one of their most inspired games of the season, the No. 17 Longhorns set a school record for points in a bowl game — and overcame one of the most bizarre moments of the season — in a 52-34 victory over No. 12 Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium.

Houston Chronicle

Texas has little trouble defeating Arizona State
Los Angeles Times
In a clash of teams with high-scoring offenses but porous defenses, the Texas Longhorns scored early and often Thursday to beat the Arizona State Sun Devils, 52-34, in the 30th Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium.

Texas rides record-breaking first quarter to high-scoring rout of Arizona State
San Diego Union-Tribune
After losing their previous game against archrival Texas A&M, the Texas Longhorns were so disappointed with themselves that they practically beat themselves up over it. They staged pounding 6 a.m. practices in Austin. They held a three-week open tryout for starting positions. They even forced public confessions in front of the team whenever players made mistakes. Last night at Qualcomm Stadium, they finally got a chance to see if any of it worked. It did.

Un-Holiday Bowl end as 'Horns hook, line, sink 'em
San Diego Union-Tribune
It was the 30th Holiday Bowl, so for the appetizer a Texas defensive tackle scored the first touchdown. Except it wasn't on a fumble or an interception return. Nose tackle Derek Lokey was the intended receiver, and he took a Colt McCoy pass and rumbled and stumbled 2 yards for the score before a breath was drawn.

Texas corrals ASU's rushing attack
San Diego Union-Tribune
Arizona State's run-first philosophy came with one minor flaw – it didn't work.

McCoy and Orakpo take MVP trophies
San Diego Union-Tribune
Texas swept the game's Most Valuable Player honors with sophomore quarterback Colt McCoy winning the offensive honor and rushing end Brian Orakpo being honored on defense.

Blooper of Year: Brown's stepson makes colossal goof
San Diego Union-Tribune
The Eyes Of Texas might want to consider corrective lenses. When you're standing on the sideline and the ground becomes green, there's a pretty good chance you've strayed onto the playing field. Because the stepson of Texas coach Mack Brown was slow to recognize this distinction last night, an otherwise forgettable Holiday Bowl secured a lasting place in Blooperdom.

Sideline gaffe not enough to ruin Holiday for Texas
North County Times
The University of Texas was in a gift-giving sort of mood this Holiday season. Even the coach's kin was doling out free points like they were slices of stale fruitcake. Guess you can do those sorts of things when you've got players as good as Colt McCoy, Jamaal Charles and the rest of the guys in burnt orange. Even after a couple of first-half missteps, No. 17 Texas still had more than enough to hammer No. 12 Arizona State 52-34 in the 30th Holiday Bowl on Thursday night before a crowd of 64,020 at Qualcomm Stadium.

This helping hand almost hurt 'Horns
North County Times
All he wanted to do was help. Pick up a loose ball and hand it to the refs. Could there be any harm in that? Well, if the whistle hasn't been blown and the game is still on and you are standing where you aren't allowed, doing something you shouldn't be, and because of all that they award the ball to the other team, which promptly scores, then, yes, you could say there's harm in that.

Texas dominates ASU
Arizona Republic
Arizona State never figured out how to start fast or protect the quarterback. Those shortcomings combined with five turnovers were way too much for the No. 12 Sun Devils to overcome in a 52-34 Holiday Bowl loss to No. 17 Texas on Thursday night.

Texas is good, but ASU hurt itself
Arizona Republic
When your best running play is student body light, when your Most Valuable Player is the opposing coach's stepson, it's time to acknowledge that the football stars at night really are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas. The Longhorns are a team rich in blue-chip talent, but that doesn't free Arizona State from culpability in its 52-34 loss in the Holiday Bowl on Thursday. While Texas thrived on a national stage, for much of the game the Sun Devils performed like a group of nervous understudies.

Sun Devils defeated in wacky Holiday Bowl, 52-34
Phoenix East Valley Tribune
Arizona State's football team arrived at the Holiday Bowl ready to put an exclamation point on a season in which it showed an eagerness to rise to the level of the nation's elite. The Sun Devils left with a sobering realization of how far away that next level is after a four-hour education from a multi-talented and athletic Texas squad in the 30th annual Holiday Bowl on Thursday.

Men's hoops:

UW men's basketball: Talented Texas will test Badgers' ballhandling
Madison Capital Times
Bo Ryan likes to say that he measures people by how hard it is to discourage them and how they adapt to change or adversity. That explains why he's so optimistic that his University of Wisconsin men's basketball team is on the right path. Ryan likes how the Badgers jumped up and dusted themselves off after early-season, nationally televised knockouts by Duke and Marquette. They most likely will have to do it again after facing No. 9 Texas Saturday in Austin in their last, and perhaps most difficult, nonconference matchup of the season. It, too, will be nationally televised (ESPN2, 11 a.m.).


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