Road, Sweet, Road

<B>Horns Hope To Keep Road Streak Alive</b>

Saturday's game at Texas Tech (a 2:30 ABC regional telecast) marks the last road game of regular season for the much-ballyhooed Longhorn senior class (rated No. 1 in the nation when it signed with Texas). On the south plains, the UT seniors have a chance to tie a consecutive road-win mark that was begun when most of them were wearing Burnt Orange diapers.

While much has been said about this group working to re-establish home field dominance at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (Texas' 18 consecutive home wins is the second-longest active streak in the country, trailing only Miami), props should also be given for the way Texas has performed on the road.

Texas' 12 consecutive road wins (not counting those pesky neutral sites where teams like Oklahoma play) is its longest road victory string since 1981-84 when the team registered 13 wins in a row at opponents' stadiums. In the ten seasons prior to 1998, Texas posted but two winning road game records.

"Our guys have had some great experiences on the road this year," head coach Mack Brown said. "Going to North Carolina, (Tar Heel fans) were loud because they were mad at me. Then going to Kansas State and Nebraska, they're not afraid to go anywhere. They'll be excited about playing."

If you were to ask DE Cory Redding what he most wants for his birthday this weekend (the man-child turns 22 on Friday), he would say he only wants to extend Texas' road success, knowing that the streak was alive when he graduated. Winning in Lubbock, though, is hardly a given.

"Tech plays very well at home," Brown said. "The only time they've lost at home is the overtime game against North Carolina State where (Tech) missed a short goal. They're a really good team, but there's no doubt they play better at home than they do on the road. The two times we've been out there have been totally different from the two times we played (in Austin)."

Indeed, during Brown's tenure the games in Austin haven't been close (56-7 in 1999, 42-7 in 2001) while contests waged on the south plains paint a different picture (a 42-35 loss in 1998, a hard-fought 29-17 win in 2000).

The biggest part of winning on the road, Brown said, is possessing the attitude that you know you're going to win.

"People have talked about how hard it is to play in Lubbock," Brown said. "We've won four of the last six there."

Added Brown, "If you can win twice at Lincoln, Nebraska and at Kyle Field then…"

Then his voices trails off before verbalizing the thought that would have become bulletin-board material, so we'll complete the thought: …then you expect to win in Lubbock.


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