Wild West Shootout ends with 39-33 defeat

The Texas Longhorns and Texas Tech Red Raiders played an unbelievable game that ended with the entire student body on the field in Lubbock and the scoreboard read 39-33, Red Raiders. The bitter loss marks the end of a grueling four week stretch where the Longhorns beat the #1 Oklahoma in Dallas, #11 Missouri and #7 Oklahoma State in Austin, and then finally lost to #6 Texas Tech in Lubbock.

The feisty Red Raiders came out with a great aggressive defensive effort and controlled the game from the opening kick, including forcing a safety on Texas' first offensive play. The Red Raiders then added a 29-yard field goal from Matt  Williams and a Baron Batch three yard touchdown run before the end of the first quarter.

After being down 19-0 early in the second quarter after being thoroughly dominated in the first twenty minutes of the ballgame, the Longhorns fought back to a 22-6 at halftime and seized some of the momentum before the half.

The game was eerily like the 2006 game in Lubbock where Texas ended the first quarter down 21-0 and then clawed their way back to a fighting chance at halftime at 31-21. In that game, the defense managed to shut out the Red Raiders in the second half and won 35-31. The defense mounted a great second half effort, but it still was not enough in this one.

After the teams traded three and outs to open the second half, Jordan Shipley made another huge special teams play by returning a Jonathon LaCour punt 45 yards for a touchdown. Another special teams star, Aaron Williams, partially blocked the next Red Raider punt attempt, to turn the ball over to the Longhorn offense at the Texas 19. But the ensuing offensive drive ended when Colt McCoy threw an interception to Daniel Charbonnet that he returned 18 yards for a touchdown.

This Texas team again showed its mettle by fighting back from behind with two long pass plays (37 and 91 yards) from Colt McCoy to Malcolm Williams. Williams stepped in for senior Quan Cosby who was injured all week and was popped during the second offensive series of the game. The second Williams touchdown reception cut the lead to 29-26.

Graham Harrell led his team from his own 20 all the way to a first and goal situation. After a questionable offensive pass interference call, the Texas Tech drive stalled at the Texas 25-yard line. Texas Tech settled for another field goal to stretch the lead to six points at 32-26.

As most Texas observers have come to expect from this team, the Longhorns managed to summon the courage to rally for one last 11-play scoring drive, capped by a counter play 4-yard Vondrell McGee touchdown run to take the lead 33-32. That drive got the Longhorns the lead but left 1:29 on the clock for the Red Raiders.

After the Red Raiders returned the kickoff to the 38 yard line, Harrell went 5 for 6 for 62 yards on the winning drive. The game winner was a 28-yard pass to All American Michael Crabtree who broke two tackles at the five yard line to get into the endzone with one second remaining on the clock.

The Longhorns return to Austin next week to host the up-start Baylor Bears who battled hard against the Missouri Tigers before losing 31-28.

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