DALLAS | Mack Brown can finally say he's done something in the Texas-Oklahoma game that Bob Stoops hasn't — pulled off an upset. And it's a big one.
Brown's Longhorns grabbed some second-half momentum by foiling a fake punt Saturday, then Colt McCoy and the defense built on it, carrying No. 5 Texas to a 45-35 victory over No. 1 Oklahoma.
The Longhorns outscored the Sooners 25-7 after stopping the trickery, and their half of the record crowd of 92,182 fans loved every bit of it. When Oklahoma's game-ending heave was picked off in the back of the end zone, Texas defensive end Brian Orapko dropped to his knees and thrust his arms up. Teammates ran to him and piled on for their wildest celebration since their last victory over a No. 1 — against Southern Cal in the January 2006 Rose Bowl.
Then the Longhorns went to the burnt-orange end of the field and enjoyed perhaps the loudest rendition of "Eyes of Texas" in the 103-game history of this Red River Rivalry. They gathered for the trophy presentation, then a few players ran off for a victory lap along the stands, slapping hands and waving their arms.
With the win, Texas (6-0, 2-0 Big 12) grabs the inside track in both the conference and national championship races. History shows the Longhorns should think big. The last two teams to come out of this game unbeaten — Oklahoma in 2004, Texas in 2005 — went on to play for the national title. And the last time the Longhorns knocked off the Sooners when they were No. 1 was 1963, which turned into Darrell Royal's first national championship.
Brown and Stoops have brought their programs back to prominence over the last decade. Stoops has a reputation of outcoaching Brown, primarily because of two blowout wins. Truth is, the higher-ranked team has won every one of their matchups. In fact, this was the first upset in this series since 1996.
Oklahoma (5-1, 1-1) started strong, as usual, and led by 11 twice in the first half. The Sooners again seemed in control when they went up 28-20 early in the third quarter and led 35-30 early in the fourth.
Sam Bradford was 28-of-39 for 387 yards and five touchdowns, three to Manny Johnson, but wasn't able to pull it out. He threw two interceptions, a meaningless one on the final play and another late in the second quarter that led to a Texas field goal. He also broke the major-college record for touchdowns as a freshman and sophomore. He's up to 59, breaking Rex Grossman's mark of 55, and he has at least six games left.
McCoy, however, was the bigger star.
McCoy was 28-of-35 for 277 yards with one touchdown and no turnovers. He was sacked four times, but also ran 14 times for 31 yards. His stewardship certainly helped his Heisman Trophy chances.
Jordan Shipley caught 11 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown, and set up the final go-ahead score with a 37-yard catch that ended inside the 1-yard line. He also had a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first half. Quan Cosby caught nine passes for 122 yards and juggled but snagged a 2-point conversion.
Chris Ogbonnaya, a senior making his second career start, ran 15 times for 127 yards, including a 62-yarder that set up the game-sealing TD. Burly Cody Johnson scored three touchdowns, on runs of 1, 1 and 2 yards.
Down 28-20, McCoy went 6-for-6 on the next drive, capping it with a 2-yard throw to Shipley. When OU's next drive stalled just shy of midfield, Stoops gambled, only to see his punter get caught from behind, inches shy of making it.
There was still plenty of time left, especially when the Longhorns only got a field goal. Yet the 31-30 deficit was the first time all season Oklahoma trailed.
The Sooners went back ahead 35-30 on their next drive, benefiting from a running-into-the-punter penalty and converting a third-and-14. But Bradford was out of comebacks, and McCoy wasn't.
McCoy took Texas 74 yards for a go-ahead touchdown on the next series, then Bradford went three-and-out. The Longhorns followed by going 80 yards for a lead-stretching touchdown after that, the big play the run by Ogbonnaya.
The Longhorns are certain to vault in the standings, but still have a lot of work to do. Next up is No. 3 Missouri, followed by No. 17 Oklahoma State and No. 7 Texas Tech.