AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- It must have sounded like a bad joke.
Thoroughly dominated in the first half, Texas coach Mack Brown
made a big promise to his team: They would win.
Only this was no joke and no false optimism a coach might use
just to get his team back on the field in a blowout. It was real.
Cedric Benson scored five touchdowns Saturday night and Texas (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today; No. 6 AP) rallied from a 35-7 first-half deficit to beat No. 19
Oklahoma State 56-35.
The Longhorns trailed 35-14 at halftime when Brown told the
Longhorns they would score on their first drive of the third
quarter and go on to win. He even predicted a final score of 42-35.
"Unbelievable," Brown said. "After the game I apologized for
Benson's fourth TD gave Texas its first lead at 42-35 early in
the fourth quarter. His last, a 6-yard bullrush in which he pushed
four defenders across the goal line, put the exclamation point on
the incredible comeback that kept the Longhorns' BCS hopes alive.
"That shows the character of this team as far as how tough we
are," said senior linebacker Derrick Johnson. "We never gave
A little perspective on just how big of a rally it was: In 111
years of playing football, the biggest deficit the Longhorns (8-1,
5-1 Big 12) had ever overcome to win was 19 points three seasons
ago in a Holiday Bowl win over Washington.
For Oklahoma State (6-3, 3-3), it should go down as one of the
most stunning losses in a long, long time, if not ever.
If the Cowboys had managed to shake off the hangover of their
3-point loss to No. 2 Oklahoma a week earlier, coach Les Miles
isn't likely to shake the hurt from this one anytime soon.
"I've never been through one like that," Miles said. "There
will be some pain. There's no way to have a game like this where
you don't ache."
Trailing by four touchdowns in the first half, the Longhorns
scored TDs on five straight possessions to take the lead and
control of the game.
Quarterback Vince Young had a career night with 278 yards on
18-of-21 passing. He started the rally by running the Longhorns'
hurry-up offense to perfection late in the second quarter.
Young's 5-yard TD pass to Bo Scaife with 3 seconds left in the
half trimmed the lead to 35-14 and made the rally possible.
Scaife stretched for the pylon to get the ball into the end
zone. The touchdown sent the Longhorns into the locker room
thinking anything was possible.
"There was a lot of energy in the locker room," Benson said.
"Most teams would have laid down and given up. We fought back to
see what the final score was."
For one almost perfect half of football, the Cowboys looked
Robert Jones returned the opening kickoff to the Texas 46 and
the Cowboys marched six plays to their first TD. On the their
second possession, Vernand Morency took a quick pass in the flat
from Donovan Woods and left four defenders flat-footed with shifty
moves in the open field as he dashed 68 yards for the end zone.
After Morency scored on a 13-yard run and Woods added a 1-yard
score, the Cowboys led 28-7 midway through the second quarter. And
they kept pouring it on.
Woods' brother D'Juan snared a fingertip catch in stride for 45
yards to set up OSU's final score of the half, a 1-yard run by
Seymore Shaw that made it 35-7 and completely silenced the sellout
crowd of 83,181.
"It was a train wreck," Brown said. "We were splattered."
The game was so out of hand it was looking like the 63-14 and
65-13 drubbings the Oklahoma Sooners had laid on the Longhorns in
"The thought crosses your mind," said Benson, who finished
with 141 yards on 23 carries. "You have to make a decision either
to change the outcome or just lay down."
As Brown promised, Texas scored on the first drive of the third
when Benson's 1-yard TD run made it 35-21. Then the Texas defense,
which couldn't stop anything in the first half, started pushing the
The Longhorns forced a three-and-out on Oklahoma State's first
possession of the third and cut the lead to 35-28 when Benson
scored from 23 yards. The Longhorns got the ball again after
sacking Woods on third down on the next drive.
The Cowboys, who rolled up 297 yards on offense in the first
half, managed just 105 in the second.
By the time Ramonce Taylor tied it at 35 with a 48-yard reverse,
Texas players were dancing on the sideline and the fans who were so
quiet earlier were on their feet chanting "Texas Fight!"
"It's a sick feeling in your stomach," Cowboys linebacker Paul
Duren said. "It's almost like you're out there dreaming when they