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Watch Out!
AUSTIN MURPHY
September 17, 2007
Texas may have survived a scare from TCU, but as Longhorns coach Mack Brown points out, with most schools now featuring dangerous players at the skill positions, the days of overmatched non-BCS programs rolling over for the perennial powers are gone
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September 17, 2007

Watch Out!

Texas may have survived a scare from TCU, but as Longhorns coach Mack Brown points out, with most schools now featuring dangerous players at the skill positions, the days of overmatched non-BCS programs rolling over for the perennial powers are gone

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On McCoy: "When he's giving the ball on option plays, he hands it off with one hand. If he's going to keep it, he keeps both hands in."

On Charles: "You need to tackle his legs. People who reach for him, he jukes. Make sure you tackle his legs. Do not reach for him and do not try to tackle him high."

Patterson closed with these remarks: "You've come a long way, and I'm not talking about a bus trip. The eyes of Texas are on you, gentlemen. Let's see what we can do."

For 30 minutes they outplayed one of the premier teams in the country. They left Charles with a pair of banged up legs. In addition to the two passes they picked off from McCoy, the first of which cornerback Torrey Stewart returned 45 yards for a touchdown, they pressured the quarterback repeatedly. McCoy appeared to fumble on the Longhorns' third play from scrimmage—TCU recovered and returned the ball to the Texas three-yard line—but the replay official ruled the play an incomplete pass, saying McCoy's arm was going forward.

Unable to spring their tailback or protect their quarterback, the Longhorns veered from their game plan, resorting to a series of bubble screens and slant passes. The idea, Brown later explained, was to "spread them out and get the ball out of Colt's hands fast, then run the ball later."

All of which came to pass. McCoy marched the offense 60 yards for a touchdown on the Longhorns' first possession of the second half. Four minutes later Ryan Bailey's game-tying, 28-yard field goal amped up what had been a fairly meek home crowd of 84,621. The Frogs muffed the ensuing kickoff, and Texas took over at the TCU 26. McCoy scrambled for 23 yards; fullback Vondrell McGee finished the job. The floodgates were open. McCoy's quick-hitting passes created space for Charles, who had already rushed for 95 yards when he lined up on third-and-six at the TCU 39 with just under three minutes to play. It had been 21 games since the proud Frogs defense allowed a 100-yard rusher.

Now, on an isolation play called Zipper, Charles went untouched up the gut for the game's final score. He finished with 134 yards on 22 carries. Asked afterward how his legs felt, he smiled and said, "They're hurtin'."

"We've come a long way," Patterson grimly allowed afterward. "But we've still got a little ways to go."

He'd been walking off the field when the Texas band struck up the school's alma mater. Patterson stopped in his tracks until The Eyes of Texas was over. To get respect, he knows, you've got to give respect.

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