There was still 2:05 left when Allegre's kick made it 14-10.
Down at the other end of the field, as Allegre got set to kick off, Alabama's Joey Jones said a quick prayer. "I don't know if you are supposed to pray for something like that," Jones said, "but I did it anyway."
All of Alabama must have been praying. Gathering in Allegre's kick at the one, Jones burst through a cluster of Longhorns and flew down the right side. At the Texas 45, with two blockers still in front of him, he slowed slightly. "I was trying to direct them when somebody slammed me from the back." He fell at the Texas 38. Alabama had two timeouts, and 1:54 left.
The Tide was in no hurry. With Split End Tim Clark deep as a decoy, Lewis intended to pass short to Halfback Joe Carter. Carter turned to look for the ball at the 15, but under heavy pressure, Lewis never found him. And so he fired deep to where Clark was nearing the end zone. And there Graham was waiting. "We had gone into a zone," said the 5'11" senior. "They think we're still in a man-to-man and when we move over to help out it surprises them." The most surprised was Clark. He never saw Graham coming. "The ball was right to me," he said. "Then he took it right off my face. He stole the glory from me."
When Graham came down with the ball he was at the one. On the sidelines Akers was already giving instructions to Brewer. "Don't take any chances. I want three Zeroes, kill all the time you can, then give them a safety." Play Zero is a quarterback sneak. Three of those netted three yards, and then the safety made it 14-12. After the punt, Alabama had 48 seconds in which to go 59 yards. It wasn't nearly enough.