It is a rare sight to bless your eyes with some exceptional plays during a match, that leave an everlasting impression on your mind. Texas Longhorns being among the most successful programs countrywide has several moments that are capable of featuring in our list of the 10 of the
Most Memorable Plays in Texas Longhorn History.
A play is termed as memorable play when all the dots align to make it appear almost next to impossible. The significance of a play is exponentially increased if it comes to the winning cause. Some of these plays changed the dynamics of the game completely, the match was almost considered as a losing one for the Longhorns. Then someone steps up and takes the responsibility to drive is the team to the winning mark.
List of the most influential plays in the Longhorns history:
10.Case McCoy against the Aggies
There is an established arch rivalry between the Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M, and it’s not any mystery that these two sides share a long history of rivalry and their matchup at Kyle Field was much awaited. Longhorns were down to 16-7 against them going into the half time. Initially, Carrington Byndom took the controls in his hands and made a touchdown, Aggies responded equally well and amassed the next several points of the game to take it to 25-24 with only 1:48 remaining on the clock. This is when Case McCoy took the onus onto himself, he made 3 passes before taking the first down.
Still, they were far away from the 23-yard line, Case was looking for passing options but everyone was man-marked, he made a run and crossed the 23-yard line on his own. With his valiant effort, the Longhorns registered a 27-25 victory over the Aggies.
9.McCoy to Cosby featuring in the Fiesta Bowl
Colt McCoy has a history of registering some great plays, he finally showed his mettle in the Fiesta Bowl of 2009. Ohio was of no match to the Longhorns, but that game in the Fiesta Bowl was different. Till the fourth quarter, the Longhorns were trailing 17-6, they bounced back pretty strongly and took the game down to 21-17.
McCoy was straight into the action with just over a couple of minutes to play. Before settling for 4 downs he passed the ball to Quan Cosby with an inch-perfect pass. Quan made it to the end line with 20 seconds remaining on the clock. This was Texas’s 12 win in the season against Ohio having lost just one.
8.Phillips’s pass to Speyrer Against UCLA
With 12 seconds remaining on the game clock, Phillips did something which was looking impossible at that time, given the game momentum. This made Texas extend their 22-games unbeaten run, that too against UCLA. UCLA though was considered as the Underdogs never really played like one. On the contrary, they stopped Texas to a 17-13 deficit with seconds remaining. Things messed up even further when Phillips made a fumble which cost them 9 yards.
The play resumed and Phillips took a snap and threw the ball towards Speyrer, and the catcher made the final run. Texas went on to continue this winning streak to 30 games this one being the 23rd in the list.
Imagine playing the inaugural match of the Big 12 championship, and leaving an underlying impression on the game. Texas was comfortably running away with the game and were leading, 30-27, against Nebraska. They could have just wasted the time but Mackovic had other plans. He made his team line up in textbook short-yardage formation. But that was a trap, their quarterback James Brown went left and passed to Derek Lewis who made it past the 10-yard line. From their Priest, Holmes took charge and made it last the end zone. John Mackovic will always be remembered for his iconic “Roll Left”.
6. Shearer and Johnson joined forces against Lott
The 1977 fixture of Texas was all in readiness to go wrong as they were on a 6 game winless streak and were desperate to register a win. Though the Longhorns managed to maintain a 13-6 lead straight till the fourth quarter. They were struck badly by injuries. Thomas Lott was through the Longhorns defense and was almost inching a touchdown until Johnson appeared before him, stopping him in his tracks. Then it was the turn of Shearer, who indeed is an All-American, he recovered the ball well in time.
5.Cotton Speyrer’s brilliance in the National Championship
Texas was the reigning champions and was definitely the stronger side in the matchup provided the firm presence of Darren Royal. Still, Notre Dame picked up a 17-14 lead. They had a 3 point lead until the final two-and-half minutes of the match. Texas was forced to their ND 10-yard line and were looking desperate for an opening.
Darren asked Street to take the ball, he managed to find Speyrer with his accurate pass who made for eight yards for the first down. And in the next couple of moments, and in the span of three plays, the Longhorns registered the match-winning score. All thanks to the brilliance of Cotton Speyrer.
3.Nobis in the Orange Bowl
It was a matchup between the injury struck Joe Namath who was having a match after a long gap and Tommy Nobis the stalwart from the Texas Longhorns. Namath didn’t feature in the first half of the match, still his team had the lead going into the half time.
Bryant made the call for Namath to dive into the end zone and he did commit the dive but in came Nobis denying him the score. This valiant effort from Nobis boosted the confidence of the defense and Texas notched up a 21-17 victory.
3.Ricky Williams running past Dorsett
Before the start of the game, Ricky needed only 11 yards against Aggies to beat Tony Dorsett’s career rushing record. He was on a carnage that day, breaking multiple records. There was only 1:13 left in the first quarter when Williams dodged a tackle from Leonard Davis and went past three tackles making a phenomenal 60-yard score. At the end of the game, Williams had 259 yards to his name along with a career-high 44 carries.
He broke Napoleon McCallum’s record of all-purpose rushing. Moreover, his heroics brought Texas the game at 26-24. Willams is still the all-time rushing leader for Texas, even after so many years have passed.
2.”Right 53 Veer Pass”
What if I tell you that this match went on to register itself as the greatest game of the century. Yes when Razorback who were on a 15-game winning run clashed with Texas coming off the back of an 18 game unbeaten run, fireworks were all over. Razorback had the best defense in the country. Texas always trailed in this game, 14-0 in the first half then 14-8. It was 4:47 left on the clock and Texas were agonizingly a 4th-and-3 from their own 43. Royal asked their quarterback, Street, to attempt a “53 Veer Pass.” Street combining with Randy Peschel covered 44 yards and scored.
Moments later the winning score was made by Bertelsen and the match was called the greatest game of Royal’s career.
Certainly don’t need a second opinion to call Vince Young’s play as the greatest play in the history of the Texas longhorns. We are talking about his touchdown run on 4th-and-5 that came in the 2006 Rose Bowl. Seven minutes were remaining on the game clock and Texas was trailing by 7 points.
It was time for Vince to pull up his socks. After a fourth-down stand, he won the ball back and resumed with business. He was facing a 4th-and-5 and the clock had only 26 seconds to play. He looked for passing options but the downfield was barren. He made a sprint to the end of the zone all on his own, and successfully attempted the touchdown. He also converted the two points and registered a single-handed win for his team with the scoreline of 41-38. Vince threw for 267 yards and rushed for 200 yards in that particular game.