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October 7, 2006

Texas and McCoy take Red River Rivalry

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DALLAS -Colt McCoy picked up where Vince Young left off in one very important area: Beating Oklahoma.

After a lousy second quarter that left Longhorns fans pining for their departed leader, McCoy rallied with two perfect passes for touchdowns in the third quarter and cornerback Aaron Ross made game-changing plays in the fourth, carrying No. 7 Texas past the No. 14 Sooners 28-10 Saturday.

McCoy, a redshirt freshman who watched Young beat OU and everyone else en route to the national championship last year, failed his first big test last month against No. 1 Ohio State. While that loss ended a 21-game winning streak, this victory kept alive two other important streaks for the Longhorns: 17 straight conference wins ... and two in a row against Oklahoma.

Texas (5-1, 2-0 Big 12) trailed 10-7 at halftime and was in a big rut after gaining a single yard in the second quarter. The defense stopped the Sooners (3-2, 0-1) on the opening drive of the second half, then McCoy took over.

He threw a 17-yarder on the first play, then two snaps later lofted a blitz-beating 33-yard touchdown pass to Limas Sweed. He moved the Longhorns 79 yards on the next drive, running three times for 23 yards and capping it with a 7-yard pass to Jordan Shipley near the back of the end zone with a defender charging at McCoy.

Adrian Peterson ran 25 times for 109 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown, for Oklahoma but it's what the former Heisman runner-up didn't do on a lateral in the fourth quarter that broke the game open for Texas.

Down 21-10, the Sooners reached the Texas 15 on a pass to Juaquin Iglesias, but he fumbled and the Longhorns recovered. McCoy wasn't able to get any points out of it, but a punt left Oklahoma at its 17.

After missing on a deep pass, quarterback Paul Thompson turned right and threw a pass to Peterson. It bounced off his hands and he gave up on it, but Ross didn't, scooping it at the 4-yard line and walking in for a touchdown.

Sooners coach Bob Stoops was as angry as he'd been since the referee fiasco at Oregon three weeks earlier, when a series of calls led to a 34-33 loss. He'd come close to his boiling point several times earlier, with a series of close plays all going against Oklahoma, but this one was the most crucial and he demanded it be reviewed.

He remained angry even after getting the ruling: The ball was "thrown at the 12 and landed at the 12. By rule, that's a backwards pass."

Ross intercepted Thompson on Oklahoma's next drive and the game was essentially over with more than seven minutes left. Fans in the Oklahoma end of the Cotton Bowl began heading out to the State Fair of Texas outside the stadium - and they were practically all gone when Thompson was picked off again by Ross with a little over a minute left.

Texas fans began cheering "Poor Sooners," then soon after were singing the "Eyes of Texas." At the final gun, McCoy turned to the crowd and pumped his arm in victory. It wasn't as wild a scene as last year, when the Longhorns ended a five-year losing streak to the Sooners, but fans seemed to enjoy it just as much.

McCoy finished 11-of-18 for 108 yards. Jamaal Charles ran for 65 yards and Selvin Young gained 11, including a 15-yarder for a touchdown that put Texas up 7-0.

Thompson was 15-of-27 for 209 yards, with the two fourth-quarter interceptions. Peterson ran 25 times for 109 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown that had tied it at 7. Garrett Hartley kicked a 35-yard field goal that gave Oklahoma its 10-7 halftime lead.

For more coverage of Texas, visit Orangebloods.com; for more on Oklahoma, visit SoonerScoop.com.

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