The Norman Transcript

National Sports

November 15, 2013

Brown, Longhorns face Pokes in thick of Big 12 title chase

AUSTIN, Texas — After a 1-2 start, the No. 23 Texas Longhorns have rallied to contest for the Big 12 title with three games left.

It starts Saturday against No. 12 Oklahoma State, the team most had pegged for the league crown until an early stumble on the road at West Virginia. But like the Longhorns (7-2, 6-0), the Cowboys (8-1, 5-1) regrouped to keep the Big 12 title and the BCS bowl berth that comes with it in sight.

For Texas, this position seemed unthinkable after two blowout losses in September that got defensive coordinator Manny Diaz fired and the Longhorns punted out of the national rankings.

And coming off a home loss to Ole Miss, coach Mack Brown was jeered for immediately starting talk that Texas could still win the Big 12. The fans mostly wanted to talk about whether Brown would still have a job after this season.

“Our guys know we’ve got three games left to win the conference and they understand this one is the only thing they can do anything about. They’re proud of themselves,” Brown said.

Leading the resurgence has been quarterback Case McCoy, the backup who took over the starter’s job in September when David Ash sustained a concussion. McCoy’s gunslinger attitude and uncanny ability to deliver big plays in the clutch kept Texas from losses at Iowa State and West Virginia.

Texas rallied against six teams with a combined record of 23-33. The last three opponents — Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor — are 23-4.

While the series history with Oklahoma State is lopsided in Texas’ favor, the road team has won each of the last four meetings.

“I don’t think there’s any question that we are a much better football team than we were a month and a half ago. That’s a credit to the players,” Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. “They’ve made a decision to work hard together and improve, and they have. I like our leadership and I like the maturity of our team right now.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014

  • Ives to crew chief for Dale Jr. in 2015

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There was no shortage of candidates to replace Steve Letarte as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief The list of applicants was long, but Hendrick Motorsports has always liked to groom its own talent. So the organization ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Gustafson wants Gordon’s team focused on Chase

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jeff Gordon viewed his Brickyard 400 win as a turning point for his race team. Confidence had been building with every strong run, but his victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway pushed his crew to another level. It was ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Mercury not thinking streak

    Brittney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury are closing in on one of the greatest records in WNBA history, the Los Angeles Sparks’ 18-game winning streak. To equal that mark, the Mercury need to win two more games, starting with defending ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Hamlin crew chief out 6 races

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Darian Grubb and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Bell focuses on every facet of his game

    LATROBE, Pa. — Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw....

    July 30, 2014

  • Sam factor may ready Rams for sensitivity class

    ST. LOUIS — To guard against another bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp....

    July 30, 2014