Young, Benson lead dramatic UT comeback that ranks No. 22

June, 11, 2009
6/11/09
6:18
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No. 22: A Texas-sized comeback

Mack Brown's team was headed for a humiliating home defeat.

The Longhorns were in a huge 35-7 hole after Oklahoma State had put them on their heels late in the first half.

But what happened after Brown's stirring halftime speech was unlike any previous performance in the history of the Texas program.

Date: Nov. 6, 2004
Place: Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas
Score: Texas 56, Oklahoma State 35

It was the kind of game that could get coaches fired.

With the Longhorns trailing by 28 points late in the first half, Brown turned things over to sophomore quarterback Vince Young and junior tailback Cedric Benson.

The Longhorns drove 80 yards late in the first half, with Young hooking up with Bo Scaife for a 4-yard touchdown in the closing seconds to pull the Longhorns within 35-14 at the break.

From there, the Longhorns scored touchdowns on the next six drives to notch the largest comeback in school history.

In the process, they fulfilled a prediction by Brown, who told his team they would come back to win the game despite the huge halftime deficit and its first-half struggles.

Benson finished by rushing for 141 yards and five touchdowns. And Young set a school record by completing 12 straight passes in the second half, passing for a then career-high 278 yards and rushing for 123 yards to spark the rally.

The Longhorns finished by piling up 600 yards of total offense.

The numbers: Texas outgained OSU, 266 to minus-5, in the third quarter. Texas averaged 12.6 yards per snap and collected 11 first downs in the third quarter alone.

They said it, part I: "What a perfect half by Oklahoma State. They can't get any better ... and we can't do any worse than we were doing," Brown description of the first-half struggles of his team.

They said it, part II: "I said what we're going to do is score on the first drive and beat them 42-35. I apologized to them at the end of the game because I underestimated them," Brown on what he told his team at halftime when facing the three-touchdown deficit.

The upshot: Instead of having to answer critics for a blowout home loss, the wild comeback pushed the Longhorns on a seven-game winning streak to finish the 2004 season. Texas punctuated the season with a stirring 38-37 comeback victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl and finished the season fifth in the final Associated Press poll.

The Longhorns were just getting started. Texas ran off 13 straight victories the following season to claim the national championship. Included in the run was a 47-28 comeback victory over Oklahoma State in Stillwater when the Longhorns charged back from an early 19-point deficit. The winning streak was extended to 21 games before losing to Ohio State early in the 2006 season.

Oklahoma State finished the 2004 season 7-5, capped by a 33-7 loss to Ohio State in the Alamo Bowl. Shortly after that game, OSU coach Les Miles resigned to accept the head-coaching job at LSU.

The countdown:  

23. A Border War unlike any of the rest -- Missouri over Kansas in 2007.  

24. Seneca Wallace's wild TD run vs. Texas Tech in 2001.  

25. Baylor's "So Much for Taking a Knee."  

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