Big 12: Big 12\'s most memorable moments

Williams' deflection is No. 3 Big 12 memory

July, 8, 2009
7/08/09
6:10
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Superman's leap: Roy Williams' tipped pass leads to OU's game-clinching 

Date: Oct. 6, 2001
Place: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
Score: Oklahoma 14, Texas 3

Bob Stoops warned Roy Williams not to leave his feet.

Fortunately for the Sooners, Williams didn't listen. His well-timed jump led to arguably the biggest defensive play in Big 12 history and the clinching moment of one of Stoops' most memorable and satisfying victories.

With Texas at its own 3-yard line, the Sooners' blitzing safety came up with the biggest of plays. His leap enabled him to hit the elbow of Texas quarterback Chris Simms, deflecting his attempted pass. The ball squirted into the hands of surprised Oklahoma linebacker Teddy Lehman, who returned it 2 yards for a clinching touchdown with 2:01 left, capping a masterful defensive performance.

The Sooners claimed the victory in the annual rivalry, which had added importance in 2001 because both teams were ranked in the top five coming into the game for the first time since 1984.

And both played strongly in a memorable defensive slugfest that was won by Williams' heroics and a gritty relief performance by Oklahoma backup quarterback Jason White, who replaced injured starter Nate Hybl in the second quarter.

White made the most of his coming-out party, finishing by completing 16 of 23 passes for 108 yards. And he was just as effective as a scrambler, rushing for a team-high 38 yards on 12 carries.

Oklahoma tailback Quentin Griffin, who gashed the Longhorns for six touchdowns in a memorable 2000 performance, accounted for the game's lone offensive touchdown. The diminutive tailback took an option pitch from White and scooted 2 yards for a touchdown around left end to give the Sooners an early 7-0 lead, capping an 11-play, 61-yard scoring drive.

Texas struck back when Dusty Mangum converted on a 27-yard field goal with 14 seconds left in the first half to pull the Longhorns within 7-3 at the break.

And that's how the score remained for most of the rest of the game as both teams' defenses alternated coming up with big plays.

Simms was terrorized by a blitzing Oklahoma defense which produced four interceptions, including three in the fourth quarter. He was also sacked five times, including three by speedy Oklahoma defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson.

The Longhorns appeared to have grabbed momentum late in the third quarter after Duncan shanked a 24-yard attempt and the Sooners failed on three straight plays inside the Texas 5-yard line.

The Longhorns were turned away on their deepest fourth-quarter possession at the Oklahoma 34 when Simms was intercepted by Antonio Perkins in the Sooners' end zone. Simms was aiming for Sloan Thomas on a post pattern.

Oklahoma then took the ensuing drive for nearly six-and-a-half minutes as they marched to the Texas 27. But Stoops eschewed another field goal attempt by Tim Duncan, who had missed two earlier, in favor of a pooch punt from Duncan.

The strategy worked perfectly as confused Texas defensive back Nathan Vasher fielded the kick and was immediately stopped at his own 3.

With all of their timeouts remaining, Texas coach Mack Brown said after the game that his team planned to win the game on the ensuing drive.

But Williams and his leap took care of that on the next play, icing a dramatic victory that still resonates as one of the best defensive performances in the Stoops era.

They said it, part I:  "To keep them out of the end zone, to have five sacks, force four interceptions. ... It's just amazing," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops on his team's big defensive effort.

They said it, part II: "Roy made a great play on the quarterback. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time," Oklahoma linebacker Teddy Lehman on his interception caused by Roy Williams' "Superman" leap.

They said it, part III: ''We were so close. We knew it was going to be a dog fight. Nothing fooled us. We got exactly what we expected.'' Texas quarterback Chris Simms on his team's disappointment after the loss.

They said it, part IV: ''It was two great defenses and two offenses trying to scratch them. It was a great football game. Both teams played as hard as they could," Texas coach Mack Brown on the bitter defensive struggle.

They said it, part V: "It was like two Mack trucks running into each other for 3 hours and 15 minutes," Brown on the physical nature of the game.

They said it, part VI: "Jason showed great leadership and toughness. He executed exceptionally well today coming off the bench. He had a solid game all around," Stoops on White's relief effort.

Factoids: The victory extended Oklahoma's winning streak to 18 games and marked the Sooners' second-straight victory over Texas ... White had thrown six passes in his career before this game, including four in the 2001 season ... Simms completed 24 of 42 passes for 198 yards ... The victory stretched Stoops' record against top 10 opponents to 8-0 at the start of his career at Oklahoma ... Texas was limited to 27 yards rushing on 25 carries ... Texas controlled Quentin Griffin, who was limited to 27 yards on 16 carries ... Mark Clayton led the Sooners in receiving with six grabs for 65 yards ... Texas wide receiver Roy Williams produced five receptions for 64 yards and B.J. Johnson added five catches for 23 yards ... Simms threw interceptions on three-straight fourth-quarter possessions to enable the Sooners to wrap up the victory. It was the lowest number of points for Texas since the infamous 66-3 loss to UCLA in 1997.

The upshot: The victory appeared to put the Sooners in the driver's seat for the South Division title. But they lost twice in the final five regular-season games, including a tough 16-13 regular-season home loss to Oklahoma State that cost them a berth in the Big 12 title game.

Instead, Oklahoma produced a gritty 10-3 victory over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl to finish off an 11-2 season that saw them finish sixth in the final Associated Press poll.

Texas responded with a six-game winning streak that catapulted them into the Big 12 title game after Oklahoma's two late losses. But the Longhorns dropped a disappointing 39-37 defeat to Colorado in the conference championship game -- Mack Brown's second Big 12 title-game loss.

The Longhorns went on to defeat Washington, 47-43, in the Holiday Bowl to cap an 11-2 record. They were fifth in the final 2001 AP poll.

The countdown:

4. Davison's dramatic grab keeps Cornhuskers' national title hopes alive.
5. Bamboozled again and again and again. Boise's gadget plays doom Oklahoma.
6. Yes, Sirr. Parker's dramatic catches lead A&M to first Big 12 title
7. Crouch's TD catch cements Heisman bid, beats Oklahoma
8. Sproles and Roberson stun top-ranked OU, leading KSU to its first Big 12 title.
9. Emotional A&M victory brings closure after Bonfire tragedy.
10. Roll left: James Brown guarantees victory and then backs it up.
11. When BCS meant "Boo Chris Simms" in Colorado's first Big 12 title.
12. A Buffalo stampede: Six Chris Brown TDs lead CU to first Big 12 title game.
13. Run, Ricky, run. Ricky Williams breaks NCAA career rushing record.
14. Wild game, wilder post-game rants when Gundy and Leach meet in 2007.
15. Rout 66: No, that score wasn't a typo.
16. KSU finally slays the Cornhuskers.
17. Kingsbury and Long hook up in a passing duel for the ages.
18. Henery and Suh make Colorado blue.
19. Stunning OSU rally leads to Stoops' first home loss.
20. It's never over for Texas Tech until it's over.
21. Reesing to Meier. Again and again.
22. A Texas-sized comeback -- Texas over Oklahoma State in 2004.
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" against UNLV in 1999.

Davison's game-saving catch ranks as Big 12's No. 4 memory

July, 7, 2009
7/07/09
8:17
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Davison's dramatic grab keeps Nebraska's winning streak alive

Date: Nov. 8, 1997
Place: Faurot Field, Columbia, Mo.
Score: Nebraska 45, Missouri 38 (OT)

Nebraska needed a huge break to keep its 1997 national title hopes alive.

The Cornhuskers got that and more when freshman receiver Matt Davison grabbed a kicked ball for a game-tying touchdown against Missouri. His dramatic play forced overtime and resuscitated the Cornhuskers' national title hopes.

The dramatic score is one of the most memorable play in the Cornhuskers' Big 12 history and certainly ranks with Johnny Rodgers' dramatic 1971 punt return against Oklahoma and Tommie Frazier's 75-yard scoring run against Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl.

The New York Times described Davison's heroics the following day in a headline as a "fluke score."

Nebraska was trailing by seven points with 12 seconds left when Davison's made the big play.

Quarterback Scott Frost's pass to the end zone was knocked out of wide receiver Shevin Wiggins' grasp. Missouri defensive back Harold Piersey appeared poised to intercept the ball, but Wiggins inadvertently kicked the ball into the air on his way down. Davison was ready to make a diving grab in the end zone, pouncing on it just before it hit the turf for the touchdown.

The dramatics shocked Missouri fans who had stormed the field. Those fans appeared ready to rip down the goal posts to celebrate what would have been the Tigers' first victory over Nebraska since 1978. Instead, they had to get ready for overtime.

Frost made the most of the break, scoring three plays into overtime on a 12-yard scamper for his fourth touchdown run of the game. Missouri had two incomplete passes and a 3-yard gain before quarterback Corby Jones was sacked by Grant Wistrom and Mike Rucker to preserve the victory.

Nebraska, which came into the game as a 29-point favorite, had to work hard to escape with the victory as Missouri dominated most of the game.

Jones jolted the No. 3 defense for three touchdown passes and also rushed for 60 yards, although he was sacked five times by the Cornhuskers.

He was effective early in the game, but Frost's touchdown runs of 16 yards and 1 yard before the end of the first quarter gave the Cornhuskers a 14-7 lead.

Missouri reclaimed the lead at 24-21 at the half after striking for 10 late points. Scott Knickman's 39-yard field goal and a 39-yard touchdown pass from Jones to tailback Brock Olivo gave the Tigers the lead.

Frost boosted Nebraska back into the lead late in the third quarter on a 1-yard keeper, but Missouri answered with Devin West's 62-yard kickoff return on the ensuing play for good field position. Jones then scored on a 6-yard run to enable the Tigers to reclaim the lead at 31-28.

The Cornhuskers tied the game on Kris Brown's 44-yard field goal with 10:50 left in the game. But Missouri responded after Piersey's interception to the Nebraska 30. Jones then hit H-back Eddie Brooks on a 15-yard scoring pass with 4:38 left, boosting Missouri to a 38-31 lead.

Missouri squandered a chance to ice the victory in regulation when Jones was stuffed on a third-and-3 option play. Jason Smith's ensuing punt pinned Nebraska at its own 33 with 1:02 left before the dramatic game-tying possession.

It was just enough time for a miracle. And Nebraska made the most of its opportunity.

They said it, part I: "One stinking play," Missouri coach Larry Smith, expressing his disgust to reporters after the game.

They said it, part II: "We wanted to shock the world tonight. But the end of that game shocked us. We should have won that game. That's all there is to it," Missouri guard Craig Heimburger, in his postgame comments to the Columbia Daily Tribune.

They said it, part III: "It was floating like a punt, kind of end over end. It seemed like it took forever for the ball to get there," Nebraska wide receiver Matt Davison, telling reporters about his recollection of the play.

They said it, part IV: "We fought our (butts) off and came up short. It hurts so bad. We could have had it, should have had it," Missouri fullback Ron Janes, expressing his disappointment to the Columbia Daily Tribune after the loss.

They said it, part V: "He told me, 'We got lucky.' And he's right, they did," Smith, telling reporters of his postgame conversation with Nebraska coach Tom Osborne.

Factoids: Frost rushed for 141 yards on 23 carries and passed for 175 yards by completing 11-of-24 passes ... Jones completed 12 of 20 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns with one interception ... Missouri failed in its bid for its first upset over a No. 1 ranked team in school history ... The Cornhuskers' victory extended their winning streak of 37 consecutive conference games and 19 straight victories over Missouri ... Brown's fourth-quarter field goal was his 10th straight -- a then-Nebraska school record ... Nebraska produced 353 rushing yards, paced by a game-high 189 rushing yards by Ahman Green on 30 carries ... Nebraska had a 528-386 edge in total yards ... Davison had caught only seven passes for 117 yards and no touchdowns before his memorable reception.

The upshot: Nebraska fell from No. 1 to No. 3 in the polls the following week. But they returned to No. 2 two weeks later and remained there, even after a smashing 54-15 victory over Texas A&M in the Big 12 championship game in San Antonio. The Cornhuskers then whipped No. 3 Tennessee in the Orange Bowl, 42-17 in the Bowl Alliance's top game.

That victory enabled Osborne to finish his career with a 14-game winning streak as the Cornhuskers spoiled Peyton Manning's final college game. Nebraska (13-0) finished No. 2 behind Michigan in the Associated Press media poll, but nosed out the Wolverines in the coaches' poll for a share of the national title.

Missouri finished the season with a 35-24 loss to Colorado State in the Holiday Bowl. The Tigers were 7-5 and No. 23 in the final Associated Press poll, the first time they had been ranked at season's end since finishing No. 19 in 1981.

The countdown:

5. Bamboozled three times. Boise State's gadget plays doom Oklahoma.
6. Yes, Sirr. Parker's' dramatic catches lead A&M to first Big 12 title.
7. Crouch's TD catch cements Heisman bid, beats Oklahoma.
8. Sproles and Roberson stun top-ranked OU, leading KSU to its first Big 12 title.
9. Emotional A&M victory brings closure after Bonfire tragedy.
10. Roll left: James Brown guarantees victory and then backs it up.
11. When BCS meant "Boo Chris Simms" in Colorado's first Big 12 title.
12. A Buffalo stampede: Six
Chris Brown TDs
lead Colorado past Nebraska.
13. Run, Ricky, run. Ricky Williams breaks NCAA career rushing record.
14. Wild game, wilder post-game rants when Gundy and Leach meet in 2007.
15. Rout 66: No, that score wasn't a typo.
16. KSU finally slays the Cornhuskers.
17. Kingsbury and Long hook up in a passing duel for the ages.
18. Henery and Suh make Colorado blue.
19. Stunning OSU rally leads to Stoops' first home loss.
20. It's never over for Texas Tech until it's over.
21. Reesing to Meier. Again and again.
22. A Texas-sized comeback -- Texas over Oklahoma State in 2004.
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" against UNLV in 1999.

Parker, A&M's overtime heroics is No. 6 memory

July, 6, 2009
7/06/09
8:14
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No. 6  

Yes Sirr: Parker's big catches lead A&M to 1998 championship

Date: Dec. 5, 1998
Place: TWA Dome, St. Louis, Mo.
Score: Texas A&M 36, Kansas State 33 (2 OT)

Kansas State was on the verge of the biggest triumph in school history and a likely berth in the first Bowl Championship Series national title game if the Wildcats could claim their first Big 12 title.

That excitement intensified early in the Big 12 title game against Texas A&M after the final score of Miami's 49-45 victory over UCLA was announced over the TWA Dome public-address system. That was only a couple of moments after Darnell McDonald's 66-yard touchdown reception from Michael Bishop boosted the Wildcats to a 17-3 lead early in the second quarter.

A berth in the national title game hinged on the Wildcats completing their victory over the Aggies.

But a funny thing happened after that. A&M became the rejuvenated, more focused team in the fourth quarter after the Wildcats had extended their lead to 27-12 on a 5-yard touchdown run by Bishop late in the third quarter.

A&M quarterback Branndon Stewart, forced into action because of starter Randy McCown's broken collarbone, caught fire during a wild fourth-quarter rally.

Stewart cut into the deficit 5:40 into the fourth quarter on a 13-yard touchdown strike to Leroy Hodge to trim the KSU lead to 27-19. And he later moved the Aggies 76 yards on four plays to the Kansas State 14 before a sack by KSU linebacker Ben Leber and a fourth-down pass deflection by Damion McIntosh caused the drive to stall.

The Aggies' "Wrecking Crew" defense came up with a huge play on the ensuing possession after KSU took control with 3:26 left with hopes of running out the clock. But on the second play of the drive, Bishop was hit by A&M linebacker Warrick Holdman, forcing a fumble that was recovered by A&M linebacker Cornelius Anthony at the Wildcats' 35.

A spectacular diving catch by backup A&M wide receiver Matt Bumgardner accounted for 36 yards to the KSU 14. Two plays later, Stewart hit backup tailback Sirr Parker on a slant play for a 9-yard touchdown pass. After a timeout, Stewart and Parker connected on the two-point conversion play to tie the score with 1:05 left.

Bishop had one more chance during regulation. The Wildcats lined up for a 69-yard field goal attempt by Martin Gramatica in the closing seconds, but a delay-of-game penalty prevented them from trying the kick. Instead, Bishop lofted a "Hail Mary" play that was caught by Everett Burnett for a 55-yard gain before he was stopped at the A&M 2 on the final play of regulation.

A&M took the first possession of overtime and marched to the KSU 1 before settling for an 18-yard Russell Bynum field goal. KSU answered by gaining 21 yards on a drive that was capped by a 22-yarder by Gramatica that tied the game at 30.

Gramatica added another 25-yard field goal to give the Wildcats a 33-30 lead to start the second overtime. The Aggies then lost two yards on their first play of their possession and faced a third-and-17 play after a penalty from the KSU 32.

But rather than playing to tie the game, Stewart hit Parker on another clutch slant pass. The 5-foot-7 Parker eluded Luke Butler and then streaked past Lamar Chapman en route to the right corner of the end zone. He finished with a 32-yard touchdown reception that ranks as the biggest play in A&M football history.

They said it, part I: "It's a sick feeling. It's a terrible situation," KSU quarterback Michael Bishop on the Wildcats' late collapse.

They said it, part II: "This may be, in their young lives, the most difficult thing that they've ever had to handle. The pain that comes from this is obvious," KSU coach Bill Snyder on his team's collapse at the end of regulation.

They said it, part III: "Once I caught the slant, I felt him (Butler) fall of my back. I saw I had one man to beat, so I ran for the end zone," A&M running back Sirr Parker on his game-winning TD grab.

They said it, part IV: "I love opportunities to prove people wrong. People say, 'Stewart can't do this. Stewart can't do that.' I love proving them wrong." A&M quarterback Branndon Stewart, who told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he delighted in confounding naysayers with his dramatic comeback performance.

They said it, part V: "Gimme some sugar! Whoop! Whoop!" The chant of A&M players and Coach R.C. Slocum after finishing the victory that earned them a berth in the Sugar Bowl.

Factoids: Stewart, who transferred from Tennessee after Peyton Manning beat him out for the starting job, struggled early in the KSU game. The A&M quarterback misfired on his first five passes, with one interception ... Despite his late fumble, Bishop had one of the best games of his career, passing for 324 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 101 yards ... Kansas State entered the game with a nation-best 19-game winning streak and had outscored its first 11 opponents of the season by an average margin of 49-11 ... But KSU was its own worst enemy as the Wildcats were penalized 13 times for 110 yards against the Aggies ... A&M tailback Dante Hall gashed KSU's defense for 113 yards and bullish tailback JaMar Toombs added a 1-yard TD plunge. It was only the third rushing touchdown that the Wildcats had allowed during the 1998 season ... Stewart completed just 4-of-11 passes for 89 yards and an interception through three quarters. But he was 9-of-16 for 185 yards for two TDs in the fourth quarter and finished with a career-high 324 yards after his overtime TD pass to Parker ... The Aggies claimed their first conference championship since winning the 1993 Southwest Conference title. They also denied KSU's hopes of earning its first title since claiming the Big Six Conference in 1934 ... A&M's comeback from a 15-point deficit tied the school record at the time of the game, matching the Aggies' 15-point comeback in a 1997 overtime triumph over Oklahoma State ... A&M linebacker Dat Nguyen set a Big 12 championship game record with 17 tackles.

The upshot: The victory boosted the Aggies into their first BCS bowl game in history as they advanced to the Sugar Bowl. But the Buckeyes claimed a 24-14 victory that dropped the Aggies to 11-3 for the season. A&M finished the season ranked No. 11 in the final Associated Press poll. They have finished ranked only once at the end of season since then - a No. 23 ranking after the 1999 season.

KSU's loss caused them to free-fall all the way to the Alamo Bowl, where they met Purdue. Bishop struggled with a four-interception performance as the Boilermakers escaped with a wild 37-34 upset victory. The Wildcats finished 11-2 for the season and No. 10 in the final AP poll.

Bishop finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting after the 1998 season, substantially behind winner Ricky Williams of Texas. And Nguyen's big effort in the championship game helped him claim the Lombardi and Bednarik awards as the most decorated player in A&M's Big 12 history.

The countdown:

7. Crouch's TD catch cements Heisman bid, helps beats Oklahoma
8. Sproles and Roberson stun top-ranked OU, leading KSU to its first Big 12 title.
9. Emotional A&M victory brings closure after Bonfire tragedy.
10. Roll left: James Brown guarantees victory and then backs it up.
11. When BCS meant "Boo Chris Simms" in Colorado's first Big 12 title.
12. A Buffalo stampede: Six Chris Brown TDs lead CU to first Big 12 title game.
13. Run, Ricky, run. Ricky Williams breaks NCAA career rushing record.
14. Wild game, wilder post-game rants when Gundy and Leach meet in 2007.
15. Rout 66: No, that score wasn't a typo.
16. KSU finally slays the Cornhuskers.
17. Kingsbury and Long hook up in a passing duel for the ages.
18. Henery and Suh make Colorado blue.
19. Stunning OSU rally leads to Stoops' first home loss.
20. It's never over for Texas Tech until it's over.
21. Reesing to Meier. Again and again.
22. A Texas-sized comeback -- Texas over Oklahoma State in 2004.
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" against UNLV in 1999.

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No. 7

Crouch overcomes struggling effort for Heisman-defining moment vs. Oklahoma

Date: Oct. 27, 2001
Place: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.
Score: Nebraska 20, Oklahoma 10

To all Nebraska fans, it's become a larger-than-life memory known simply as "Black 41 Flash Reverse Pass" -- one of the most unforgettable plays in school history.

But Crouch's heroic touchdown reception that helped beat Oklahoma in 2001 was more than just a great play.

It pushed the Cornhuskers into the No. 1 position in the BCS poll after the victory.

It also helped boost Crouch into the lead for the Heisman Trophy, an honor he claimed later in the season. His dramatic catch came in one of Crouch's worst statistical games ever.

The victory turned out to be the biggest in Frank Solich's coaching tenure with the Cornhuskers.

The Sooners carried a 20-game winning streak to the game and hadn't lost since Bob Stoops' first season when they brought their No. 1 team in the BCS poll into Memorial Stadium.

Oklahoma had built that streak on its defense and appeared ready to continue that during the game.

The game turned early when Oklahoma quarterback Jason White sustained a knee injury that would sideline him for the rest of the season -- save for a couple of plays later in the game.

Backup Nate Hybl then entered the game and engineered the game's first scoring drive. His 4-yard strike to tight end Trent Smith gave the Sooners an early 7-0 lead.

Nebraska matched that less than five minutes later on a 2-yard touchdown run by Dahrran Diedrick. Both teams traded field goals -- a 27-yarder by Nebraska's Josh Brown and a 20-yarder by Oklahoma's Tim Duncan with 15 seconds left in the half -- for a 10-10 halftime deadlock.

The Cornhuskers went ahead early in the third quarter after Erwin Swiney picked off Hybl on a pass that bounced off the facemask of receiver Antwone Savage. Thunder Collins scooted 39 yards on an end-around to the Oklahoma 25 on the next play, setting up a 26-yard field goal by Brown.

Hybl injured his left shoulder on the next Oklahoma possession when he was slammed to the turf by Nebraska linebacker Chris Kelsay, but returned after missing two plays. Amazingly, White returned to action for those plays despite his earlier injury.

After recovering from his injury, Hybl rallied the Sooners in the fourth quarter. But the drive stalled at the Nebraska 36. Stoops then decided against a long field goal in favor of a pooch punt that pinned the Cornhuskers at their own 5. Similar strategy had boosted Oklahoma to a victory over Texas earlier that season.

Crouch gained 19 yards to get the Cornhuskers out of the shadow of their end zone. But Oklahoma appeared to have gotten a defensive stop after Tommie Harris and Cory Heinecke produced a seven-yard loss on third down. Officials ruled Heinecke had grabbed Crouch's face mask on the play, giving the Cornhuskers a first down at the Nebraska 37.

On the next play, the Cornhuskers struck. Crouch handed the ball to Collins, who then pitched it to freshman Mike Stuntz, a backup quarterback on what appeared to be a reverse.

Stuntz instead fired a perfect spiral to a wide-open Crouch, who caught the ball at the Oklahoma 38 and easily jetted past Oklahoma 6-foot-2, 275-pound defensive tackle Kory Klein and defensive back Derrick Strait to the end zone. The play covered 63 yards.

Interestingly, Oklahoma had tried almost the exact play earlier in the game. The Sooners' play failed when Hybl fell down.

It wasn't the longest play for Crouch, who earlier in the season had run 95 yards for a touchdown against Missouri. It wasn't even his first touchdown reception.

But it was the kind of play that resonated with Heisman voters and helped him become the first Nebraska quarterback to win the award.

They said it, part I: "This was one of those games where you want some excitement, so we thought we'd come out and try it. It worked," Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch on his game-clinching touchdown reception.

They said it, part II: "In the end, losing is a strange feeling in our locker room (as far as) what to feel. We haven't experienced this in quite a while," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops on the end of his team's 20-game winning streak.

They said it, part III: "No matter what happened, I knew we were going to get the job done. It wasn't finesse. It wasn't gaining 500 or 600 yards, but we got it done when we needed to," Crouch on Nebraska's big-play effort against the Sooners.

They said it, part IV: "I won't lie. I was a little bit nervous. I was just thrilled to death,'' Nebraska wide receiver Mike Stuntz, on his game-clinching TD pass to Crouch.

Factoids: The loss was the first time that Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops ever lost against a top-10 opponent, snapping a winning streak of eight games ... The Sooners came into the game as the nation's No. 1 ranked team in the BCS standings and Nebraska was No. 2 ... The Nebraska upset ended a 20-game winning streak for the Sooners that dated to their 1999 Independence Bowl loss to Mississippi. It was the nation's longest winning streak at the time of the game ... Crouch rushed for 21 yards on 13 carries and completed 10-of-18 passes for 102 yards. His rushing total was a career low in a game where he started at quarterback ... On the three possessions before Crouch's game-clinching TD reception, the Cornhuskers had produced three, eight and nine yards ... Hybl completed 17-of-36 passes for 184 yards and an interception ... The victory extended Nebraska's home winning streak to 20 games, a streak that would eventually stretch to 26 games before the Cornhuskers lost in 2002 to Texas ...

The upshot: Nebraska and Oklahoma switched spots in the BCS poll the following week, with Nebraska at No. 1 and Oklahoma at No. 2.

The potential for a rematch in the Big 12 title game never materialized as both teams lost the final game of the regular season to cost them a chance at their respective division titles. The Cornhuskers were blown out in a 62-36 loss at Colorado that snapped their 11-game winning streak to the start the season. And Oklahoma dropped a 16-13 home loss to Oklahoma State.

Even with the loss, Nebraska still qualified to play for the national championship in the Rose Bowl. But mistakes cost them three quick touchdowns as Miami cruised to an easy 37-14 victory. The two losses at the end of the season dropped the Cornhuskers (11-2) to No. 8 in the final Associated Press poll. The Cornhuskers haven't finished the season ranked as highly since then.

Despite the late struggles, Crouch still claimed the Heisman Trophy, winning the award by 62 points over Florida quarterback Rex Grossman. His touchdown reception against Oklahoma no doubt helped catapult him to the honor, becoming the first Big 12 quarterback to win the honor.

Stuntz never threw another touchdown pass for the Cornhuskers. He ended his career in 2005 as a defensive back.  

Oklahoma finished the season with a gritty 10-3 victory over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl, limiting the Razorbacks to six first downs and 50 net yards as the Sooners wrapped up an 11-2 season. The Sooners ended the season ranked sixth in the final AP poll.

The countdown: 

8. Sproles and Roberson stun top-ranked OU, leading KSU to its first Big 12 title.
9. Emotional A&M victory brings closure after Bonfire tragedy.
10. Roll left: James Brown guarantees victory and then backs it up.
11. When BCS meant "Boo Chris Simms" in Colorado's first Big 12 title.
12. A Buffalo stampede: Six Chris Brown TDs lead CU to first Big 12 title game.
13. Run, Ricky, run. Ricky Williams breaks NCAA career rushing record.
14. Wild game, wilder post-game rants when Gundy and Leach meet in 2007.
15. Rout 66: No, that score wasn't a typo.
16. KSU finally slays the Cornhuskers.
17. Kingsbury and Long hook up in a passing duel for the ages.
18. Henery and Suh make Colorado blue.
19. Stunning OSU rally leads to Stoops' first home loss.
20. It's never over for Texas Tech until it's over.
21. Reesing to Meier. Again and again.
22. A Texas-sized comeback -- Texas over Oklahoma State in 2004.
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" against UNLV in 1999.


Stunning KSU 2003 title-game upset ranks as No. 8 memory

July, 1, 2009
7/01/09
6:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Sproles, Roberson send Stoops crashing to lone title-game loss

Date: Dec. 6, 2003
Place: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
Score: Kansas State 35, Oklahoma 7

Top-ranked Oklahoma was on the verge on running the table en route to a perfect season and a trip to the BCS championship game when it entered the title game aiming for their third championship in the last four seasons.

Kansas State had struggled earlier in the year, losing at home to Marshall, the start of a three-game losing streak. A trip to the Big 12 title game after an 0-2 conference start wasn't even a consideration for the Wildcats until they caught fire late in the season.

A stout KSU defense that had allowed only 39 points in its last five regular-season games was the reason the Wildcats claimed the North title. That group would be tested by an explosive Sooner offense keyed by Jason White.

The Sooners looked ready to continue that run after KeJuan Jones scored on a 42-yard run less than three minutes into the game on the Sooners' fourth play from scrimmage.

But when usually reliable kicker Trey DiCarlo shanked a 44-yard field goal to start the second quarter, KSU had an opening. And the Wildcats took advantage of it immediately as diminutive tailback Darren Sproles gashed the Sooners on a 55-yard run on the next play. Quarterback Ell Roberson hooked up with Brian Casey on a 19-yard TD pass three plays later to tie the score.

Roberson, a streaky quarterback during much his career at KSU, gave the Wildcats the lead for good on a 63-yard strike to James Terry 2:23 later. It typified a tough night for Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, who had announced several days earlier he would accept the vacant coaching job at Arizona after the championship game.

Oklahoma, which had averaged 56.5 points in its last four games before the championship game, also struggled with offensive mistakes. A dropped pass by Jejuan Rankins killed the next drive on fourth down. And White was victimized on an end zone interception on the Sooners' next possession.

Sproles provided another big play shortly before halftime when he scooted 60 yards on a screen pass for a touchdown to give the Wildcats a 21-7 halftime edge.

The Sooners took the opening drive of the second half, but came up empty after a seven-minute drive when DiCarlo hooked a 28-yard field goal attempt.

Kansas State answered with an 80-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 10-yard strike from Roberson to Antoine Polite with 3:02 left in the third quarter.

And with 10:16 left, Kansas State linebacker Ted Sims snatched a White interception and rambled on a 27-yard TD return to ice the victory.

The stunning upset brought the Wildcats their first conference football championship since winning the Big Six in 1934, capping the biggest victory during Bill Snyder's coaching tenure.

They said it, part I: "We just got our butt whipped. I'm not going to sit here and lobby our way into a bowl game. If the BCS says we're in, we're in," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, after his team's loss.

They said it, part II: "Let the little man run it. If they don't respect him, we'll throw it. That's what it came down to," Kansas State quarterback Ell Roberson, describing the Wildcats' heavy use of Darren Sproles in the upset.

They said it, part III: "Our D-line was making him scramble all day and really getting to his head. He was so scared," Kansas State linebacker Josh Buhl, describing to the Associated Press the Wildcats' strategy against Jason White.

They said it, part IV: "They put pressure on us and got to us a few times. They hit us where we are weak," Oklahoma quarterback Jason White.

Factoids: Oklahoma's defense came into the game allowing only 234 yards per game. But they were gashed by Sproles, who rushed for 235 yards on 22 carries -- most ever gained against an Oklahoma defense to that point in its history. Sproles also added three receptions for 88 yards ... Roberson did the rest, completing 10-of-17 passing for 227 yards and four TDs and adding 62 rushing yards ... Coming into the game, Oklahoma's defense had surrendered only seven touchdown passes all season ... Kansas State blistered the Sooners for 519 yards on 58 plays, an average of 8.94 yards per snap ... The loss snapped a 14-game winning streak for the Sooners, longest in the nation at the time of the game ... The seven points were the lowest point total ever for a team coached by Bob Stoops ... The victory was the first time that Kansas State beat a No. 1 ranked team in 10 tries ... White struggled with Kansas State's "Purple on White" defensive scheme. He completed 27-of-50 passes for 298 yards, but was intercepted twice. ... The Sooners produced only one score despite advancing inside Kansas State territory four times in the first half ... DiCarlo's two misses came after he had converted 19 of 20 field-goal attempts for the season coming into the game.

The upshot: Oklahoma's upset loss threw the Bowl Championship Series into turmoil when the Sooners fell to No. 3 in both major polls after the game. But they remained No. 1 in the final BCS poll, qualifying for a shot at the national championship against LSU in the Sugar Bowl. But the Tigers claimed a 21-14 victory over the Sooners -- the first of Stoops' current streak of five consecutive BCS bowl losses.

That loss dropped the Sooners to 12-2 for the season as they finished No. 3 in the final Associated Press poll.

Despite the loss against Kansas State, White won the Heisman Trophy the week after the game. He nosed out Pittsburgh wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald by 128 points to become the first Oklahoma quarterback to win the award.

Kansas State's victory boosted the Wildcats into the Fiesta Bowl in their first BCS bowl trip in school history. But Ohio State claimed a 35-28 victory in that game, snapping the Wildcats' seven-winning streak coming into the game. Kansas State finished the season 11-4 and No. 14 in the final AP poll, the last time the Wildcats were ranked at the end of the season.

The countdown:

9. Emotional A&M victory brings closure after Bonfire tragedy.
10. Roll left: James Brown guarantees victory and then lives up to his prediction.
11. When BCS meant "Boo Chris Simms" after Colorado's upset.
12. A Buffalo stampede: Six Brown TDs lead CU to first Big 12 title game.
13. Run, Ricky, run. Ricky Williams breaks career rushing record.
14. Wild game, wilder post-game rants when Gundy and Leach meet in 2007.
15. Rout 66: No, that score wasn't a typo.
16. KSU finally slays the Cornhuskers.
17. Kingsbury and Long hook up in a pa
ssing duel for the ages
.
18. Henery and Suh make Colorado blue.
19. Stunning OSU rally leads to Stoops' first home loss.
20. It's never over for Texas Tech until it's over.
21. Reesing to Meier. Again and again.
22. A Texas-sized comeback -- Texas over Oklahoma State in 2004.
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" against UNLV in 1999.

Simms' turnover-binge boosts CU to title in No. 11 memory

June, 26, 2009
6/26/09
6:03
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No. 11

When BCS meant "Boo Chris Simms"

Date: Dec. 1, 2001
Place: Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas
Score: Colorado 39, Texas 37

Texas had already won a Big 12 championship, but was looking for its first title under coach Mack Brown. Underdog Colorado was making its first trip to the Big 12 title game.

Shortly before the game, the Longhorns' stakes were raised when Tennessee stunned No. 2 Florida, seemingly providing an avenue for Texas to play in its first Bowl Championship Series title game.

But Chris Brown, Bobby Pesavento and Gary Barnett's underdog Buffaloes had other ideas.

After Cedric Benson scored on a 5-yard touchdown early in the first quarter, the Buffaloes charged back. Chris Brown scored a pair of touchdowns, sandwiched around a 39-yard field goal by Jeremy Flores that provided the Buffaloes a 16-7 lead.

Texas quarterback Chris Simms struggled through a miserable first half, throwing three interceptions and fumbling away another turnover in the first half before he was replaced by Major Applewhite. Those miscues prompted the wrath of fans, who booed him louder with each turnover.

His last interception typified Texas' luck in the game. Top lineman Mike Williams and Benson ran into each other trying to tackle Colorado safety Medford Moorer, who eluded them on a 64-yard touchdown. Both Williams and Benson were hurt for the rest of the game and Simms sustained a dislocated ring finger on his throwing hand on the play.  

Several Buffaloes mentioned after the game they were infuriated when they saw that Simms wearing patent leather shoes during his pregame warm-ups. They thought that action and a pregame television interview by Simms disrespected their team.

Applewhite provided a surge of momentum two plays after entering the game, hooking up with B.J. Johnson on a 79-yard touchdown pass which pulled the Longhorns within 29-17 at the half.

Brown added another 11-yard touchdown to start the second half and Applewhite led his first two second-half drives that led to field goals by Dusty Mangum, pulling Texas to 36-23.

Colorado was poised to put the game away when Barnett made what he confessed after the game was a bad mistake. Third-string quarterback Robert Hodge's pass from punt formation was intercepted by Roderick Babers, who returned in 54 yards for a touchdown, trimming Colorado's lead to six with 9:10 left.

Barnett was saved from criticism when the Buffaloes added Flores' clinching 43-yard field goal with 1:58 left, capping a 51-yard drive that consumed 7 minutes, 12 seconds.

Applewhite hooked up with Johnson on a 1-yard touchdown pass with 37 seconds left, but it was too late. The Buffaloes escaped with a 39-37 victory and their first conference championship since winning the Big Eight in 1991.

Factoids to note: Colorado's impressive victory continued a five-game winning streak that had included a blowout victory over Nebraska the previous week. Chris Brown rushed for 182 yards on 33 carries and scored three touchdowns. It gave him nine touchdowns in his last two games ... Applewhite completed 15 of 25 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions ... Texas came into the game ranked second nationally in scoring defense (11.4 points per game) and yards allowed (227.3 per game) but were trampled by Colorado's ground-based attack ... Simms' four turnovers led to 22 Colorado points. Coming into the game, Simms had thrown 16 touchdown passes and two interceptions in his previous six games ... The victory enabled Colorado a measure of revenge after losing earlier in the season to the Longhorns at Austin, 41-7. 

They said it, part I: "When we left the hotel today, I told them we are a team of destiny. No one is playing with more heart right now." Colorado coach Gary Barnett on his team's resiliency in notching the upset.

They said it, part II: "I was stunned with what happened to me. We had a chance to go to the Rose Bowl. I don't know what happened." Texas quarterback Chris Simms, in explaining his struggles to the Associated Press.

They said it, part III: "We wanted to intimidate him. We wanted to hit him so often that he'd feel we were coming even when we weren't. I think it worked pretty well. We did cause him to throw some bad balls," Colorado safety Michael Lewis, who told the New York Times about his defense's plans to rough up Simms.

The upshot: The victory boosted Colorado into its first and only BCS bowl berth in history, where the Buffaloes lost, 38-16, to Oregon. The Buffaloes ended the season 10-3 with a No. 9 finish in the final Associated Press poll. It was Colorado's highest end-of-season finish since placing eighth in 1996.

Texas' loss dropped them to the Holiday Bowl. Before the game, Texas coach Mack Brown announced on a Web site interview -- extremely rare for its time -- that Applewhite would be his starter in the bowl game. 

Applewhite produced when he got a chance as a starter. He capped his Texas career by passing for a career-best 473 yards to lead the Longhorns to a dramatic 47-43 comeback victory over Washington. The Longhorns overcame a 19-point deficit late in the third quarter as Applewhite led what at the time was the largest rally in school history. The Longhorns finished the season 11-2 and No. 5 nationally in the AP poll, their highest finish since 1983.

The countdown:

12. A Buffalo stampede: Six Brown TDs lead CU to first Big 12 title game.
13. Run, Ricky, run. Ricky Williams breaks career rushing record.
14. Wild game, wilder post-game rants when Gundy and Leach meet in 2007.
15. Rout 66: No, that score wasn't a typo.
16. KSU finally slays the Cornhuskers.
17. Kingsbury and Long hook up in a passing duel for the ages.
18. Henery and Suh make Colorado blue.
19. Stunning OSU rally leads to Stoops' first home loss.
20. It's never over for Texas Tech until it's over.
21. Reesing to Meier. Again and again.
22. A Texas-sized comeback -- Texas over Oklahoma State in 2004.
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" against UNLV in 1999.

CU gashes Nebraska for 380 rushing yards in No. 12 memory

June, 25, 2009
6/25/09
6:20
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No. 12

A Buffalo stampede: Brown's six-touchdown binge boosts CU into its first championship game

Date: Nov. 23, 2001
Place: Folsom Field, Boulder, Colo.
Score: Colorado 62, Nebraska 36

Colorado came into the 2001 regular-season finale with a marked lack of success against old nemesis Nebraska. The Buffaloes had lost their last nine games in the series against the Cornhuskers coming into that game.

But Gary Barnett's team turned the tables by pulverizing the Cornhuskers' "Blackshirt" defense for 380 rushing yards and 582 total yards in a dramatic upset that was punctuated by delirious Colorado fans ripping a goalpost down in exultation.

The best way to shake those previous disappointments would be to get out to a fast start. But Colorado outdid itself by jumping to three early touchdowns in less than six minutes at the start of the game en route to a 28-3 lead after one quarter.

Bobby Purify started the avalanche with a 39-yard touchdown run less than three minutes into the game.

After Nebraska's Dahrann Diedrick fumbled on the Cornhuskers' next possession, Colorado wasted little time. Quarterback Bobby Pesavento hooked up with tight end Daniel Graham on a 21-yard touchdown only 20 seconds after the first score for a 14-0 lead.

Colorado forced a change of possession and another long pass from Pesavento to Graham set up Pesavento's 1-yard keeper and a 21-0 lead.

Bullish Colorado tailback Chris Brown then got involved in a big way. Brown added touchdown runs of 12, 1 and 36 yards before halftime to extend Colorado's lead to 42-23 by the break.

The Cornhuskers looked poised to re-enter the game after Eric Crouch's 6-yard touchdown run pulled them within 42-30 early in the third quarter.

But Brown added Colorado's knockout punch by scoring three-straight touchdowns to put the game away during a period of only 189 seconds early in the fourth quarter.

His 1-yard plunge capped a 93-yard drive to extend Colorado's lead to 49-30.

Safety Michael Lewis intercepted Crouch several plays later, leading to a 13-yard touchdown gallop by Brown.

And after another interception by Colorado linebacker Joey Johnson, Brown added his school-record sixth rushing touchdown of the game on an 8-yard scoring run with 9:41 left in the game.

Crouch produced a 7-yard touchdown run with 7:14 to finish the scoring but it was too late. The Buffaloes claimed the victory that catapulted them into the Big 12 title game for the first time in school history.

Factoids to note: Brown rushed for 198 yards on 24 carries and Purify added 154 rushing yards. Pesavento chipped in with 202 passing yards on only nine completions ... At the time, it was the most points ever scored against Nebraska, topping their previous total of 61 scored by Minnesota in 1945 ... The loss snapped a 13-game winning streak for the Cornhuskers coming into the game. Nebraska had been the No. 1 team in the BCS poll for the previous four weeks ... Crouch rushed for 168 yards and passed for 198 yards to set Nebraska's total offense record, but was victimized by two critical fourth-quarter interceptions ... Pesavento was starting for the Buffaloes only because starter Craig Ochs had been injured earlier in the season ... Colorado produced 223 rushing and 415 total yards in the first half. ... Colorado had lost the previous five games in the Nebraska series before the 2001 blowout by a combined 15 points ... The two teams combined for 1134 yards -- 582 by Colorado and 552 for Nebraska.

They said it, part I: "With the way the offensive line and Dan Graham were blocking, it was easy. The holes were huge. We weren't getting touched until we were 10 yards down the field," Colorado's Chris Brown on the way he was able to rip through the Nebraska defense.

They said it, part II: "You never think it will go like this, obviously. But once in a while, it all works. Sixty-two points is almost too overwhelming for me. It's going to take a while to sink in," Colorado coach Gary Barnett on the underdog Buffaloes' blowout victory.

They said it, part III: "We really had a big dream. But those are over with now. This is going to be a tough one to swallow," Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch on a loss that seemingly ended the Cornhuskers' national title hopes. But more on that later.

The upshot: The Buffaloes wild victory pushed them into the Big 12 title game the following week in Irving, Texas, where they notched another upset victory over Texas to claim the first and only Big 12 football title in Colorado school history.

Colorado's 39-37 conquest knocked Texas out of the national title hunt and catapulted Nebraska back into the national title game. The Cornhuskers then were hammered by Miami, 37-14, to finish an 11-2 season that left them No. 8 in the final Associated Press media poll.

The Colorado loss was thought to have diminished Crouch's Heisman chances, but a loss by Florida's Rex Grossman against Tennessee the following week resuscitated them. Crouch then won the Heisman in a close 62-vote margin over Grossman, who finished second.

Nebraska defensive coordinator Craig Bohl wasn't as fortunate. The late losses by big scores in 2001 and a defensive collapse the following season led to his ouster at the end of the 2002 regular season.

It can also be argued that Nebraska coach Frank Solich never recovered from the Colorado loss and resulting loss in the national title game at the end of the 2001 season. He was fired after Nebraska won its regular-season finale in 2003.

Colorado made its only BCS bowl appearance after that 2001 triumph over Nebraska. But the Buffaloes' late-season success unraveled in a 38-16 loss to Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl, concluding a 10-3 season that saw them finish the season No. 9 in the final AP poll.

The countdown:
13. Run, Ricky, run. Ricky Williams breaks career rushing record.
14. Wild game, wilder post-game rants when Gundy and Leach meet in 2007.
15. Rout 66: No, that score wasn't a typo.
16. KSU finally slays the Cornhuskers.
17. Kingsbury and Long hook up in a passing duel for the ages.
18. Henery and Suh make Colorado blue.
19. Stunning OSU rally leads to Stoops' first home loss.
20. It's never over for Texas Tech until it's over.
21. Reesing to Meier. Again and again.
22. A Texas-sized comeback -- Texas over Oklahoma State in 2004.
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" against UNLV in 1999.

Williams' dramatic run ranks as the Big 12's No. 13 memory

June, 24, 2009
6/24/09
6:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No. 13

Run, Ricky, run
Date:
Nov. 27, 1998
Place: Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas.
Score: Texas 26, Texas A&M 24

Ricky Williams entered the final game of the 1998 regular season needing only 11 yards to break Tony Dorsett's career rushing leader.

But the Texas running back did it in dramatic style, breaking the record on a 60-yard TD run where he broke three tackles.

Williams finished the game rushing for 259 yards on a career-high 44 carries as he later broke Napoleon McCallum's NCAA career all-purpose rushing record -- without the benefit of a kick return to help boost his totals.

With 1:13 left in the first quarter, Williams spun through massive clearing blocks by left tackle Leonard Davis and left guard Roger Roesler. After surging past Texas A&M linebacker Warrick Holdman, Williams took advantage of a lead block by fullback Ricky Brown. That pushed him into the secondary as he streaked down the left sideline.

Williams powered through a tackle attempt by Texas A&M safety Rich Coady at the A&M 12. He then took advantage of a devastating downfield block by wide receiver Wane McGarrity, barging past cornerback Jason Webster's desperate tackle at the end zone.

The game was briefly stopped while Williams received the game ball and was honored by a group of dignitaries including Dorsett, who had set the record 22 years before.

The festivities seemed to affect Williams, who fumbled on the next play after the record run, providing a miscue that enabled A&M to score its first touchdown of the game. A 20-yard pass from Randy McCown to Derrick Spiller on the first play of the second quarter accounted for that score.

But as big as Williams' record-breaking run was, there were other big memories in the game that ranks among the classics between the two bitter rivals.

Williams' record-breaking run remained Texas' only touchdown through three quarters as three Kris Stockton field goals boosted them to a 16-7 lead.

The Longhorns extended that lead to 23-7 on a 10-yard pass from Major Applewhite to Kwame Cavil with 9:46 left.

But Texas A&M, which had already clinched the Big 12 South title coming into the game, charged back with a 30-yard field goal by Russell Bynum 77 seconds later.

And on the play after Williams broke McCallum's all-purpose record -- his career-high 41st carry of the game -- Holdman forced him to fumble again. That led to a 17-yard TD pass from McCown to Spiller that trimmed Texas' lead to 23-17 with 7:39 left.

The Aggies again forced a defensive stop and a 35-yard punt return by Webster to the Texas 25 set them up. McCown then scored on a 1-yard keeper on fourth down with 2:20 left that gave them their first lead at 24-23.

Texas responded with the game-winning drive keyed by Applewhite, who completed 7-of-8 passes for 55 yards on the possession. That set up Stockton's game-winning 24-yard field goal with five seconds remaining.

Factoids to note: Williams finished with 6,279 career rushing yards -- a total that remains a Texas record. He became the eighth player in NCAA history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season, tying Marcus Allen's record for most 200-yard rushing games in a career ... Texas A&M linebacker Dat Nguyen provided 14 tackles to push his career total past 500 ... Applewhite completed 24-of-35 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown and an interception ... Stockton's late game-winning kick redeemed him after he earlier misfired on attempts of 50 and 28 yards ... The Texas defense was the underrated story of the game, holding the Aggies to minus-7 yards rushing and 173 total yards ... Texas produced 483 yards in the game against an A&M defense that was ranked second nationally in total defense coming into the game ... The loss snapped a 10-game A&M winning streak after a season-opening loss to Florida State.

They said it, part I: "I had a smile on my face after I broke that one tackle. I knew I had broken the record," Texas running back Ricky Williams on his record-breaking run.

They said it, part II: "It's been a special year because of Ricky Williams. He is the best player I have ever seen. I think he is one of the best, if not the best, college football player ever," Texas coach Mack Brown on Williams, the key player in Brown's first season with the Longhorns.

They said it, part III: "That drive epitomizes what our offense has been the whole year. There was never any doubt we would win the game," Texas quarterback Major Applewhite, about the Longhorns' game-winning drive.

The upshot: Williams' big day cemented his position in the Heisman race, which he won two weeks later. It also catapulted the Longhorns into the Cotton Bowl, where they posted an impressive 38-11 victory over Mississippi State that enabled them to finish 9-3 and 15th in the final Associated Press poll.

Texas A&M didn't mope about the loss very long. The Aggies charged back to claim a dramatic 36-33 double-overtime victory over Kansas State the following week in the Big 12 championship game (but more about that later). The Aggies then played in their first and only BCS bowl game, where they were beaten in the Sugar Bowl by Ohio State, 24-14. A&M finished the season 11-3 and No. 11 in the final AP poll.

The countdown:

14. Wild game, wilder post-game rants when Gundy and Leach meet.
15. Rout 66: No, that score wasn't a typo.
16. KSU finally slays the Cornhuskers.
17. Kingsbury and Long hook up in a passing duel for the ages.
18. Henery and Suh make Colorado blue.
19. Stunning OSU rally leads to Stoops' first home loss.
20. It's never over for Texas Tech until it's over.
21. Reesing to Meier. Again and again.
22. A Texas-sized comeback -- Texas over Oklahoma State in 2004.
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" against UNLV in 1999.

Wild game, even wilder rants boost OSU-Tech game to No. 14

June, 23, 2009
6/23/09
6:44
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No. 14

The day that press conferences were bigger than anything on the field.

Date: Sept. 22, 2007
Place: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, Okla.
Score: Oklahoma State 49, Texas Tech 45

Oklahoma State's wild victory over Texas Tech started the 2007 conference race with one of the most memorable games in Big 12 history.

The two teams combined for 94 points, 62 first downs, and 1,328 yards. There were also three lead changes in the final 12:25.

And that action was upstaged by the comments of both teams' coaches in the post-game press conference.

OSU coach Mike Gundy quickly became a celebrated national figure after he defended his backup quarterback Bobby Reid, who he felt had been unfairly portrayed before the game in a column in the Daily Oklahoman.

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach had a similar eruption where he questioned the toughness of his defense after it had been gashed for 366 rushing yards.

It was a wild scene unlike anything that has been seen -- before or since -- in Big 12 history.

Earlier, the action on the field was nearly as memorable.

Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree had helped stake the Red Raiders to a 35-28 halftime advantage with three early touchdown grabs. But OSU stormed back to tie the game on Zac Robinson's 3-yard keeper with 1:15 left in the third quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter, OSU's defense came up with a huge play when Tech wide receiver Edward Britton fumbled at the Tech 38. On the next play, OSU took the lead when Seth Newton hit Jeremy Broadway on a 33-yard option pass for a touchdown to give the Cowboys the lead.

Tech stormed back to tie the game four plays later when quarterback Graham Harrell threw his fifth touchdown of the game -- a 41-yard strike to Danny Amendola.

The Red Raiders withstood OSU on the next drive as Robinson was stopped on fourth down at the Tech 40 by Joe Garcia. Tech then marched 58 yards on a scoring drive capped by Alex Trlica's 19-yard field goal that gave the Red Raiders a 45-42 lead with 4:49 left.

After an exchange of punts, OSU had one final chance. And on the first play from scrimmage, Robinson hooked up with tight end Brandon Pettigrew on a 54-yard TD reception that gave them the lead for good with 1:37 remaining.

Tech marched to the OSU 15, but Crabtree dropped a touchdown pass in the end zone with 19 seconds left after OSU cornerback Ricky Price had flashed in front of him.

It provided Gundy with a victory in his first conference game of the season, emboldening him to make perhaps the most celebrated rant in college football history.

Factoids to note: Harrell's 646 passing yards was the fourth-best single-game total in college football history at the time of the game as he completed 46 of 67 passes. OSU had three backs who rushed for 100 yards for the first time in the same game in school history -- Dantrell Savage with 130 yards, Robinson with 116 yards and Kendall Hunter with 113 yards. Crabtree and Amendola both had huge games as Crabtree produced 14 receptions for 237 yards and Amendola snagged 14 catches for 233 yards ... It was only OSU's second victory in a Big 12 opener in nine seasons.

They said it, part I: "Come after me! I'm a man! I'm 40!" OSU coach Mike Gundy's comments after he felt backup quarterback Bobby Reid was unfairly attacked in a newspaper column before the game.

They said it, part II: "We got hit in the mouth and acted like somebody took our lunch money. All we wanted to do was have pouty expressions on our face until somebody dabbed our little tears off and made us (expletive) feel better," Tech coach Mike Leach on his defense's inability to contain OSU's offense.

They said it, part III: "If I put it on the other shoulder, he's going to catch that easily and we win. If I put it a foot on the other side of him, we catch the ball and win. It's probably my fault. He played a heck of a game," Tech QB Graham Harrell on Michael Crabtree's late drop that cost the Red Raiders a game-winning touchdown.

They said it, part IV: "That was my Superman," OSU tight end Brandon Pettigrew describing his leap for the end zone on his game-winning touchdown.

The upshot: Gundy became a cult figure after his 3-minute 20-second outburst, which has been replayed on YouTube millions of times after the incident. Robinson claimed the starting position after the comeback victory and Reid never started at quarterback again. He eventually started at wide receiver later in the season, but transferred to Southern University after the season for his final year. In an interview with ESPN the Magazine's Tom Friend, Reid said that Gundy's rant "basically ended my life."

Leach fired defensive coordinator Lyle Setencich the following day and inserted Ruffin McNeill into the position. The move worked as the Red Raiders' defense improved markedly and helped spark them to a 9-4 season punctuated by a 31-28 victory over Virginia in the Gator Bowl. That triumph helped boost Tech to a No. 22 ranking in the final Associated Press poll that season.

OSU used momentum from the comeback victory to charge to a 7-6 record during the rest of the season, capping the season with a 49-33 triumph over Indiana in the Insight Bowl in the Cowboys' second-straight bowl victory under Gundy.

The countdown:

15. Rout 66: No, that score wasn't a typo.
16. Kansas State finally slays the Cornhuskers.
17. Kingsbury and Long hook up in a passing duel for the ages.
18. Henery and Suh make Colorado blue.
19. Stunning OSU rally leads to Stoops' first home loss.
20. It's never over for Texas Tech until it's over.
21. Reesing to Meier. Again and again.
22. A Texas-sized comeback -- Texas over Oklahoma State in 2004.
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" against UNLV in 1999.

Mackovic's UT coaching career doomed in 66-3 loss

June, 22, 2009
6/22/09
4:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No. 15

Rout 66: No, that score wasn't a typo

Date: Sept. 13, 1997
Place: Darrell K. Royal/Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas
Score: UCLA 66, Texas 3

Simply stated, it was one of the most embarrassing moments in Texas football history.

 
  Stephen Dunn /Allsport
  Bruins quarterback Cade McNown threw for a school-record five touchdown passes.

Rebuilding UCLA came into the season unranked. And the Bruins' national perception took a hit after starting the season with losses to Washington State and Tennessee.

The No. 11 Longhorns met UCLA without starting quarterback James Brown, who was nursing a bruised left ankle. Texas still had many of weapons returning from a team that had notched an upset victory the previous season to claim the Big 12 championship over Nebraska.

But those factors didn't matter to UCLA quarterback Cade McNown, who blistered Texas' secondary for 202 passing yards and a school-record five touchdown passes to spark the stunning victory.

McNown blew the game open with a pair of touchdown throws 20 seconds apart early in the second quarter; he hit Skip Hicks on a 43-yard scoring pass and then hooked up with Mike Grieb on a 1-yard touchdown reception after a Texas turnover.

But he was just getting started. McNown hit Jim McElroy with a 4-yard touchdown pass and Grieb with another 1-yard scoring toss that boosted UCLA to an improbable 38-0 lead with 4:37 left in the first half.

Texas got a 35-yard field goal from Phil Dawson early in the third quarter to account for all of its scoring, but the landslide didn't stop when UCLA coach Bob Toledo pulled his starters and inserted his substitutes.

The Bruins erupted for 21 points in the fourth quarter, including a 10-yard scoring run from Keith Brown with 4:24 left and a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown from Damian Allen 23 seconds later.

The Longhorns struggled with eight turnovers and seven sacks in a humiliating performance that hasn't been matched in Texas' modern football history. It was the worst home defeat in Texas history and at the time was the worst loss for a ranked team in the 61-year history of the Associated Press poll.

The game was played before a crowd of 77,203 that shrank to a few thousand hardy souls before halftime.

But it still didn't keep those fans left fromgiving the Longhorns a standing ovation late in the first half -- after the beleaguered defense forced a incompletion by McNown on third down, stopping UCLA from scoring for the first time.

After the loss, Texas coach John Mackovic was living on borrowed time on the Forty Acres.  

Factoids to note: UCLA scored on its first six possessions ... Mackovic tried two quarterbacks to fill in for Brown with little success. Starter Richard Walton went 16-for-27 for 145 yards with an interception and four sacks before he was pulled. Replacement Marty Cherry was sacked three times and completed 9 of 18 passes for 105 yards and three interceptions ... UCLA's underrated defense shackled Ricky Williams and held him to one of the worst performances of his career. Williams rushed for only 36 yards on 13 carries, the third-lowest total of his career. His only games with less rushing production were 4 yards against Oklahoma in 1995 as a freshman and 7 yards against Nebraska in the 1996 Big 12 championship game ... The victory was the most lopsided for UCLA since the Bruins romped over San Diego Naval Training Center, 67-0, in 1954 ... UCLA turned six of its eight turnovers into touchdowns.

They said it, part I: "My family's out there waiting. I know it sounds horrible, but I don't want to look them in the eye. Playing sports all my life, fighting with my brother, I've never seen something like this. It's embarrassing," Texas center Ryan Fiebiger, who told reporters of his angst after the loss.

They said it, part II: "What do you say to friends and family who see this score?" Texas coach John Mackovic after the loss.

They said it, part III: "When the landslide starts, it's hard to get it stopped. I feel bad for John," UCLA coach Bob Toledo, who spoke after the game of his empathy for Mackovic.

They said it, part IV: "At least the band kept playing." The classic first paragraph in Kirk Bohls' column about the game.

The upshot: Mackovic was never able to overcome the loss as he was fired after the season ended. Only a year after the Longhorns claimed the Big 12 title, Texas finished 4-7. But the Longhorns have been to a bowl game every season since hiring Mack Brown.

Walton would win the starting job in Mack Brown's first season. But he sustained a season-ending injury early-on against the Bruins at the Rose Bowl and never started again for the Longhorns.

The Bruins used the big victory to spark them on a memorable comeback. After losing the first two games of the 1997 season by a combined nine points, UCLA erupted on a 10-game winning streak to finish the season, capped by a 29-23 victory over Texas A&M in the 1998 Cotton Bowl. In that game, UCLA overcame an early 16-0 A&M lead to charge back for the triumph that helped them finish No. 5 in the final Associated Press poll.

The countdown:

16. Kansas State finally slays the Cornhuskers.
17. Kingsbury and Long hook up in a passing duel for the ages.
18. Henery and Suh make Colorado blue.
19. Stunning OSU rally leads to Stoops' first home loss.
20. It's never over for Texas Tech until it's over.
21. Reesing to Meier. Again and again.
22. A Texas-sized comeback -- Texas over Oklahoma State in 2004.
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" against UNLV in 1999.

Ochs' tackle of Crouch is Big 12's No. 16 moment

June, 19, 2009
6/19/09
5:49
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No. 16

KSU finally slays the Cornhuskers

Date: Nov. 14, 1998
Place: KSU Stadium, Manhattan, Kan.
Score: Kansas State 40, Nebraska 30

Kansas State had labored in the shadows of Nebraska for many years. The Wildcats' 10-0 start in the 1998 season had pushed them to No. 1 in the national rankings, but they were still looking for a breakthrough victory against their old nemesis to catapult them into their first Big 12 title game.

They got that and more in an impressive victory over the Cornhuskers  that clinched the Wildcats' North Division title -- the Wildcats' first football title of any kind since 1934.

And they did it with a flourish as a KSU defense that had struggled earlier in the game provided two key plays to seal the victory late in the fourth quarter.

Linebacker Travis Ochs made a critical fourth-down stop of Eric Crouch, grabbing his face mask to make the tackle. No penalty was called, although television replays showed that Ochs could have been flagged on the play.

A blitzing Ochs came around untouched on Crouch's left side. As the Nebraska quarterback ducked to avoid him, Ochs grabbed Crouch's face mask and never let go as he nearly spun his helmet around before throwing him to the turf at the Nebraska 20.

Kansas State took over but couldn't move the ball. Nebraska had one more possession, but Jeff Kelly picked up Crouch's fumble and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown with three seconds left to ice the victory.

But it wasn't easy. The Wildcats overcame an early 17-7 deficit after Nebraska had jumped ahead on a pair of first-quarter touchdown passes from Crouch and an 18-yard Kris Brown field goal. It was the first time in the season that KSU trailed.

KSU charged back and pulled within 17-14 at halftime after Michael Bishop added his second TD run of the game.

Bishop helped boost KSU into the lead early in the third quarter - the first time the Wildcats had led Nebraska since 1991 -- on a 17-yard TD pass from Bishop to Darnell McDonald and a 25-yard field goal by Martin Gramatica. But Nebraska tied the score when Ralph Brown recovered a Frank Murphy fumble and rambled 74 yards for a touchdown.


The lead changed again early in the fourth quarter when Gramatica boosted KSU ahead on a 21-yard field goal. Nebraska responded on a 9-yard scoring pass from Crouch to tight end Sheldon Jackson gave put them back in the lead with about 8 minutes left.

KSU then turned to Bishop, who finished with 446 yards of total offense in the game, for its late rally. His 11-yard TD strike to McDonald put KSU ahead for good at 34-30 with 5:25 left.

Delirious KSU fans rushed the field twice before the game ended. It took them about 30 minutes to tear down the goalposts to celebrate what likely is the biggest home victory in KSU history.

Factoids to note: The victory was the first by victory by the Wildcats over Nebraska since 1968 and their first home victory over the Cornhuskers since 1959 ... Bishop passed for 306 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 140 yards on 25 carries and scored twice ... KSU's McDonald produced a career-high 12 receptions for 183 yards ... Crouch completed only 10 of 21 passes for 139 yards, but passed for three TDs and added 108 yards rushing on 22 carries ... It was Nebraska's third loss of the regular season, the first time the Cornhuskers had lost that many regular-season games in 22 years ... The game was played before a then- record crowd of 44,298 at KSU Stadium.

They said it, part I: "I don't want to be branded as a cheater. But the referee was right there. Those are the breaks of the game," Ochs' post-game comments to the Associated Press about his late tackle of Crouch.

They said it, part II: "The torch being passed? I'm not falling for that. I don't believe it. I take nothing from their win. They're a good team. But I believe the best team in the country has three losses this season and it wears 'N' on its helmet," Jackson's post-game comments to the Associated Press about Nebraska's loss.

They said it, part III: "We knew if we lost, people would call us flukes. We had to beat them to get the respect we deserve," Kansas State defensive end Joe Bob Clements, who told the Daily Nebraskan that the victory was monumental for the KSU program.

The upshot: The victory guaranteed KSU a spot in its first Big 12 championship game three weeks later in St. Louis. But the 11-0 Wildcats squandered a 15-point fourth-quarter lead in a 36-33 double-overtime loss to Texas A&M.

That defeat sent the Wildcats careening to the Alamo Bowl, where they lost to Purdue and finished 11-2. After ranking No. 1 earlier in the season, KSU finished the season ranked 10th in the final Associated Press poll.

Nebraska rebounded to beat Colorado the following week, but lost to Arizona in the Holiday Bowl. Frank Solich finished his first season 9-4 and ranked No. 19 in the final AP poll - Nebraska's lowest end-of-season ranking in eight seasons.

The countdown:

17. Kingsbury and Long hook up in a passing duel for the ages.
18. Henery and Suh make Colorado blue.
19. Stunning OSU rally leads to Stoops' first home loss.
20. It's never over for Texas Tech until it's over.
21. Reesing to Meier. Again and again.
22. A Texas-sized comeback -- Texas over Oklahoma State in 2004.
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" against UNLV in 1999.

Long-Kingsbury duel is No. 17 Big 12 moment

June, 18, 2009
6/18/09
6:14
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No. 17

Kingsbury and Long hook up in passing duel for the ages

Date: Oct. 5, 2002
Place: Kyle Field, College Station, Texas
Score: Texas Tech 48, Texas A&M 47 (OT)

The Texas A&M-Texas Tech rivalry has developed into one of the country's most bitter blood feuds in the last few years. The Red Raiders have proved difficult for Texas A&M ever since Mike Leach took over in 2000.

One of the most memorable games in the rivalry wasn't settled until one of the wildest passing shootouts in conference history transpired.

Kliff Kingsbury was judged to be one of the nation's top quarterbacks in 2002, setting a conference record with six touchdown passes the week before the A&M game in a 49-0 beatdown of New Mexico.

Texas A&M quarterback Dustin Long wasn't expected to be nearly as proficient. Coming into the Tech game, he had thrown only one touchdown pass in his previous college career.

But that didn't faze him as he started quickly against the Tech secondary, blistering them for a 78-yard touchdown pass to Bethel Johnson on A&M's first offensive play of the game. He also added three other touchdown passes -- a 4-yard toss to Greg Porter, 9 yards to Terrence Murphy and 15 yards to Johnson -- to spark the No. 23 Aggies to a 28-17 halftime advantage.

Kingsbury was just as hot early, starting the game with 14 straight completions. But Long was more effective early, boosting the Aggies to a 35-17 lead on an 82-yard touchdown strike to Jamaar Taylor with 6:57 left in the third quarter.

That lead held until the fourth quarter when Kingsbury went to work.

The Red Raiders exploded for 21 unanswered points in a span of less than 10 minutes to take the lead after a 21-yard Kingsbury TD pass to Wes Welker, a 15-yard TD toss from Kingsbury to Taurean Henderson and a 88-yard punt return by Welker with 2:48 left. A two-point pass from Kingsbury to Anton Paige provided Tech with a 38-35 lead with 2:48 left.

The Aggies answered on a wild scoring play when running back Stacy Jones recovered a fumble by Porter at the Texas Tech 1 and carried it into the end zone with 1:40 left to extend A&M's lead to three. But kicker John Pierson missed the extra point to make it 41-38.

Kingsbury then engineered a seven-play 56-yard drive in only 98 seconds. It was capped by a 42-yard field goal by Robert Treece with two seconds left, tying the game at 41 and setting up the first overtime game in the history of the series.

The Aggies scored first in overtime on Long's seventh touchdown pass of the game, a 3-yarder to Terrence Thomas. But Pierson sent the conversion careening wide left, giving Tech an opening.

Four plays later, Kingsbury hooked up on an inside screen pass to Nehemiah Glover, who cut to the middle before scoring on a 10-yard reception. Treece's conversion gave the Red Raiders a wild 48-47 victory.

Kingsbury's heroics were particularly sweet considering he wanted to attend A&M coming out of high school. The Aggies never seriously recruited him and he ended up at Tech, where he left school as the most productive passer in school history.

The numbers: Kingsbury and Long combined for 841 passing yards and 13 touchdowns. Kingsbury completed 49-of-59 passes for 474 yards and six touchdown passes; Long was 21 for 37 for 367 yards and a Big 12 record seven TD passes. At the time, the Aggies' 47 points were the most they have ever scored in a loss.

It was also the most points that A&M had allowed at Kyle Field since a 57-28 loss to Texas in 1977. The week before the game, Long threw a touchdown pass in his first career start. It snapped a string of seven straight A&M games without a touchdown pass. And Henderson produced 13 catches for 61 yards to pace Tech.

They said it, part I: "This is the biggest definitely. To do it against A&M -- a college I wanted to come to out of high school, and they didn't recruit me -- I made my point today," Kingsbury, who told the Lubbock Avalanche Journal that the win was particularly memorable to him.

They said it, part II: "All week long, I had a great week of practice. The snaps and holds were great. It was my fault. I thought the first one was good, but it just missed going through. The second one I pulled from the beginning, and I knew I missed it right away," Pierson, who described his missed extra points to reporters after the game.

They said it, part III: "I didn't see anybody on our sideline that didn't think we couldn't win," Tech coach Mike Leach, commenting on his team's 18-point fourth-quarter comeback.

The upshot: Texas Tech utilized momentum from the victory to charge to an upset victory over Texas later in the season. That triumph boosted the Red Raiders into a winner-take-all battle for the South Division title against Oklahoma that they lost, 60-15.

After that loss, they advanced to the Tangerine Bowl where they notched a 55-15 triumph over Clemson for their first bowl victory under Leach. The Red Raiders finished the season at 9-5.

A&M coach R.C. Slocum and the Aggies had trouble overcoming the Tech loss. The Aggies lost four of their final five games that season to finish 6-6. Slocum was fired after the final game of the season, a 50-20 loss at Texas, and replaced by Dennis Franchione.

Long started the remaining games of the season but was supplanted by Reggie McNeal as the Aggies' starter the following season. After the demotion, Long transferred to Sam Houston State following the 2003 season where he completed his college career.

The countdown:

18. Henery and Suh make Colorado blue.
19. Stunning OSU rally leads to Stoops' first home loss.
20. It's never over for Texas Tech until it's over.
21. Reesing to Meier. Again and again.
22. A Texas-sized comeback -- Texas over Oklahoma State in 2004.
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" against UNLV in 1999.

Wild Nebraska 2008 comeback is No. 18 in Big 12 moments

June, 17, 2009
6/17/09
5:39
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

 
  AP Photo/Dave Weaver
  Ndamukong Suh's interception return for a touchdown sealed Nebraska's victory.

Henery and Suh make Colorado blue

No. 18
Date:
Nov. 28, 2008
Place: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.
Score: Nebraska 40, Colorado 31

Nebraska was playing merely to better its bowl position. Colorado wanted to earn a bowl trip. Although the Big 12 North championship game berth wasn't being settled, it still didn't diminish the excitement of last year's game between the two traditional rivals.

Colorado came into the game as an 18-point underdog, but you couldn't tell from the way the Buffaloes scrapped. The Buffaloes produced a couple of big plays  -- a 68-yard touchdown pass from Cody Hawkins to Riar Geer and a 36-yard touchdown run by Demetrius Sumler -- in the first five minutes to jump to a quick 14-0 lead.

The Buffaloes' defense allowed the Cornhuskers to advance inside the Colorado 50 on every possession in the game. But a botched fake field goal led to a 24-24 halftime tie when Colorado's Jimmy Smith snatched an errant blind pitch from Jake Wesch and ran 58 yards for a touchdown.

The Buffaloes' defense kept the game within reach in the second half as Nebraska drove inside the Buffaloes' 33-yard line on each of its four possessions but came away with only nine points. Colorado went ahead 31-27 when Sumler knocked in a 4-yard touchdown late in the third quarter.

Colorado's defense made that stand for most of the rest of the game. Nebraska pulled within 31-30 when Alex Henery nailed a 37-yard field goal with 8:09 left.

After Nebraska got the ball back, the Cornhuskers were poised to score again after Roy Helu Jr. rambled 25 yards to the Colorado 25 with less than two minutes remaining. But Colorado safety Patrick Mahnke sacked Nebraska quarterback Joe Ganz for a 15-yard loss and Ganz threw incomplete on third down, setting up an improbable 57-yard field goal attempt by Henery.

Henery, with a 5 mph wind to his back, blasted the ball through the goal posts with 1:43 left to set the school record and provide Nebraska with a 33-31 lead.

But the Cornhuskers were only getting started. After picking up a first down on the Colorado 33, Hawkins' second-down pass was tipped by Zach Potter and intercepted by massive 305-pound defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

En route to the end zone, Suh eluded a diving Hawkins and scampered 30 yards for the clinching touchdown. It was Suh's second interception return for a touchdown on the season and his third touchdown overall.

The numbers: Nebraska ran 29 more plays than Colorado and the Cornhuskers' 63 snaps in Colorado territory were 15 more than Colorado ran in the entire game. Colorado went more than 10 minutes of game time in the second and third quarters without running an offensive play. Helu rushed for 166 yards and Ganz passed for 229 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the top single-season passer in Nebraska history.

They said it, part I: "I love games like this. The crazier the better. I just wish we had ended it a little bit earlier," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, reflecting on the wild finish with reporters after the game.

They said it, part II: "I don't remember watching it go through at all. I was pretty sure I made it. It was on target. I don't remember much after hitting it." Henery's thoughts after the game-winning kick to reporters after the game.

They said it, part III: "It doesn't surprise me. That guy's a stud," Pelini on Henery's kick.

They said it, part IV: ""He thinks he's Walter Payton." Pelini's comments to the Nebraska State Paper about Suh's game-clinching touchdown return.

The upshot: The victory, combined with Kansas' upset of Missouri the following day, gave the Cornhuskers a share of the Big 12 North title. The Tigers advanced to the championship game after a head-to-head triumph over the Cornhuskers earlier in the season.

But it really didn't matter after the Cornhuskers earned a Gator Bowl berth. They went on to upset Clemson to finish 9-4 for the season. After losing four of six games midway through the season, Nebraska finished with three straight victories to prime enthusiasm after Pelini's first season.

The loss cost Colorado a shot at making a bowl trip. The Buffaloes finished at 5-7, missing a bowl trip for the second time in three seasons under coach Dan Hawkins.

The countdown:

19. Stunning OSU rally leads to Stoops' first home loss.
20. It's never over for Texas Tech until it's over.
21. Reesing to Meier. Again and again.
22. A Texas-sized comeback -- Texas over Oklahoma State in 2004.
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" against UNLV in 1999.

OSU's 2001 stunner over OU ranks as No. 19 on Big 12 list

June, 16, 2009
6/16/09
8:02
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Big 12 most memorable moments

Late OSU rally ruins OU's 2001 Big 12 South hopes

No. 19

Date: Nov. 24, 2001
Place: Owen Field, Norman, Okla.
Score: Oklahoma State 16, Oklahoma 13

Defending national champion Oklahoma was a heavy favorite heading into its regular-season finale, needing only to beat struggling Oklahoma State to wrap up its second-straight Big 12 South title under Bob Stoops.

The Sooners' hopes looked that much brighter after OSU starter Aso Pogi struggled in the first quarter, throwing two interceptions that sparked the insertion of freshman quarterback Josh Fields into the game.

One of the stories of the game was the transformation of the Cowboy defense, only a week after it was gashed for 517 yards by Baylor. But OSU repeatedly tormented Oklahoma quarterback Nate Hybl, who threw three interceptions and was sacked seven times.

Still, the Sooners led for much of the game. Quentin Griffin gave the Sooners an early lead in the second quarter on an 8-yard TD run. The Sooners held a 10-6 halftime lead after Tim Duncan added a 23-yard field goal sandwiched around a pair of field goals by Oklahoma State kicker Luke Phillips.

The two teams exchanged field goals early in the fourth quarter, setting the stage for Fields' late heroics. Phillips nailed consecutive 52-yard field goals to keep the Cowboys close.

After forcing its third consecutive three-and-out possession, OSU got the ball on the Oklahoma 35. Fields completed only three passes on the game-winning drive but he made them all count.

Fields first connected with Rashaun Woods on a 15-yard strike. He then kept the drive alive with a clutch third-down 31-yard pass to T.D. Bryant. On the next play, Fields hooked up again with Woods on a 14-yard game-winning TD toss with 1:36 left.

Oklahoma had one more chance, but Hybl's desperation pass was intercepted by Marcus Jones.

The victory touched off a wild celebration all across Texas after the Longhorns claimed an appearance in the Big 12 championship game. And it prematurely interrupted a barbecue celebration at the home of Texas defensive coordinator Carl Reese, who immediately went to work to prepare for the Longhorns' game against Colorado the next week.

The numbers: Woods produced eight receptions for 129 yards, giving him 80 for the season and breaking the then-school record of 74 set by Hart Lee Dykes in 1988. Oklahoma was limited to zero net yards of rushing on 27 carries. And the loss snapped a 19-game home winning streak for Oklahoma, including the first 18 home games under Stoops.

They said it, part I: "They are a good football team. They finally got an opportunity to show someone else," OSU coach Les Miles, describing his team's performance to reporters after the game.

They said it, part II: "I don't think we came into this game unprepared and looking ahead to next week. The team was outplayed and I was outcoached. That's really the only excuse I have for this loss," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, reflecting on his first-ever home loss with the Sooners.

They said it, part III: "Our two sons and my wife were screaming and shouting like they were on the sidelines. We had some unsportsmanlike conduct there I think," Texas coach Mack Brown, who described his reaction after the OSU victory to the Associated Press.

The upshot: The loss kept Oklahoma from the Big 12 championship game. Texas went in the Sooners' place, losing a 39-37 decision to Colorado in a game that will be described in detail later in this series.

The Sooners finished the season 11-2 with a 10-3 victory over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl, wrapping up the season at No. 6 in the final AP poll.

The upset boosted OSU to 4-7 with victories in its final two games. That fast finish help set the stage for an 8-5 record the following season and a trip to the Houston Bowl - the first post-season appearance under Miles and the Cowboys' first bowl trip since 1997.

Since then, Stoops has lost only other home game, a 17-10 season-opening loss to TCU in 2005. Stoops is 60-2 at Owen Field, including a current 24-game winning streak.

The countdown:

20. It's never over until it's over: Texas Tech's 2006 Insight Bowl rally vs. Minnesota
21. Reesing to Meier. Again and again: Kansas over Missouri in 2008
22. A Texas-sized comeback: Texas over Oklahoma State in 2004.
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" in final-play 1999 loss to UNLV.

2007 Border War ranks as No. 23 among Big 12 moments

June, 10, 2009
6/10/09
4:38
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

The Missouri-Kansas "Border War" has featured many memorable contests.

But it had never anything quite like the hype surrounding the Missouri-Kansas game at Arrowhead Stadium in 2007. A sellout crowd at Arrowhead Stadium was there to see the matchup between the No. 2 ranked Jayhawks and No. 3 ranked Tigers. It was undoubtedly the biggest game in the history of either program to that point.

And what happened was unlike any in the previous history of the game.

No. 23 -- A Border War bigger than the rest

Date: Nov. 24, 2007
Place: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
Score: Missouri 36, Kansas 28

The hype surrounding the 2007 Border War was unseen in the history of the rivalry. Kansas came into the game with an 11-0 record and Missouri was 10-1, marred only by a loss at Oklahoma earlier in the season.

Missouri almost blew the game apart early behind quarterback Chase Daniel, who helped spark the Tigers to a 21-0 lead early in the third quarter. Daniel rifled three touchdown passes to extend the lead to 28-7 after three quarters.

But Kansas had a comeback left in them. Sparked by quarterback Todd Reesing (349 passing yards, two TDs), the Jayhawks closed within 34-28 on Reesing's 5-yard TD pass to Marcus Henry with 2:03 left.

After Kansas was unsuccessful on an onside-kick attempt, the Tigers ran three plays before punting to the Kansas 11 with 17 seconds left.

Kansas had one last chance. But Missouri defensive tackle Lorenzo Williams crashed through to sack Reesing for a safety, preserving the Tigers' victory and pushing into their first Big 12 championship game in history the following week.

The numbers: Chase Daniel completed 40 of 49 passes for 361 yards and three touchdowns to lead the victory.

They said it, part I: "You saw it. America saw it. I'll be the first to tell you this guy is special. I've been saying it for years. America got to see it today," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel on Daniel's big effort.

They said, part II: "It's all good. I don't know what you want me to do. I'm not going to jump up and do a backflip. I can't do that," Pinkel said after the Tigers' victory propelled them into the championship game.

The upshot: Missouri jumped to No. 1 in the AP rankings for only the second time in school history after the victory. But their high standing was short lived as the Tigers lost in the Big 12 championship game the next week in San Antonio to Oklahoma, 38-17.

By virtue of their shared Big 12 North championship, Orange Bowl officials opted to invite Kansas to their game rather than Missouri. The Jayhawks made the most of their appearance, notching a 24-21 triumph over Virginia Tech for the school's first BCS bowl triumph.

The Tigers instead went to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, where they took out their aggression with a 38-7 beatdown of Arkansas. Tony Temple rushed for 281 yards and four TDs to pace the Tigers' impressive victory.

Missouri finished the season with a 12-2 record and a No. 4 in the final AP poll. It was the highest ranking in the school's history.

The bowl victory propelled Kansas to a 12-1 final record and No. 7 in the poll -- the Jayhawks' highest end-of-season finish since 1968.

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