Another late error costs Longhorns to start Big 12

Published 12:23 am Sunday, September 27, 2015

AUSTIN (AP) — Once again a visiting team was getting ready for overtime, only to have Texas hand them a special teams gift and a victory.

This week it was No. 24 Oklahoma State and Cowboys kicker Ben Grogan who seized the opportunity.

Grogan, who had tied the game only about a minute earlier with a 41-yard field goal, booted a 40-yarder with 6 seconds left Saturday, sending the Cowboys to a 30-27 win, their fourth straight victory on the Longhorns’ home field in a series historically dominated by Texas.

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Grogan’s game winner came after Texas punter Michael Dickson, an Australian Rules Football player, dropped the deep snap inside the Texas 10 and scrambled to get off a left-footed punt that went only 10 yards.

“It stunned everybody,” Oklahoma State defensive tackle Vincent Taylor said.

All the Cowboys (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) had to do was run a few seconds off the clock, but even that didn’t come easy in a wild finish. They nearly blew the chance when penalized for a false start with 10 seconds left, but because they still had a timeout they weren’t hit with an automatic 10-second runoff that would have ended regulation.

Grogan trotted back out and calmly drilled the winner. Texas had two timeouts left but didn’t try to ice him.

“I had already had it in my head that I was going to have to kick the game winner, so I was ready for it,” Grogan said. “But I was surprised to see that fumble. I just tried not to lose my composure.”

Oklahoma State is the first team to beat Texas four straight times in Austin. The Cowboys’ win streak dates back to 2010.

Texas coach Charlie Strong, just 7-10 in his second season, was stunned by the Longhorns’ second gut-punch loss in a row. Last week, Texas rallied from 21 points down in the fourth quarter only to have kicker Nick Rose miss an extra point with 71 seconds left in a 45-44 loss.

“Two straight Saturdays you had it right there in your hands and let it slip away,” Strong said.

Strong had his own major mistake in the latest defeat. Texas led 27-24 late in the fourth when Strong was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after loudly complaining to an official about a penalty. The penalty pushed Oklahoma State all the way to the Texas 19 and set up Grogan’s field goal to tie.

Grogan had to keep his cool before both kicks. On his game-tying field goal, he first booted a 36-yarder but had to rekick when Oklahoma State was whistled for delay of game. Both squarely split the uprights.

After forcing the Texas punt, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy had called for his team to try to block it. Dickson may have sensed the pressure coming.

“When the ball was on the ground, we had enough people there to pressure him and force him to kick it left-footed,” Gundy said.

Mason Rudolph passed for 290 yards and a touchdown for Oklahoma State but also had three turnovers and by the fourth quarter was rotating with former starter J.W. Walsh. Freshman quarterback Jerrod Heard passed for 119 yards and ran for 48 for Texas, but the Longhorns managed only one offensive touchdown a week after Heard set a school record with 527 total yards.

Oklahoma State led 14-3 in the second quarter before Rudolph simply dropped the ball without any pressure from Texas and Hassan Ridgeway picked it up for a 34-yard touchdown return. A Walsh touchdown pass to Jeremy Seaton put Oklahoma State ahead 24-20 in the third.

Texas freshman cornerback Holton Hill intercepted a Rudolph pass into double coverage and zipped 41 yards along the sideline for a touchdown that put Texas up 27-24.

The Longhorns are just 5-22 in their last 27 games against ranked opponents and last started 1-3 in 1956, the year before Darrell Royal arrived and built the program into a national power. In 1993, Texas started 1-3-1 but at least had the tie and a win before dropping its third loss.

“We’re doing it to ourselves,” Strong said. “It’s all about being able to pick yourself back up again.”