By Danny Reagan
SAN ANTONIO - The Longhorn defense came up big when it counted, causing Iowa to punt with 2:28 left in the game. Texas started from its own 15-yard line and was looking at only a couple of first downs away from a 10-victory season. They only made one, however, and had to punt themselves. Iowa took over at their own 15 with 2 seconds remaining. I can let you finish the story. Final Score: Texas 26, Iowa 24.
3:35, 4th Q: This was surely looking critical. An 18-yard punt by Texas and Iowa has it at the Horns' 48-yard line. Then Marcus Griffin stopped the Hawkeye runner for an 11-yard loss. More later....
6:20, 4th Q: For some reason, the officiating crew is not calling holding on the Iowa offensive linemen today. This, in addition to a couple of nice plays that would have been nullified with the aforementioned holding calls, allowed Iowa to move right down the field until the Horns' defense stiffened. Result? A 38-yard field goal for the Hawkeyes. Texas still leads, 26-24.
10:48, 4th Q: SORRY ... Lost Internet for several minutes up here in the press box, xo you missed an Iowa TD to retake the lead, 21-20. After several completions by Colt, the Longhorns appeard to be stalled at 4th-and-inches at the Iowa 9-yard line until Colt snuck around the right side and almost made it into the end zone before going out at the 2-yard-line. That just delayed the inevitable as Selvin Young dove for paydirt. The Horns went for two points, but failed. UT still leads, 26-21.
7:17, 3rd Q: Speaking of Mo, Colt McCoy and Jamaal Charles introduced themselves to him on the first play of the ensuing drive, connecting for a 72-yard TD, and the first lead of the day for the Horns, 20-14.
7:45, 3rd Q: Uncle Mo' didn't show up after all for Iowa. They couldn't take advtange of their good fortune and missed a 45-yard field goal.
9:25, 3rd Q: The UT defense finally got a sack on the elusive Drew Tate and forced Iowa to punt. However, Aaron Ross coughed up the ball on the punt return and Iowa was back in business at the UT 35-yard line. Uncle Mo' may have jumped back onto the Hawkeyes at that point.
11:43, 3rd Q: Colt McCoy picked up where he left off on the first drive of the second half, hitting 5-of-6 passes for 54 yards. After a dropped passed the Longhorns had to settle for a 43-yard field goal to make it a one-point game, 14-13.
Halftime: Iowa owned most of the first half until Aaron Ross intercepted Drew Tate in the end zone with less than 5 minutes left in the half and the Horns down, 14-3.
Colt McCoy then took control with scrambles and pin-point passing (7-of-10 for 86 yards), culminating in an acrobatic catch by Limas Sweed in the endzone. This was definitely the pre-injured-nerve version of Colt. He finished the half 12-of-22 for 145 yards and one TD (20 yards).
OTHER STATS: Sweed caught 3 passes for 70 yards, while Quan Cosby grabbed 4 for 41 yards. Surprisingly, Jordan Shipley is the Horns' leading rusher with 14 yards. Jamaal Charles has only 6 yards on 3 carries. For the Hawkeyes, QB Drew Tate is 8-of-13 with 1 INT for 193 yards and 2 TDs. Albert Young has 41 carries on 8 trips for Iowa.
0:45, 2nd Q: Colt McCoy and Limas Sweed made it a close ballgame with one of their patented lob and corner-of-the-end-zone connections. He came up shaky, however, and went straight to the locker room. Still, after the PAT, it was 14-10 and a completely different ball game.
McCoy was 7-for-10 for 85 yards on the 13-play, 80-yard drive which started with Ross' INT.
4:55, 2nd Q: The difference so far in the game is the elusiveness of Hawkeye QB Drew Tate. He has been giving the UT defense fits, especially on a first-down scramble on 3rd down from his own 6-yard line which kept the Iowa drive alive. He followed that up with a 41-yard completion to Andy Brodell - which was mostly YAC (yards after catch).
The UT defense momentarily stifffened from their own 33-yard line, however, and just when an illegal touching penalty looked to take the wind out of the Hawkeyes' sails, Tate came through again with a 29-yard pass play for 1st and goal from the 7 ... with the drive more than seven minutes old at the time.
Aaron Ross ended the drive, however, with an interception in the end zone.
12:18, 2nd Q: After another 3-and-out for Iowa, the Horns started from their own 15-yard-line. A 39-yard improvised connection between Colt McCoy and Limas Sweed put the ball into Hawkeye territory. The very next play only a brilliant defensive tip kept Colt from having his first TD pass of the game. One more incompletion because of a terrific hit and Texas had to punt again. They are 0-for-4 on third down, and Colt is 5-for-12 for 60 yards.
Good news for those wearing burnt orange is the punt backed the Hawkeyes down to their own 2-yard line.
1:36, 1st Q: The defense finally held and forced an Iowa punt. Texas started from its own 30-yard line. Colt was 3-of-5 for 19 yards going into the possession. He tried a 45-yard bomb on the first play but didn't quite connect. He came out of the possession 3-for-7, and UT had to punt again.
4:32, 1st Q: That quick score seemed to wake up everyone on the Texas sideline. Quan Cosby ran the kickoff back 52 yards, Colt McCoy completed an 11-yard pass to buddy Jordan Shipley before Shipley notched 14 more yards on an end-around.
A couple of short running plays and an Iowa personal foul later, the Longhorns had the ball on the Hawkeyes' 6-and-a-half yardline. The Horns couldn't do anything with it from there, however, than kick a 27-yard field goal to close the score to 14-3.
8:30, 1st Q: Wow, that was fast! A one-play, 63-yard pass play and it's 14-0, Hawkeyes. The burnt orange defensive secondary left the receiver wide open.
8:50, 1st Q: Colt McCoy back on the field since the final minute of the Aggie game more than a month ago. First and second passes were complete. Good sign, but Texas went 3-and-out.
Kickoff! Iowa got the ball first and the Texas defensive line looked like it came to play, harrassing Drew Tate and almost sacking him three times. He just barely got off long passes each time, however, eventually leading his team to a 7-0 score on a 9-play, 77-yard drive with 11:05 left in the first quarter.
I guess you could say Iowa moved right down the field, but except for a couple of inches here or there on a missed sack, it would've been a different story.
There are supposedly more than 65,000 fans in the Alamo Bowl today, and it looks like about 60,000 of them are wearing burnt orange.
One hour before gametime and Colt's arm looked just fine in warmups. Yesterday he mentioned that he was tired of everyone asking about that pinched nerve of his.
I plan on asking him about brother Chance after the game and if he's going to try to talk him into going to Texas instead of Abilene Christian.
1:30 p.m. - It's almost showtime and the Alamodome is filling up two hours before kickoff.
Remember you can post your thoughts on the game afterwards at the chatroom or on the "comments" section under this entry.
I'll blog off and on throughout the game and then will try to get a word with Colt after the official post-game interviews.