Big 12 players, coaches recall experiences playing Texas last season

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DALLAS – The Longhorns went 3-2 against the five teams showcased at the Omni Hotel in Dallas Monday. They beat Oklahoma State, Kansas and Texas Tech by an average of six points while falling to TCU and Kansas State in their final two regular season games in 2012.

Various players at Big 12 Media Days recalled their experiences playing – or watching their team play – against Texas last year.

The Longhorns beat last-place Kansas, 21-17, in Lawrence last season, thanks to a Case McCoy touchdown pass with 12 seconds left.

“I was happy for [Texas head coach] Mack [Brown]. I was miserable for me. I took nothing positive from it,” Jayhawks head coach Charlie Weis said of the defeat. “You give up a touchdown pass with [12] seconds to go, when you give up a 4th-and-9 completion from your own territory, when on first down you have a ball thrown right to the corner you don’t intercept it, okay.”

Texas also escaped with a road win in Stillwater earlier last season, beating Oklahoma State, 41-36, following a last-minute touchdown run by Joe Bergeron, who came close to fumbling as he crossed the goal line on the game-clinching score.

“We feel like we got messed over in that game but we let it go,” Cowboys wide receiver Josh Stewart said. “We got another game coming up this year and we’re playing knowing what we’ve got to do to get that feeling that we’re on top. They probably have that feeling now because they beat us but we plan on changing that.”

“We definitely learned a lot from that game last year,” linebacker Shaun Lewis said. “We hurt ourselves in some areas of that game last year.”

Texas did not come out on top in another close game when TCU visited Austin last Thanksgiving, the Horned Frogs’ first game on the holiday since 1928. The Longhorns were seven-point favorites but committed four turnovers and, despite outgaining TCU, fell, 20-13.

“I remember that we won,” All-American defensive back Jason Verrett. “That’s the only memory I want to have of any game we play.”

“We won,” running back Waymon James, who was out with a knee injury, said. “I just remember being on the sideline wanting to play. Can’t. My teammates out there so excited because it’s Texas. A great feeling after that game, everybody thinks players from Texas are all that but they’re not.”

“I got the interception at the end of the game, saw the defensive line get pressure,” safety Sam Carter said. “I saw Jason’s interception. There’s a lot of things I remember about the game because the game was on Thanksgiving. A lot of people I knew were there. A lot of people were saying we couldn’t beat Texas. It was just an exciting game.”

Texas didn’t take advantage of a chance to spoil Kansas State’s chances at winning a Big 12 title, losing to the Wildcats, 42-24, as Case McCoy, playing in place of an injured David Ash, threw for 314 yards while completing 17 straight passes at one point but throwing two costly interceptions. 

“It was bittersweet not being able to be on the field but seeing us win the whole thing. I want to do that again this year,” Wildcats linebacker Tre Walker, who was injured at the time, said. “Texas sometimes lets their name get them in a pickle but the biggest thing is we fight like we have something to prove. We don’t have the players but, at the end of the day, we fight. If it comes down to it, we’ll roll our sleeves up and get with it.”