Horns Happy To Be At Home


Thursday, November 8th 2007, 11:07 am
By: News On 6


AUSTIN (AP) _ Texas is glad to be back in front of the hometown fans after a few scary moments last week.

Coach Mack Brown complained that Oklahoma State fans threw things at his team after Texas rallied from 21 points down to win on the final play.

Texas players noted before the game how close the fans are to the field, but none were warned they might get clunked by the bottles Brown said came whizzing by afterward. One grazed a cheerleader's head.

The No. 15 Longhorns (8-2, 4-2 Big 12) can count on a much cheerier reception from the home fans Saturday against Texas Tech (7-3, 3-3).

By tradition, Texas gathers as a team in front of the school band after the game to sing ``The Eyes of Texas.'' That's when the debris came raining down. Footage aired on local television shows one Longhorn staffer ducking to avoid a projectile.

``I was really scared for our team,'' Coach Mack Brown said. ``I was trying to get kids to get their helmets on. Probably, if we have a situation like that, we're going to just try and get our kids in the dressing room.''

Brown said he's ``not after Oklahoma State'' and that he's concerned about the bigger issue in college football. He noted that the Southeastern Conference fines schools when fans rush the field.

``I wish we had arrests and fines because if you don't, someone's going to get hurt,'' Mack Brown said.

Brown said police on the field couldn't do anything to stop fans from throwing things from the stands.

``I thought if a temple or an eye got hit you could injure a kid,'' he said.

Senior offensive tackle Tony Hills said Texas players at first went to the wrong side of the field looking for the band.

``I did a good job of scanning the area to make sure I wasn't going to get hit,'' Tony Hills said. ``We saw all the orange on one end of the field and we didn't even know the band was over there, so we went to the wrong side before going to the band and that's where the bottles were.''

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INJURY REPORT: No team can afford to face pass-happy Texas Tech with injuries in the secondary, yet Texas could be severely hobbled Saturday.

Senior safety Drew Kelson will miss the game because of a knee sprain and the status of linebackers Jared Norton and Sergio Kindle may not be known until Friday or Saturday.

Texas also lost senior center Dallas Griffin for the rest of the season with a torn ligament in his right knee in the first half against Oklahoma State.

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FOURTH QUARTER FURY: So what is it about the fourth quarter for Jamaal Charles? He ran for 216 yards and three touchdowns against Nebraska. He followed that with two more TDs against Oklahoma State, one of them a 75-yarder.

``He's wearing (defenses) out,'' McCoy said. ``Once Jamaal breaks through, there's nobody there. He's one-on-one and that's what we like. His confidence is really boosted.''

With 470 yards the past two weeks, Charles now leads the Big 12 with 1,192 yards. With two more regular-season games and a bowl, he's well within reach of just the fifth 1,500-yard season in Texas history, joining Earl Campbell, Ricky Williams and Cedric Benson in that exclusive club. Williams did it twice, in 1997 and 1998.

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MISSED TACKLES NIGHTMARE: Lost in the euphoria of the comeback was the frustration caused by the defensive meltdown that helped Oklahoma State build such a big lead.

Brown said Texas coaches counted 157 extra yards gained by the Cowboys after missed tackles, a scary statistic considering Tech's ability to get the ball into open space and challenge defenders to make one-one-one tackles.

``That's disappointing,'' co-defensive coordinator Duane Akina said. ``We've got to take great angles. We've still got to run hard to the football. We're pursuing the ball well, but we've got to just make the tackle.''

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GOING BOWLING: With eight wins, Texas is already assured of a bowl bid. What's interesting is that the Longhorns are still in the BCS mix even though they're a long-shot to win the Big 12.

That's because if they win out, a 10-2 Texas team would pretty attractive as at at-large bid to a BCS bowl. Remember, outside of the championship game and the automatic tie-ins, the BCS bowls are free to choose whoever they want as long as the team has at least nine wins and is in the top 14 in the BCS standings. Texas is currently No. 14.

``We know that if we take care of business, we're in line for something special,'' McCoy said.

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QUOTEABLE: ``Every year we say, 'Boy I'm glad that quarterback's gone at Tech,' and the next one looks just the same or better.'' _ Brown on Texas Tech's quarterback factory.