Big Opportunity Gets Away

Despite botching the coin toss and giving up 217 yards rushing (after giving up just 35 rush yards on 18 carries in the first half), Texas had a 17-13 lead and the ball against No. 12 UCLA with 4:17 left to play. And then a chance for Charlie Strong and Texas to have a signature outcome completely got away.

#1 … Great effort by Texas. Good enough to win. But it ends the way Texas lost the BYU game – with faulty special teams and no offense.

#2 … First, after Texas takes a 17-13 lead with 5:13 left, Nick Rose kicked off out of bounds, giving UCLA the ball at the 35. Then, UT gave up a 30-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage. Just like that UCLA had the ball at the Texas 35.

But Steve Edmond forced a fumble, and DT Paul Boyette, who replaced an injured Desmond Jackson, recovered it with 4:17 left.

#3 … But the Texas offense, after looking so good on its previous drive, ran for 5 yards on first down with Malcolm Brown, then lost five with Malcolm on second down and threw incomplete on third down.

That was 3 plays for minus-5 yards (there was a false start flag on Josh Turner on the punt) and ate up only 1:11.

#4 … Then, a 58-yard punt by William Russ is brought back 45 yards by UCLA’s Ishmael Adams to the Texas 33, and Jerry Neuheisel gets Duke Thomas to bite on the pump of a pump-and-go, and Jordan Payton gets behind Thomas for a 33-yard TD pass.

That 1-play drive took :06 and put UCLA up 20-17 with 3:00 to play.

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