AUSTIN (AP) — Colt McCoy and Texas kept punching the ball into the end zone and must have figured Texas Tech was finished.
Then Graham Harrell and the Red Raiders’ offense would come back on the field, run two or three plays and score again. The clock finally worked in Texas’ favor.
McCoy passed for four touchdowns, ran for two more, and the BCS No. 14 Longhorns scored 24 points in the fourth quarter Saturday to pull out a wild 59-43 win.
The Longhorns and Red Raiders scored 47 points in the final 12 minutes.
“You can’t ever think the game is in hand against those guys,” McCoy said. “They never give up.”
The Longhorns (9-2, 5-2 Big 12) needed a 24-point fourth-quarter rally a week earlier to beat Oklahoma State. This time, the late scoring burst kept the Red Raiders (7-4, 3-4) from staging a comeback.
Texas had to recover two onside kicks and keep scoring to relieve a pass defense that was riddled by Harrell for 466 yards and five touchdowns. Michael Crabtree, the nation’s leading receiver, caught nine passes for 195 yards.
Tech twice cut the lead to 10 in the fourth quarter on Harrell’s TD passes before McCoy hit Nate Jones for a 34-yard TD, when the receiver tiptoed down the sideline and sneaked into the end zone.
Earlier in the fourth, McCoy’s second scoring run covered 22 yards and looked like something from Vince Young’s old highlight reel.
Dashing through the middle of the line, McCoy twice spun around defenders and broke three tackles to get to the end zone and give the Longhorns a 45-28 lead. McCoy finished with 51 yards rushing and 269 passing.
“I couldn’t believe the points scored,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “Both offenses just ran up and down the field.”
Both teams punted only once and Texas converted three fourth downs on scoring drives, including one on a fake field goal.
“You don’t want field goals, you want touchdowns,” Brown said. “We felt like we had to be aggressive and score points.”
Down 28-20 at halftime, Tech might have stayed closer if not for one third quarter drive that ended after a touchdown catch was overturned on video replay and another was wiped out because of a holding penalty.
“That was an unfortunate drive. That would have been big. It would have swung the momentum,” Harrell said.
Tech coach Mike Leach ripped into the game officials with comments that will likely draw a fine from the Big 12.
“What we need is a national pool of reviewers that don’t necessarily know the official crew that they’re with so that they don’t have a bias with them,” Leach said. “The officiating of this game was a complete travesty.”
Texas chewed up most of the game clock before the late fireworks. The Longhorns rushed for 283 yards and held the ball for 40 minutes. Jamaal Charles had 174 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Longhorns despite sitting most of the second half with a sore left ankle.
The teams combined for 48 points in the first half but the game didn't really get crazy until the fourth quarter.
“From start to finish we played as hard as we have in any game. We played four quarters,” Leach said.