AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 16 - Chance Mock was on the verge of becoming a footnote in Longhorns history.The starter in a two-quarterback rotation when the season began, Mock lost the job midway through the season and saw his playing time dwindle with every game
InsertArt(2071143)ON SATURDAY, WITH THE GAME — and the postseason — on the line as time ran out against Texas Tech, coach Mack Brown decided to bench Vince Young for Mock.
Brown made the call, but it was Mock who provided the moxie to make it work. Mock’s 9-yard TD pass to B.J. Johnson with 46 seconds left gave the No. 7 Longhorns (9-2, 6-1 Big 12) a 43-40 victory and kept alive their hopes of playing in the Bowl Championship Series.
“This guy won and saved our season,” offensive guard Tillman Holloway said. “He could have started four years and not had a moment like this. Chance wrote himself into the history books forever.”
All season, the coaching staff praised Mock’s unselfish attitude in supporting Young, who week by week emerged as a star. Brown planned to use Mock early in Saturday’s game but Mock nixed the idea because Young was playing so well.
“That’s the kind of classy guy he is,” Brown said.
Young was having the best passing night of his career against Tech with 213 yards and two touchdowns. But he struggled in the second half and had three turnovers that Tech turned into touchdowns.
Trailing for the first time since the first quarter, Brown turned to Mock. Dogged in seasons past over his decisions to play Chris Simms over Major Applewhite and even this year when Mock started over Young early on, Brown said he never wavered on this one.
“Passing is what he does best. We put him in to throw downfield,” he said. “He’s tough. He’s smart. He handles pressure about as well as anybody I’ve been around.”
The drive got off to a shaky start. Mock escaped a pass rusher to complete his first attempt but it was disallowed because the receiver stepped out of bounds before making the catch.
Unfazed, Mock unleashed the biggest throw of Texas’ season, letting it fly on a 54-yard pass to Roy Williams who beat two defenders deep. Four plays later, he scrambled 11 yards for another first down.
His fifth pass of the drive found Johnson in the end zone on a fade route behind the defender. Johnson lunged and made a sliding over-the-shoulder catch for the score.
“Words can’t describe it,” said Mock, who was born in Lubbock where his father was an all-conference linebacker for the Red Raiders.
He regained his composure in time to run in the 2-point conversion that gave Texas the three-point cushion. Mock’s passing and running accounted for 85 yards on the winning drive.
Tech (7-4, 4-3) nearly ruined the moment.
The Red Raiders drove to the Texas 31 and had a chance to send it into overtime. Keith Toogood hooked the ball wide left on a 48-yard field goal attempt as time expired.
“When it wasn’t blocked, I just kind of stared at it,” Texas linebacker Reed Boyd said. “I think I said about 15 prayers in between before that ball went left.”
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