The air was thick with pressure. Constant noise ... a turn of rattling cowbells and slapping paddles ... a ticking reminder of the dwindling time. The consequences of the next play were clearcut and sobering: an incompletion would end the game, a game Texas needed to win before the calendar turned to October and the schedule became unforgiving.

One completion and the Longhorns may have a chance. The hum reached a crescendo as David Ash dropped his right arm ....

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