Tucker latest in long line of clutch Longhorn kickers

Editor’s Note: These are the top three lessons we learned from the 2011 Lone Star Showdown.

1: Horns getting their kicks

For those who call Texas DB-U, it’s time to give credit to the lineage of clutch kickers the Longhorns have enjoyed in the Mack Brown era. Justin Tucker’s 40-yard kick to give Texas bragging rights over the Aggies until at least 2018 ranks just behind Dusty Mangum’s kick to beat Michigan in the 2004 Rose Bowl and Hunter Lawrence’s last-second boot against Nebraska to put the Longhorns in the national championship. Out of context, Tuckers’ kick was just like any other game-winner. In context, with everything on the line, the kick carries special meaning.

2: Easy wins proing costly

The differences between an offense with a healthy dose of Malcolm Brown/Joe Bergeron and one without is stark. So, in hindsight, two midseason blowouts of Kansas and Texas Tech have proven costly. Brown suffered a turf toe injury against the Jayhawks and Bergeron hurt his hamstring against the Red Raiders on his 29th and final carry of the afternoon — there’s no good explanation as to why he was still playing. Brown played against the Aggies but wasn’t himself, averaging just 2.3 yards a carry. Bergeron dressed but stood on the sideline.

3: Gideon looks like a prophet

When asked last Monday if the defense had become frustrated with the offense’s ineptitude, senior safety Blake Gideon quickly squashed any talks of a locker-room division. Then, he suggested the defense should be helping as well saying, “You know, it’s not illegal for us to score points.”

Carrington Byndom took those words to heart Thursday, intercepting A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running it back 53 yards for a touchdown to pull the Longhorns to within two points in the third quarter.

Printed on Monday, November 28, 2011: Clutch kicks nothing new to Longhorns