Texas Longhorns Should Try to Channel the Spirit of Peter Gardere
The 2010 Texas Longhorns recruiting class arrived on the Forty Acres with plenty of fanfare and an even greater level of promise. The class was full of four and five star talent that, almost to a man, either fizzled out or never met it’s potential. What’s left of this 2010 class are this season’s seniors, a group that’s in danger of being the first senior class to never beat the Oklahoma Sooners since the 2003 and 2004 classes who never earned a victory in the Red River Shootout.
It’s been talked about ad nauseum, but the Sooners have the upper-hand going into Saturday’s matchup at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas for a variety of reasons. Texas is in turmoil not only due to injury issues which have plagued many of the positional groupings, but also due to the constant media attention surrounding the future of head coach Mack Brown.
For the Longhorns to have even the slightest chance at pulling off an upset of Oklahoma, one intangible that will need to be there in spades — and which hasn’t been so far in 2013 — is heart.
Texas need not look any further back in their own history than 1989-1992 to find inspiration for what can happen with players with talent, but with an even greater heart play their butts off and find a way to win under the least likely of circumstances.
The leader of those teams?
Peter Alexander Gardere.
Known to Texas fans as “Peter the Great”, Gardere is one-part man, one-part myth among those that follow the Texas program closely. You’ll occasionally see a shirt with “WWPGD” plastered across it (What Would Peter Gardere Do) and his name is mentioned among the greatest players in Texas Longhorns history, not necessarily for his exploits on the football field, but for the fact he’s the only quarterback in Texas history to beat the Sooners four straight times.
None of the four victories in which Gardere led the Longhorns were particularly stylish (28-24, 14-13, 10-7, 34-24), but the facts are he always found a way to help the team win when he was needed the most, regardless of circumstances or the uphill battle Texas had to climb.
This is the exact position Case McCoy finds himself in as we prepare for Saturday morning’s kickoff. McCoy is far from the most talented quarterback in the past few incarnations of Texas football, but one attribute he shares with Gardere is the ability to pull wins out of unlikely situations, in games where those wins matter the most.
McCoy led the final game-winning drive against the Texas A&M Aggies back in 2010, a moment etched into the memory of Longhorn fans of all ages and has the chance on Sunday to make an even more lasting impression on his legacy of coming up big in big games.
Maybe there should be a picture of Peter Gardere posted on each locker in the Cotton Bowl locker rooms as a little inspiration.
Kris Hughes is a Senior Writer and Business Analyst for Rant Sports.