Like everyone else inside Jones AT&T Stadium on that magical November night four years ago, Seth Doege was watching.
Eyes wide as saucers, Doege followed the flight of the ball as it left Graham Harrell’s right arm and found its way into the waiting hands of Michael Crabtree, who broke a tackle and tip-toed to the end zone to deliver one of the most memorable highlights in Texas Tech football history.
Doege still smiles when he thinks back over the 39-33 win against No. 1 Texas — and the pandemonium that ensued — back in 2008. He was in his first season at Tech, redshirting as a member of the scout team, and his spot on the sideline gave him one of the best seats in the house.
“Me growing up as a Tech fan, it was awesome,” said Doege, now Tech’s senior starting quarterback. “It was something I’ve always dreamed of, beating UT at the end of the game when it’s one of the top-ranked teams in the nation. That set up something for that ’08 team that was very special.”
Cody Davis remembers the night well, too. Like Doege, he had helped Tech prepare that week as a member of the scout team. But he soon became a spectator in awe.
“They definitely set the standard in ’08,” Davis said. “That was our first year on campus. Seeing all that happen, that’s where we want to be.”
When No. 20 Tech (6-2, 3-2 in Big 12 Conference) hosts Texas (6-2, 3-2) at 2:30 p.m. today, it will mark the last chance for Doege, Davis, and four other fifth-year seniors who were on the sideline that fall night four years ago to come up with their own memorable moment against the Longhorns.
Tech has not defeated Texas since Crabtree high-stepped into West Texas lore. The Longhorns have won the last three contests by a combined 110-58 score, including a 52-20 romp last season in Austin.
That Doege had a glimpse into the joy a win over the burnt orange rival can bring only makes him want to be at the controls of such a moment come this Saturday afternoon that much more.
“Me being on the sideline and learning from Graham Harrell, (beating Texas) is something I’ve always wanted,” said Doege, who needs only 29 yards to become the fifth Tech quarterback to throw for 7,000. “We haven’t beat Texas since then. This is the last opportunity.”
Four years after his celebrated catch, Crabtree will be back inside Jones AT&T Stadium in a reversed role. This time he’ll be on the sideline as a spectator hoping to see the Red Raiders triumph over Texas for the first time since he crushed Longhorn dreams of a national championship four years ago.
It’s up to the current crop of Red Raiders to match his magic.
“We took care of them our freshman year,” Doege said. “Ever since then, they’ve kind of handled us. So this is our last chance to ever get that win, and get that bad taste out of our mouth.”