After a loss, we are usually pretty good at pointing out the negatives (corners that don't look for the ball, matching up freshmen on Shipley, etc), but for one article we are going to forget about things like the invisible fumble, arm tackles, and keeping Walsh's legs on the sideline until the 4th quarter, and instead focus on the positive. Specifically, one positive. Even more specifically, Joseph Randle. Even more specifically than that, the way Joseph Randle is good at running. (I hope this bit goes on forever!)
While I was too young to see Barry in person, I have to imagine that Randle's performance provided a bit of that spark I have always heard about from old dudes who never shut up about it (and rightly so). I have seen Tatum Bell, Vernand Morency, Dantrelle Savage, Kendall Hunter, and even Bob Simmons's kid, but I have never felt that sense of excitement when the quarterback turned to hand the ball to someone as I did on Saturday. My entire section started reflexively standing up as soon as Walsh took the snap and turned toward Randle. Every play was an opportunity to see something incredible happen, and it reached a point where it became almost expected. From his "Welcome to The Boone!" opening 69 yard TD to him trucking DB's late in the 4th quarter, there seemed to be no limit to what Randle was capable of. And while the 199 yards and 2 TD's were great, lest we overlook his continually picking up corner and LB blitzers giving Walsh more time, providing an outlet as a receiving threat, realizing that Kye Staley is a human-dozer and just sticking to his hip as long as possible, and forcing the Texas back seven to move a few steps up opening space for Walsh and the receivers to finally get a nice passing game going.
Sometimes the outcome isn't what we would like, sometimes David Ash completes a laser on 4th and 6 then a nicely thrown jump ball after a juvenile blog spent a week detailing how he would choke, sometimes it rains on your wedding day (timely and fitting reference), but lost in all the negative sometimes is that sometimes one player can take over a larger part of your memory than all the broad story lines. I will not remember this as the Cowboys 2nd loss, the Ash game, the Walsh game, or another classic Texas loss, I will remember this as the game where for four hours Joseph Randle sent a jolt of adrenaline through an entire stadium forcing everyone to stand every time he touched the ball. Good game Joe!