Heading into the second to last game of the 2010 season, the Arizona State Sun Devils had lost six out of eight. The eleventh game of the year was at home against UCLA and the Bruins stormed into Tempe and took a 17-0 lead. It appeared to be ASU's third loss in three games and the seventh loss in nine games.
At that point, head coach Dennis Erickson turned the offense over to a former Gonzaga basketball commit. A guy named Osweiler.
It wasn't the first time Brock Osweiler stepped under center at ASU, but that was the moment he took over the program.
He ended the first quarter with a TD throw to Aaron Pflugrad, and got the Sun Devils on the scoreboard. The next drive ended when he hit Mike Willie for a 32-yard TD. On the last drive of the half, he found Gerell Robinson for his third touchdown of the day.
17-0 turned into 21-20 before the half due to Osweiler's three TD passes. He led ASU 86 yards for a FG to start the second half. He slung his fourth TD to kick off the fourth quarter. He then ran 15 yards for a touchdown to end the scoring.
I remember watching that game wondering: 'Who was this small forward-looking quarterback for Arizona State...and why the heck hadn't he been playing all year?'
As I noted above, ASU's season had gone down the drain with that losing stretch in the middle of the year. But Osweiler ended the streak, and we all know the rest.
4,000-plus yards and 26 TD in 2011. 2nd round draft pick in Denver in 2012. Three-plus years sitting behind an NFL legend. Newest Texans starting quarterback.
People will wonder whether the Texans did the right thing signing Osweiler to be the Face of the Franchise but he's never shied away from opportunity and a challenge. He sat four years behind Peyton Manning and once he was afforded his chance to start for the Broncos, he won some big games.
He led the Broncos from behind to beat the Patriots.
He did the same v. Cincinnati on Monday Night football late in the season.
He's thrown some picks. He's taken some sacks. But the one thing that game in 2010 showed me was to never count him out. Down 17-0, in the midst of the losing streak, having been a backup most of the year? He didn't care; he wanted the ball.
Five touchdowns later we found out a great deal about Osweiler.
We learned even more about him yesterday as he, Lamar Miller, Jeff Allen & Tony Bergstrom met the Houston/national media.
Is it a guarantee that he'll go to multiple Pro Bowls and set the world on fire? Of course not, but knowing what I found out six years ago and confirmed yesterday, I'll roll the dice on Osweiler being THAT quarterback, the guy we haven't seen here in Houston in a while.
View photos from the Texans press conference on Thursday.