Garrett threw four interceptions after replacing Colt McCoy in the first quarter, but he persevered and rallied Texas from a 24-6 halftime deficit to 24-21 in the fourth quarter.
"It was funny. When Colt got hurt and we turned to Garrett and I said, 'Garrett, get your helmet,' his eyes were as big as silver dollars. He looked at me like, 'You got to be kidding.' And he couldn't find his helmet and it's got No. 7 on it. So, he wasn't planning on playing."
But, the 6-foot-4 quarterback from Austin Lake Travis High School gave Longhorns fans hope for the future with his gutsy, second-half performance in the face of Alabama's highly touted defense.
"The main thing for me that I take away from it was being able to have the confidence that we can be successful," Gilbert said. "The biggest thing I can learn from it is just how close you can get and had we protected the ball a little more, you don't really expect to win a game with four interceptions, but just being that close to it, knowing that we can be successful."