Texas Wins Championship, 2006 Rose Bowl, Stops USC Streak
Texas led 16-10 at halftime.
Having beaten Michigan in the 2005 Rose Bowl, The Texas Longhorns, led by All American quarterback, Vince Young, returned to Pasadena for the 2006 game on January 4.
The venue for the ’06 game might have been the same, but the circumstances had changed dramatically. Instead of facing a 9-2 Michigan, the ‘Horns were matched against a #1 ranked, unbeaten USC team. The Trojans were 12-0 going into the Rose Bowl, and were trying to extend their 34 game winning streak. They were also going for their third consecutive national championship.
Trailing at the half was not an unfamiliar situation for the Trojans. Four times during the ’05 season they were behind at half time, only to come back and take the lead in the third quarter.
They did it again against Texas when LenDale White capped off a 62 yard Trojan drive with a 3 yard touchdown run, giving USC a 17-16 lead at 10:36 in the third.
USC 17-16, 10:36 3rd quarter
The lead was short lived. At 8:34, Young ran the ball in from 14 yards to give Texas a 23-17 lead. The lead changed once more at 4:07 when White scored again, this time on a 12 yard run. At the end of three quarters USC lead 24-23.
At the Start of the 4th quarter USC 24, Texas 23
Texas missed an opportunity to take back the lead when David Pino missed a 31 yard field goal attempt. The Trojans took possession on their own 20 yard line. 10 plays later, Reggie Bush ran in a touchdown from the Texas 26 yard line. USC now led 31-23 with 11:19 left in the game.
USC 31-23, 11:19 4th quarter
At 8:46 Pino kicked a 34 yard field goal, cutting the Trojan lead to 5. USC took possession on their own 19 yard line. On 2nd and 8, Leinart completed a 33 yard pass to David Kirtman, and another 15 yards got tacked on when Texas was called for roughing the passer. On the next play White ran for 9 yards, and then Leinart threw a 22 yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Jarret. The score was USC 38, Texas 26, with 6:42 remaining.
USC 38-26 6:42 4th quarter
Young went back to work. Starting at his own 38, he completed five passes and ran once for 9 yards. On 2nd and 4 he rushed 17 yards for another touchdown. The score was 38-33.
USC 38-33 4:03 4th quarter
USC started another drive from their own 34. On 4th and 2 at the Texas 45, USC moved the ball one yard; not enough for a first down. Texas took over, trailing by 5, from their own 44.
On every one of the next 10 plays, Young either ran the ball or passed it. With 19 seconds left in the game he rushed 8 yards for a touchdown. Then he ran the ball in for a 2-point conversion.
After the kickoff Leinart threw a 26-yard pass to Bush. 8 seconds remained. USC had the ball at the Texas 44. Leinart tried to throw a sideline pass to Jarrett, hoping to get better position for his field goal kicker, but Jarrett couldn’t hold on. The USC streak was over and Texas had won their second straight Rose Bowl and their fourth National Title.