In the 2006 Rose Bowl, the Granddaddy of them all, QB Vince Young turned in a dominating performance, leading the Texas Longhorns (13-0) to the BCS National Championship in a 41-38 win over the USC Trojans.
Efficient and Productive Offense
During the 2005 college football season, Texas was firing on all cylinders. As a result, the Longhorns put up some prolific offensive numbers, according to sports-reference.com:
- 6657 yards of total offense.
- 3 games of 60+ points scored.
- 1 game of 70 points scored.
- 3 games of 50+ points scored.
- 3 games of 500+ yards of total offense.
- 5 games of 400+ yards of total offense.
- 3 games of 600+ yards of total offense.
Vince Young was the epitome of the dual-threat quarterback.
Accordingly, Young’s offensive production that season was equally impressive:
- 3036 yards passing.
- 26 TD passes.
- 10 INTs.
- 1050 yards rushing.
- 12 TDs.
- 38 total touchdowns.
- 4086 total yards.
- 3rd in NCAA in passing efficiency.
- 6th in NCAA in total offense.
- 18th in NCAA in passing yards.
- Ranked #1 in NCAA in TDs Responsible For with 38.
Vince Young in the 2006 Rose Bowl-BCS National Championship
Texas kept the game close. However, Texas squandered some scoring opportunities. First, the Longhorns missed a PAT in the first half. Second, they also missed a 31-yard field goal at the start of the 4th quarter.
And, USC took advantage and was in control of the game late in the 4th quarter. But Young kept the Longhorns in the game with his arm, and he changed the momentum of the game with his legs: A 14-yard TD run in the 3rd quarter, a 17-yard TD run in the 4th quarter.
With 2:09 left in the 4th quarter, and the Trojans leading 38-33, the Longhorn defense stopped USC’s White short of the first down on a 4th and 1. Texas took over downs.
And Vince Young took over the game.
Young ran and passed the Longhorns down the field to get inside the 10-yard line with less than a minute left on the clock. However, Young threw three incomplete passes toward the end zone.
And then, on 4th and 5 with 0:26 seconds left on the clock, Young took the snap, was flushed out of the pocket and ran eight yards to the pylon to score the go-ahead touchdown. Young would also score the two-point conversion to put Texas up 41-38 with 0:19 seconds left in the game. Subsequently, USC had no time to score again.
Final score: Texas-41 USC-38
Indeed, it was the Vince Young show. He passed for 267 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions. He completed 75% of his passes. In addition, he also rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns As a result of gaining 467 total yards, Young was named the game’s Offensive MVP. And, the Longhorns allowed zero sacks in the game.
Additionally, Young was selected as a Heisman Finalist. He finished second behind USC RB Reggie Bush and ahead of USC QB Matt Leinart. Leinart won the Heisman in 2004.
As a result of USC’s defeat, their 34-game winning streak, dating back to 2003, came to an end. QB Matt Leinart passed for 365 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He completed 72% of his passes. WR Dwayne Jarrett caught 10 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. RB Reggie Bush rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown, and also caught six passes for 95 yards. RB LenDale White rushed for 124 yards and three touchdowns.
While he did elude he would come back for his senior year, Young eventually declared for the NFL Draft. He was selected 3rd overall in the first round of the 2006 Draft by the Tennessee Titans. He played six seasons in the NFL, five with the Titans and one year with the Philadelphia Eagles. According to sports-reference.com, he threw 42 touchdown passes and 42 interceptions as a pro.
But as a college quarterback, Vince Young turned in a clutch performance as the Texas Longhorns won the BCS National Championship. Arguably, one of the best bowl game performances of all time.
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