“Vince Young Scores” – 10th Anniversary

“Vince Young Scores”

Today is the 10th anniversary of one the top college bowl games of all-time in which the University of Texas Longhorns defeated the University of Southern California Trojans 41-38 in the Rose Bowl/BCS Title Game on a Vince Young touchdown with 19 seconds in the game.

The Match Up

 USC*  Texas
AP National Champs (2003,2004)
BCS Champs
Rose Bowl
Record 12-0 12-0
Winning Streak 34
(6th longest)
 #1  #2
 Heisman Candidates  QB Matt Leinart
(winner 2004)
RB Reggie Bush
(winner 2005)
QB Vince Young
(runner-up 2005)

*NCAA sanctions later forced USC to vacate its last two wins of the 2004 season (including the 2005 Orange Bowl) as well as all of its wins in the 2005 season.

The Game

Texas opened an early 16-7 lead with 2:34 remaining in the first half, but the Trojans drove 54 yards to hit a field goal with 2 seconds remaining.

In the 3rd quarter, after USC scored on its opening drive to retake the lead, Vince Young put Texas back ahead with a 14-yard quarterback draw.

young draw

But LenDale White would put USC up 24-23 at the end of the 3rd quarter, after this 4th and 1 run from the 12-yard line for his 3rd touchdown of the game.


USC led 24-23 going into the 4th quarter and opened a 12-point lead with 6:42 to play after consecutive drives featuring a 26-yard Reggie Bush TD run and a Matt Leinart 22-yard TD pass to Dwayne Jarrett.*

*Bush would finish with 177 total yards rushing and receiving and Jarrett would have 121 yards on 10 receptions.

reggie bush

Texas’s quarterback Vince Young led the Longhorns right back, scoring on a 17-yard scrambling run.

Young 1

From Wikipedia:
Then, in what proved the most pivotal coaching decision of the game, Trojans coach Pete Carroll elected to give his #2-ranked offense (behind only Texas), which had averaged 582.2 yards and 50.0 points per game on the year, an opportunity to convert fourth down and two at the Texas 45-yard line. But the Texas defense, which had failed to stop this same play three times, held White to a one-yard gain.
usc fails
Young drove the Longhorns down to the 13-yard line with 45-seconds to go.   After two incomplete passes and a 5-yard run, the title came down to one play – 4th-and-5 on the 8 with 26 seconds remaining.
Young then ran in the two-point conversion to push the lead to 41-38 and give him 200 yards rushing on top of 30-40 passing for 267 yards.
USC drove to the Texas 43, but Leinart’s final pass went incomplete as time ran out.

In 2007, ESPN compiled a list of the top 100 plays in college football history; Vince Young’s game-winning touchdown ranked number 5. The game is the highest-rated BCS game and is widely considered one of the greatest games in college-football history.
A fitting finale for ABC sportscaster Keith Jackson’s last broadcast.

2006 Rose Bowl post-game celebration

By Eric R from Scranton, PA, USA (2006 Rose Bowl Celebration) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


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