Trojans Fall to No. 2 Texas in Rose Bowl, 41-38|
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - With the national championship down to a final play, Young scrambled for an 8-yard touchdown on fourth down with 19 seconds left and the No. 2 Longhorns stunned the top-ranked Trojans 41-38 in the Rose Bowl on Wednesday night.
The high-scoring game everyone expected to see broke out in the second half - yet it was a defensive stop that was the key for Texas. The Longhorns stuffed LenDale White on a fourth-and-2 at midfield with 2:09 left, giving them a final chance.
Young, bitterly disappointed at losing the Heisman to Bush, wound up with the ultimate revenge. On a night when he ran for 200 yards and passed for 267 more, he capped a performance that Texas fans will remember forever by scoring the final TD and running for a 2-point conversion
With the two highest scoring teams in the country, many figured it would come down to which team had the ball last.
Trying for its unprecedented third straight title, USC crossed midfield one more time. But on the last play of the game, Leinart's pass sailed high over Dwayne Jarrett's head around the 25 and USC's 34-game winning streak was over.
Texas players streamed onto the field with the Longhorns' first outright national title since 1969. Young stood on the sideline in a sea of falling confetti, arms raised toward the crowd, and senior tackle William Winston unfurled a big, white Longhorns flag.
The Longhorns (13-0) won their 20th in a row, overcoming the 38-26 lead USC (12-1) held with 4 1/2 minutes left.
USC players looked startled. Some put their hands to their heads, others took off their helmets.
"Well, we couldn't stop them when we had to," USC coach Pete Carroll said. "The quarterback ran all over the place.
"This is their night," he said. "It's wonderful doing what we've been doing. We didn't get it done."
Said Leinart: "I still think we're a better football team, they just made the plays in the end."