“It’s been a great run. We’ve done some special things,” Bush said. “I don’t think we should be ashamed about anything.”
In a game that produced more than 1,100 yards, a defensive stand was key for Texas.
On fourth-and-2 from USC’S 45-yard line with 2:09 left, Carroll gambled. He decided to try to seal the game with his vaunted offense, dubbed by many the best ever in college football, and keep the ball out of Young’s hands.
“We knew if we got that fourth-and-2, that was going to be the ball game,” All-America defensive tackle Rod Wright said.
But when LenDale White came up inches short, Wright and other Texas defenders jumped in the air and charged off the field as Young trotted on.
“If you make that first down, you’re squatting on the football to win the game,” Carroll said. “We just missed it. By what — two inches?”
Young stood in the pocket and passed the Longhorns to a first-and-10 at the 13. After a 5-yard scramble, he misfired on two passes to set up fourth-and-5 at the 8.
The Trojans brought pressure, as they did all night, but Young slid away from it and looked for a receiver. Instead, he found a lane and raced to the right pylon.
“I went through all my progressions, so I just took off with it,” Young said.
The Longhorns erupted. One pounded the turf as he lay face down on the turf, while the shocked Trojans futilely looked toward officials, hoping they’d say Young stepped out of bounds.
USC had one last chance, and it wasn’t a good one. On the last play of the game from just beyond midfield, Leinart’s pass sailed high over Jarrett’s head around the 25.
With two of the most storied programs in college football, teams seemingly destined to decide the national title this season, the Rose Bowl was dripping with pageantry and tradition. Tommy Trojan atop Traveler galloped along the USC sideline. Meanwhile, big ol’ Bevo, the Longhorns’ beloved steer, guarded the Texas tunnel.
CFT: Gunner Kiel dismissed talk that he would renege on his commitment to transfer to Cincinnati after Notre Dame lost quarterback Everett Colson.
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HBO Real Sports: Bill O'Brien
Penn State football coach and 2012 National Coach of the Year shares the challenges in turning around a program shattered by scandal. Real Sports premieres Tuesday, May 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
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