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ROSE BOWL | USC VS. TEXAS

Texas (12-0) The Season

January 03, 2006|Jerry Crowe

Texas 60, Louisiana Lafayette 3

Sept. 3 at Austin

* Taking the first step toward a return trip to the Rose Bowl and tuning up for a showdown against Ohio State, the Longhorns overwhelmed the beleaguered Ragin' Cajuns, one of the few teams from Louisiana playing football on the first weekend after Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast. Vince Young, who left the game in the third quarter, passed for three touchdowns and ran for another, and Jamaal Charles set a Texas freshman-debut record by rushing for 135 yards. "I felt like it was a perfect opener for us," Coach Mack Brown said afterward. "We played everyone that was eligible." It hardly mattered that Texas failed on three conversion kicks.

*

Texas 25, Ohio State 22

Sept. 10 at Columbus, Ohio

* Young, better known for his jaw-dropping runs than his passing, connected with Limas Sweed on a 24-yard, go-ahead touchdown pass with 2 minutes 37 seconds to play, capping a 72-yard drive in which he made his biggest plays through the air. Among them: a third-and-six completion of nine yards to running back Charles. Young's second touchdown pass of the game made the score 23-22. Larry Dibbles provided the final margin when he sacked Troy Smith for a safety. Ohio State linebacker Bobby Carpenter said before the game that the Buckeyes would put an end to Young's Heisman Trophy campaign, but Young passed for 270 yards and ran for 76.

*

Texas 51, Rice 10

Sept. 17 at Austin

* Charles, sparking memories of former Longhorn greats Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams, carried 16 times for 189 yards and three touchdowns in his first start and Texas, after building a 42-0 halftime lead, won for the 38th time in its last 39 games against the overmatched Owls. "I think he can be a special player," Brown said of Charles, who might have broken Cedric Benson's Texas freshman record of 213 yards, set in 2001 against Kansas, if he hadn't left the game in the third quarter. "He's three games into a career that could be really good." Said Charles, who started in place of the injured Selvin Young: "My goal every game is to run for 200 yards."

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Texas 51, Missouri 20

Oct. 1 at Columbia, Mo.

* The Longhorns opened Big 12 Conference play in grand style by rolling up 585 yards and coasting to their 14th victory in their last 15 games against the Tigers, whose loss was their 28th straight against a top-five opponent. Young, who ran for 108 yards and a touchdown, passed for 236 yards and two touchdowns. Charles scored two touchdowns. And the Longhorns, winning their 11th in a row on the road, converted three turnovers by quarterback Brad Smith into touchdowns. "We've got a chance to be really good because we haven't played near our best game yet," Brown said. "Too many penalties, turned it over ... and we still scored 51 points."

*

Texas 45, Oklahoma 12

Oct. 8 at Dallas

* After being shut out by the Sooners a year earlier in the "Red River Shootout," the Longhorns built a 24-6 halftime lead and ended a five-game losing streak against their bitter rivals, Texas' longest skid in the 100-game series. Young, who said he'd been "real uptight" before facing Oklahoma in 2004, was looser this time, listening to music and dancing on the field two hours before kickoff. He passed for 241 yards and three touchdowns, then delighted the Longhorn faithful afterward by leading an on-field celebration, slapping hands and posing for pictures with fans. "We wanted them to feel everything we were feeling," he said. "It was a great moment for all of us."

*

Texas 42, Colorado 17

Oct. 15 at Austin

* Nearly flawless, Young helped the Longhorns avoid a letdown after their emotional victory over Oklahoma. Completing 25 of 29 passes, he set a school record with his 86.2% completion rate and accounted for five touchdowns, rushing for 58 yards and three scores and passing for a career-high 336 yards and two touchdowns. "He makes anything he wants to happen on the football field," offensive tackle Jonathan Scott said of his teammate. Afterward, before meeting with reporters, Young watched top-ranked USC's winning drive against Notre Dame on television. "There's no disappointment," he said. "They're doing their job; we're doing ours."

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Texas 52, Texas Tech 17

Oct. 22 at Austin

* One of the most anticipated games at Austin in several years turned into another Longhorn laugher. Texas Tech was ranked among the top 10 for the first time since 1977 and trying to start 7-0 for the first time since '76, but Young shook off two early interceptions and accounted for three touchdowns, two through the air, and Texas routed the Red Raiders. Young gave his performance a C-plus, but Brown graded it out higher. "You score 52 points, I don't think a C-plus is fair," the coach said. "That shows you the standard this team is trying to play to." Said Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach, whose team trailed at halftime, 31-10: "This is the best Texas team I have played."

*

Texas 47, Oklahoma State 28

Oct. 29 at Stillwater, Okla.

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