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ROSE BOWL | USC VS. TEXAS

Five Keys To The Rose Bowl

January 04, 2006

Protect Matt Leinart

The Trojans need to make sure Texas does not get many big hits on their senior quarterback. Leinart, the leader of the offense, gets the ball to USC's multiple weapons. The Longhorns, who had 30 sacks, like to use only their front line to pressure quarterbacks.

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Win the turnover battle

The Trojans are good at creating turnovers and not turning the ball over themselves. USC forced 37 turnovers and led the Pacific 10 Conference in turnover margin at 22. Texas quarterback Vince Young has had 10 passes intercepted and the Longhorns have fumbled nine times.

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Win the kicking game

USC has been suspect in covering kickoffs and punts and Texas is strong in both areas, so the Longhorns could have an edge. But the Trojans have Reggie Bush returning punts and kickoffs.

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Control the line of scrimmage

Each team has scouted the other thoroughly, but game plans will not decide this battle. Whichever team dominates up front will be able to run the ball, and that will open up the passing game.

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Win the battle of the stars

Young is the main man in the Longhorns' offense, and Bush is the Heisman Trophy winner and the player the Trojans count on for spectacular plays. Whichever of these stars has the better game will go a long way in determining the winner.

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