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National Championship Game Thread

Discussion in 'Sports Zone' started by Hostile, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    Admit it... you dozed on and off most of the game... You woke up in your recliner to snow on the screen at 3am wondering what happened with pretzel crumbs and spilled beer on your wifebeater t-shirt and boxers... :D
  2. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    Can't wait!

    This year the winner was the National Champion...Hope next year is the same...Except You know who wins!!! :D

    Go BUCKEYES!!!
  3. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    Has anyone checked Bristol this morning? I fear we could have a Jonestown situation on our hands...
  4. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Do it for the Vine! Staff Member

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    On biggest stage, UT's quarterback steals show


    By RICHARD JUSTICE
    Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

    PASADENA, Calif. — They won because they have the best player on earth. In the end, it's that simple.

    There's no argument about Vince Young. There won't be again. He's different. He has competitive fires others don't have. He has physical gifts others can't begin to match.

    He's why the Texas Longhorns are college football's new national champions. He's why they believed they would win all along. He has made his greatness their greatness.

    His legend is secure. With his Longhorns trailing by 12 points in the fourth quarter, Young put the national championship game on his back and rallied the Longhorns to a 41-38 victory Wednesday night in the Rose Bowl.

    At the end, the Longhorns stormed onto the field, celebrating wildly and madly.

    Mack Brown, who had heard for so long how he couldn't win the big one, won the biggest a head coach can win.

    "It's really, really special," Brown said. "It was really surreal when you're down by two scores and you still think you're going to win. We never, ever thought we'd lose the ballgame. Our team never gave up."

    Texas won two other undisputed national championships — in 1963 and 1969. Both of those teams were coached by Darrell Royal.

    Brown wanted Royal here for this moment. They've grown close in Brown's eight seasons. They swap stories about the pleasures and pains of coaching a big-time program.

    For USC, it was the end of an amazing era. For quarterback Matt Leinart and running back Reggie Bush, it was one of those nights they believed would never come.

    They'd been invincible for 34 games and 45 of 46. They believed this time would be no different.

    USC's 34-game win streak ended abruptly. So did the Trojans' attempt to win a share of a third straight national championship. USC lost because of Young. He did it with his arm and with his feet. More than any of those things, he did it with his will.

    This game featured the last two Heisman Trophy winners — Leinart and Bush.

    Young is better than either of them by a wide margin. He scored 14 points in the chaotic final moments. He ran 17 yards for a touchdown with 4:03 left. He ran 8 yards for the game-winner on fourth down with 19 seconds remaining. And he ran for a two-point conversion.

    "He's one of the great players to ever play college football," Brown said.

    Young got a final chance after USC failed to convert a fourth-down play with 2:09 left. Young promptly led a 56-yard touchdown drive.

    When he was done, he'd run for 200 yards and passed for 267 in one of the most amazing performances of all time. He carried the Longhorns both emotionally and physically. He was rightfully named the game's Most Valuable Player.

    "He's an extraordinary football player," USC coach Pete Carroll said. "He's so fast. He's big. He probably made us miss 11 tackles."

    The Trojans had learned to thrive on pressure. They'd stared it down and spit in its eye.

    Not this time.

    That's the problem with a championship game, especially one featuring two teams who've accomplished so much. Both teams believe in destiny. Both teams believe they can will the outcome.

    In a game that fulfilled every expectation, a game that featured two heavyweights punching and counterpunching, two teams who simply refused to give in to exhaustion and tension, the Longhorns were better.

    Texas got a final crack at victory with 2:09 remaining, 56 yards from the goal line. Young completed three straight passes. He ran for 7 yards and then 5 more. He missed a throw into the end zone.

    Then with 26 seconds remaining, and Texas facing a fourth-and-five at the USC 8-yard line, Young took the snap and ran right, into the end zone to win it.

    The evening didn't begin this way. Aaron Ross fumbled a punt after USC's opening possession, and the Trojans drove 46 yards for a 7-0 lead 2:33 into the game.

    And then USC did something stupid.

    The Trojans had a 7-0 lead and were about to make it 14-0 when they handed Texas a break.

    Bush, who had a quiet night despite 82 rushing yards and 95 receiving yards, caught a short pass from Leinart and was weaving through the Texas defense. He gained 37 yards to the Texas 19, then inexplicably attempted to lateral to a teammate.

    The Longhorns recovered at their 19-yard line, and Texas dominated the remainder of the half and got in position to win at the end.

    Another Texas hero was defensive back Michael Griffin, who made a spectacular interception in the end zone late in the half.

    Texas led 16-10 at the half. It was only the eighth time — the fifth this year — USC has trailed at halftime during its 34-game winning streak.

    The Trojans answered quickly in the second half. LenDale White scored twice in the third quarter, and when Bush sprinted 26 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, USC seemed to have the game in hand.

    USC didn't have Vince Young. Texas does. He's 30-2 as a starter. His legend is secure. He's the best player on the best team in his sport.

    richard.justice@chron.com

    Link
  5. Hostile

    Hostile Peace Zone Supporter

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    The main thing I learned last night by participating in this thread is that there are people who think a football game should be announced totally one sided in favor of the team they root for.

    I couldn't believe how many people last night in this thread accused Keith Jackson of all people of being biased. It was eye opening. The man is the best play by play announcer on any level of football because he's not biased and is a true professional.

    Maybe the football networks should hire 2 sets of announcers and give fans a choice of which homers they can listen to. Naw, better make it 3 sets because I will always want to hear true professionals over homers.

    What did Keith say to end his broadcast? That in all of his years of calling games last night Vince Young's performance may have been "the best individual performance" he'd ever been "privileged to witness." The unmitigated gall of the man. What a Pac-10 homer. I mean really.

    :rolleyes:
  6. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Do it for the Vine! Staff Member

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    Longhorns, Brown finally knock down title door

    [IMG]
    By Pat Forde
    ESPN.com
    Archive


    PASADENA, Calif. -- Moments before kickoff in the Rose Bowl, the referee's microphone inadvertently picked up five salty words (from somebody) for all of America to hear. They aptly foretold the entire night:

    "Do you believe that [expletive]?" Do you believe the Texas Longhorns, those can't-win-the-big-one kids, won the big one?



    Do you believe the Longhorns won their first national title in 35 years against a bulletproof team that, until Wednesday night, couldn't lose the big one?

    Do you believe they did it when all hope appeared lost, trailing by 12 points with six minutes to play?

    Do you believe they scored 15 points in less than four minutes? With the quarterback once panned for his throwing motion completing nine pressurized passes in the final two drives -- then finally sealing the deal with the most incredible legs since Marilyn Monroe's?

    Do you believe their routed defense rose up and stopped the unstoppable USC offense when it absolutely, positively had to?

    Do you believe Mack Friggin' Brown, once the scourge of Texas fans for his team's pratfall performances in games like this, outflanked coaching golden boy Pete Carroll?

    Believe it. Believe it all. Believe Texas 41, USC 38. And believe that this stunning reversal of form and fortune happened because of the gutsiest and most glorious six minutes in the gilded history of Texas football.

    "It's really surreal when you're sitting there in the fourth quarter and you're down by two scores and you still think you're going to win," Brown said. "Even when you're playing a team that's won 34 straight games, and momentum has turned, and your defense is struggling -- but we never, ever really thought we'd lose the ball game.

    "The thing I like about our team is they never got discouraged and they never gave up."

    Texas never gave up at the Alamo either, and look how that turned out. But this time, against similarly long odds, they pulled it off.

    The 30 thrilling plays that will live in Texas lore began with one of many odd USC decisions on the night, blooping a kickoff that gave the Longhorns the ball at their own 31-yard line. (The Trojans had kicked it deep their first four kickoffs of the game, and Texas never started past its own 20 in that time.)

    Then it was up to the greatest swashbuckling college quarterback since -- who, John Elway? -- to bring the Horns back from a 38-26 hole with their hurry-up offense. Vince Young has been Captain Comeback for two seasons, so the role was familiar. And, as usual, this drama featured Young dispersing the ball to a low-profile but reliable cast of supporting actors.

    First it was a completion to Limas Sweed. Then a completion to Quan Cosby. Then a completion to David Thomas. Young completed two more throws in the drive, to Thomas and Sweed, then finished it off with a 17-yard sprint into the end zone.

    That made the score 38-33 with 4:03 left. The burnt orange half of the Rose Bowl perked up -- but the hardest part still remained.

    The Longhorns somehow had to halt the Trojans short of scoring range. Doesn't sound so difficult when you're the No. 5 defense in the land -- but when USC is the opponent and the Trojans have positively shredded you in the second half, it gets a little dicey.

    "We talked to the kids on the sidelines and said, 'We get one stop, we can get the ball back to our offense and win the game,'" Texas defensive coordinator Gene Chizik said. "Let's get one stop."

    It didn't come immediately. Or easily. USC's first three plays of the drive pushed the ball to midfield. Then the game changed.

    On second-and-7, Matt Leinart lobbed a screen pass to fullback Brandon Hancock. Leinart, who at that point had completed 18 of his last 19 passes, put the ball in Hancock's hands on the screen. And Hancock dropped it. That stopped the clock and saved Texas a timeout.

    A LenDale White draw on third down brought USC to a crossroads play: fourth-and-2 from the Texas 45. Texas called timeout at the 2:13 mark. Carroll followed his customary gusto-laden instincts and went for it, shunning the punt. During the timeout Brown laid out the massive stakes to his defense: "You stop this fourth-down play, we're going to win the national championship."



    USC went with its best short-yardage play of the night: White, straight at 'em. But the run off left tackle was blown up by a Longhorn who was never supposed to be there.

    Chizik called a blitz that did not include safety Michael Huff among the blitzers. Assignment be damned, he went in anyway.

    "I had to get in there," he said. "In the heat of battle, five years in the program, I just went for it."

    Huff knifed in and stopped White short of the marker. Texas had the ball back in the hands of Mr. Clutch.

    "We knew they'd score," Huff said. "We had Vincent Young on our side."

    And history on their side, too. Just last year on this very field, Texas had driven in dramatic fashion in the fourth quarter to beat Michigan, overcoming a 10-point deficit to win 38-37 on the last play.

    "I can't tell you how much playing in the Rose Bowl last year helped us this year," defensive tackle Rod Wright said. "We knew we were capable of coming back. We didn't know how, we just had to get it done."

    They got it done with four Young completions, spreading the ball around to Ramonce Taylor, Cosby and -- of all people -- senior wideout Brian Carter. He had 18 career catches coming into the game but made two huge ones on this drive for 26 yards.

    Then, with 19 seconds left, Young got it done with his wheels, gliding the final eight yards to a touchdown bigger than all of Texas.

    This was a comeback built upon the skill and will of Young, and through the trust he and Brown have come to have in one another. This was a triumph of relationship building and of a 54-year-old coach's ability to change and grow at an advanced stage in his career.

    Brown said that within the last year he decided "to start spending more time asking kids about kids." Asking them about who they are and about their lives and trying to make sure they understood that it was more than just winning.

    "I told them tonight as I told them Monday, I don't want this to be the biggest thing that ever happens in their lives. It may be the best sporting event in your life, and for some of them it will be for sure. But I want this to help them carry confidence later in life."

    Brown's confidence in himself and comfort in his pressurized position has steadily blossomed over the last 12 months. A 10-year contract from athletic director DeLoss Dodds started the process, and beating Michigan accelerated it. Then Mack pulled the Oklahoma monkey off his back and beat it senseless in October, and he followed that with his first Big 12 title.

    This was the crowning coaching achievement. The old rap is dead: Mack Brown can win the big one, and Texas can, too.

    "We shut that door," Thomas said.

    One door shuts, another one opens. Texas enters the throne room at last, after appearing hopelessly locked out just minutes before.

    Pat Forde is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at ESPN4D@aol.com.

    Link
  7. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    Ain't that the truth...

    Guyana Punch for everyone! Let's hope Boomer is first in line... ;)
  8. Bach

    Bach Benched

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    Congrats to Texas. I'm not a Longhorns fan, I'm actually indifferent towards them.

    But I hate USC.

    I love seeing Leinart and Bush go out this way. :D
  9. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Do it for the Vine! Staff Member

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    Fraley: Against Young, USC out of time

    01:59 AM CST on Thursday, January 5, 2006

    PASADENA, Calif. – This qualifies as the ultimate in coaching dilemmas. With 2:13 remaining in Wednesday night's Rose Bowl, Southern California coach Pete Carroll had to pick between two unappealing alternatives.

    Punt the ball to Texas, and give Longhorns quarterback Vince Young one more chance to win the game.

    Go for a first down, even though it was fourth-and-2 at the Texas 45.

    Letting Young have the ball again curdled Carroll's stomach. His defense had been unable to stop Young throughout, and there was no reason to believe it would start now with the national championship on the line.

    "It really didn't matter where they started," Carroll said. "We'd seen what they'd been doing."

    With that in mind, Carroll ordered the offense to go for it. Hard-driving tailback LenDale White, who had 123 yards and three touchdowns on his previous 19 carries, came up short.

    The rest was what Carroll most feared.

    Young directed a drive that ended with his second touchdown run of the final five minutes: an 8-yard scramble on fourth down.

    "It was clearly the right decision," Carroll said. "That's the way we do it here. We go for it.

    "Make a first down and the game is over. That moment flashes by in an instant. That's our moment there. It was a night when we needed to do it on offense."

    The key to this game was that Carroll, whose passion is defense, could not find a way to even put a speed bump in Young's way. Carroll's defense was off-balance all game, unable to respond to Texas' move to a hurry-up offense.
    At the end, Carroll believed there was no way his team could stop Young. In his coaching career, only one other quarterback has instilled that helpless feel in Carroll.

    "I played against Dan Marino for a lot of years," said Carroll, who doubles as USC's defensive coordinator. "I felt that way a lot of times."

    Marino was on the way to a Hall of Fame career in the NFL when Carroll directed defenses against him. For a college quarterback to do this against a Carroll defense was remarkable.

    The lag time between the regular season and the bowl season has worked in his behalf. In the last three seasons, Carroll used the time to formulate a foolproof defensive plan.

    It worked against Iowa in the 2003 Rose Bowl. USC gave up only 17 points in a win.

    It worked against Michigan in the 2004 Rose Bowl. USC held Michigan to 14 points in a win.

    It worked against Oklahoma in last season's Orange Bowl. The Sooners needed late points to get 19 for the game in a one-sided loss.

    It did not work this time. Young ran for three touchdowns and had 467 yards in total offense.

    "He was an extraordinary talent out there," Carroll said. "He was obviously the difference. They have a great team around him, but he's off the charts."

    After White's failed run, Texas started from its 44 with 2:03 remaining. Carroll called blitzes on every play. It was the act of a desperate coach who was in a bad spot all game.

    E-mail gfraley@dallasnews.com

    BREAKING POINTS

    The decisions that made UT a national champion Wednesday:

    • Leading 7-0 in the first quarter, USC bypassed a field goal attempt and went for a first down on fourth-and-1 at the Texas 17. Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Reggie Bush was sent in motion, allowing the Longhorns to stack the middle and stop a sneak attempt by Matt Leinart.

    • In the final minute of the second quarter, Texas confused Leinart by blitzing with five defensive backs. Leinart took a sack, short-circuiting a drive and forcing the Trojans to settle for a field goal.

    • USC used its second timeout before a third-and-6 play from its 24 early in the fourth quarter. That figured in the Trojans being out of timeouts when they got the ball for one final possession.

    • With Texas facing third-and-5 at the USC 17 in the fourth quarter, the Trojans blitzed Vince Young and stopped him for no gain. Young seemed upset that coach Mack Brown sent kicker David Pino into game, but Pino made the field goal after having missed two earlier kicks.



    Link
  10. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

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    I went to tu's arch-rival school, but congrats to the Longhorns for bringing the prize back to Texas. Maybe some of the other Texas schools can feed off the success and we can replace Miami, Floria, Florida State, and others as the football state again.
  11. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    I must have missed that.

    Who was saying that?

    I love how Keith Jackson calls the games.

    I love how his voice sounds when there is a fumble..

    FUUUUUUUMBBBBBBLE.....
  12. SA_Gunslinger

    SA_Gunslinger Official CZ Ea-girls hater

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    so proud of my longhorns!!!!


    well earned!!!
  13. lzppjb

    lzppjb New Member

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    I read through a lot of this thread, and wanted to make a couple of comments.

    Vince's numbers don't lie either. He is the only player in history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 more in the same season. Add to that he was the nations top rated passer and led his team to an undefeated season.

    Now compare that to a running back that gained 1,600 yards. Lots of guys have done that. There will be a hundred of them do it in the future. And when everyone slobbers over Reggie's "total yards", they're including kickoff returns. If you catch the ball you automatically get 20 yards a return. Big deal. He was also just an average returner, both kickoff and punt. It's not like he was the best in the country. Try middle of the pack.


    Ohio State will be good on offense. But they lose their best WR in Holmes. They also lose 9 starters on defense. They shouldn't start out #1.

    Texas loses Vince, LT Scott, LG Allen, DT Wright and Dibbles, S Huff and CB Griffin. The offensive line doesn't bother me one bit. We've rotated guys all season and the backups played a ton of snaps early in games. The line will be fine. We will fill every hole just fine. Obviously the only loss that concerns me is QB. Whoever wins the job will have never taken a snap. But we've got some great candidates who will be surrounded by a great oline, great receivers and a stable full of running backs.
  14. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    I think Ron Franklin has surpassed Keith Jackson as the best play by play guy. I like Jackson, but he has lossed something. I still love hearing him do games and was glad that he didn't fully retire, just stays on the west coast for the most part.(He did do the UT-OU game this year). I just think Franklin has surpassed him at this time. A little bit of Franklin getting better and Jackson losing a little. All time, there is nobody better than Jackson. These two guys are the voices of college football.

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