It was a very close game both statistically and, obviously, scoring-wise. First downs - 30 each. Total yards - 557 to 560. Surprise here - Texas outrushed USC by 290-206. USC outpassed Texas by 267-354 but the Texas quarterback was 30 of 40, an astounding 75% completion rate. However, he only outdid Matt Leinert by a bit as Leinert was 29 of 40 for 72.5%. Fumbles lost - 1 each. Punts - 2 each. Penalties - 4 to 5. Penalty yards lost - 34 to 30.
Another surprise, one even might call a strange statistic for a winning team; Texas was only 3 of 11 in 3rd down conversions. I almost think that must be an error. I'll check it later. USC's Leinert was intercepted once and sacked twice while Texas's Vince Young escaped unscathed by interceptions or sacks. Try this one; Texas's Young, while completing 75% of his passes, also rushed 20 times for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns plus a 2 point conversion. That means he threw 40 passes and carried the ball 20 times or was primary in 60 of Texas's 76 plays plus scoring 20 of Texas's 41 points. Unbelievable stats. USC's vaunted Reggie Bush only carried the ball 13 times for 80 yards but even that is a 6.2 yards per carry average, which ain't too shabby.
If you look at just the offensive stats, you wonder that the score wasn't 61-58. The game wasn't televised down here so I've been following it on Yahoo. All in all, a very fitting championship game between the two unbeaten and top ranked teams in the nation. Coupled with last night's triple overtime thriller between Penn State and Florida State, the 2005-2006 college football season ended with a real bang.
Go Notre Dame - next year.
TAGS: University of Texas, Rose Bowl, National Champions