Cheers and jeers for great fight

first_imgPASADENA – This is what a championship college football – or any game, for that matter – is all about: two good teams battling until the very end. It was a sweet ending for Texas, which pulled out the the national title with a 41-38 win over USC in Wednesday’s Rose Bowl. In sharp contrast, it was a bitter way for the Trojans to be denied a third straight crown and to see a 34-game win streak snapped. If the folks who run the Rose Bowl know what’s good for them, they should scrap the agreement with the Big 10 and get Texas to return for a third straight time, against the traditional Pac-10 team. After all, Vince Young has been the MVP the last two games and the Longhorns have won two of the most exiting games in Rose Bowl history. A dozen months ago, Dusty Magnum kicked a field goal as time expired in a 38-37 win over Michigan. Only a game like Wednesday’s, with six lead changes and the winning score with 19 seconds showing, could top that. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson It was night with plenty to cheer for, on both sides, along with some jeers: Cheer: One of the night’s biggest was for the U.S. Air Force skydiving team who bypassed the gates and literally dropped in at midfield. One jumper carried a USC flag, another for Texas and the last of the seven, an American flag.Jeer: Four plays were reviewed, of which three stood. The reverse was an interception by Texas safety Marcus Griffin in the end zone. However, the play that should have been reviewed – Vince Young’s knee on the ground before the lateral to Selvin Young for a 12-yard touchdown in the second quarter – was not.Cheer: The duo of Reggie Bush and Lendale White broke the NCAA record for touchdowns by teammates when White scored in the third quarter. In three years, they have reached the end zone 99 times. But there was sadness with the mark. It bettered the old standard set by Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard at West Point nearly 60 years ago. Davis, the 1946 Heisman Trophy winner, graduated from Bonita High School in La Verne and passed away last spring. Cheer/jeer: What’s a Rose Bowl without a clock malfunction? But the trouble didn’t last long as it was resolved after three game minutes (11 minutes in real time).Cheer: There were less people on the sidelines than most high school games in the area. The BCS and NCAA made a concerted effort to keep the collegiate atmosphere of the event and denied access to celebrities. Each school had five passes for ex-players and USC’s credentials went to Anthony Munoz, Ron Lott, Marcus Allen, Rodney Peete and Marlin McKeever.Cheer: Both Munoz and Lott were totally impressed with Young. ”Amazing” is how Lott described Young, while Munoz called him ”unbelievable.” Young finished the night with a game-high 200 rushing yards (with three touchdowns) and another 267 through the air. That’s 839 total yards and eight TDs in two Rose Bowls.Jeer: College football games are measured in 15 quarters. The profits at ABC are measured by the number of commericals aired. The quickest of the four quarters was the first, which lasted a mere 41 minutes. The TV timeout guy on the sideline almost had more field time than Reggie Bush.Cheer: The Longhorn marching band paid tribute to the Beatles at halftime. During its rendition of `Hey Jude,’ the Show Band of the Southwest formed outlines of the state of Texas, a Longhorn, the Lone Star and the block T.Jeer: Texas special teams. It’s hard to lay claim to anything when your kicker misses an extra point and field goal and the punt receiving team coughs up the ball that leads to a touchdown. But give Texas coach Mack Brown plenty of credit for keeping kicker David Pino focused.Cheer: Texas demonstrated the effectiveness, at least for a while, of the no-huddle offense. It’s no longer just for the final two minutes of the game. For the fans, it generates more plays, and that’s what the game is really all about. USC defenders said they were surprised by the offense, which turned the tide of the game.Jeer: Due to the tight confides of the Rose Bowl, neither school’s mascot was able to roam as usual. USC’s Traveler was limited to a 25-yard slow trot along the USC sidelines. Bevo, the Texas longhorn, was stuck in the opposite corner, its horns flanked by handlers in case anyone got too close.Cheer: Fans from both sides brought their `A’ game. The crowd of 93,986 appeared to be split evenly between cardinal-and-gold and burnt orange. However, as the game went on, the roar of the USC fans grew louder. But in the end, ”The Eyes of Texas” resonated throughout the Arroyo Seco.Cheer: At 8:59 p.m., those who bet the over finally took a breath. The over/under for the game was 69 1/2 points and the defenses made it look like a losing bet at first. But thanks to Lendale White, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinhart and Young, the game turned out as high-scoring as many predicted.Jeer: For the most part, the fans were well-behaved. But that old Texas arrogance, last really noticed in the championship seasons more than 30 years ago, emerged after the game. Texas fans chanted “Heisman recount” after the game, a reference to Bush, who won the trophy over Young.Cheer: To the Rose Bowl, for another great game conducted under safe conditions.Louis Brewster is Sports Editor for The Sun. He can be reached at (909) 386-3935 or [email protected] last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *