1:00 PM ET, October 8, 2005
Cotton Bowl, DALLAS, TX
DALLAS (AP) -- The game was over, the "Eyes of Texas" had been sung and Vince Young was still on the run.
The Texas Longhorns had finally beaten the Oklahoma Sooners -- stuck it to 'em, 45-12 -- and more than 30,000 people wearing burnt orange were on their feet turning five years of frustration into sheer joy. Young had as much to celebrate as anyone, so he whipped up a few more cheers by going along the stands slapping hands and posing for pictures.
"We wanted them to feel everything we were feeling," Young said. "It was a great moment for all of us."
Young showed the Sooners how much he's developed since their last meeting, throwing three touchdown passes and guiding the No. 2 Longhorns to a victory with so many meaningful implications.
It starts with Texas (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) shattering its longest losing streak in this 100-game series since the 1950s, and it means the Longhorns have cleared a huge hurdle in pursuit of their first national championship since 1969.
Young redeemed himself for last year's shutout and continued a winning streak he's been building ever since. Although that 12-game run includes beating Michigan in the Rose Bowl and winning at Ohio State, this one means the most to coach Mack Brown because it ends the year-round question of when he'll beat Oklahoma. Doing it with aggressive play-calling helps his image, too.
"We've had a tough time in this series. I'm not proud of that and I feel responsible for that," Brown said. "To see the kids out on the field with the fans, the interaction after the game, is something you feel really good about."
The Sooners (2-3, 1-1) looked nothing like the clubs that drummed the Longhorns by a combined scored of 189-54 the last five years. Then again, they're not.
Oklahoma has only six starters back and came into this game unranked for the first time since its last loss to Texas, in 1999. Star running back Adrian Peterson, who gained 225 yards against the Longhorns last year, was limited to three early carries for 10 yards because of a sprained ankle.
That left the offense in the hands of freshman quarterback Rhett Bomar, and it was too much for him to handle.
The Sooners didn't have a play go longer than 9 yards until there was 12:04 left and they were trailing 38-6. Bomar capped that drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass, but his next series ended with him fumbling and the Longhorns returning it 67 yards for the kind of pour-it-on touchdown Oklahoma has rung up on them the last five years.
"It's just a learning experience," said Bomar, who was 12-of-33 for 94 yards and an interception. "[Young] showed the improvement over the years. That's what I'm looking for next year."
Young finished 14-of-27 for 241 yards with no interceptions and ran for 45 yards. Freshman running back Jamaal Charles had 116 yards on nine carries and then left with an injury in the third quarter, and Billy Pittman caught four passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Young said this week he was "real uptight" before facing Oklahoma last year. He showed he wasn't going to make that mistake again two hours before kickoff when he was on the field listening to music and dancing.
His good vibe continued when he led the Longhorns 82 yards on the opening drive for a 7-0 lead, their first against the Sooners since 2002 and one they would never relinquish. Young was 5-for-5 for 60 of those yards, including the last 15 on a lob to Ramonce Taylor in the end zone.
Oklahoma used two field goals to get within 7-6 before Charles answered with an 80-yard touchdown run on Texas' next snap -- and the rout was on, especially after an interception by Oklahoma was erased because of a questionable pass interference penalty.
The Longhorns ended up with a field goal on that drive and then stretched the lead to 24-6 when Young and Pittman connected on a 64-yard touchdown pass with 17 seconds left in the second quarter.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops spent the rest of the game wondering what might've happened had the Sooners kept the interception.
"That was a big swing," Stoops said. "We're hanging in there, with a chance to make some plays and we don't. That was tough to overcome."
While Stoops has often unveiled a new strategy to great success against the Longhorns, he was out of answers this time. His biggest wrinkle was a fake punt on fourth-and-2 that only turned into a first down after officials studied the replay.
Texas' second half provided a few more highlight plays, such as Pittman making a one-handed catch on a 27-yard touchdown in the third quarter, a 5-yard touchdown by Selvin Young and defensive tackle Rod Wright -- who predicted that the Longhorns would "dominate" -- scoring on the long fumble return.
"You could tell everyone was really excited and ready to play," Wright said. "We had the attitude to go out and play our best game."
Texas is coming out of the Oklahoma game with a perfect record for the first time since 1983, when the Longhorns ended up going 11-0 before blowing a chance at finishing No. 1 by losing to Georgia in the Cotton Bowl.
Their immediate goal is winning the Big 12 South to get to the conference championship, but there's no doubt fans are already thinking about playing in the Rose Bowl for the national title.
"I'm excited about where we are and where I think we're going," Brown said. "I don't think we've played near our best game. We're 5-0 but we have improvement to make in many areas. We have a chance to be special."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Vince Young connected with Billy Pittman on a 64-yard TD pass with 17 seconds left in the second quarter. That made the score 24-6 at halftime, which was too much for OU to overcome.
Gameball goes to... Vince Young. The Texas QB and Heisman-hopeful finished 14-of-17 for 241 yards with three TDs and no interceptions. He also ran for 45 yards.
Stat of the game... 1983: This was the last year that the Longhorns came out of the Oklahoma game with a perfect record.
The Fan Pick
94.3% of College Pick'em players picked Texas to win the game.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-18||6-15|
|4th Down Conversions||1-1||2-2|
|TD||9:04||RAMONCE TAYLOR 15 YD PASS FROM VINCE YOUNG (DAVID PINO KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 82 yards.
|FG||4:16||GARRETT HARTLEY 52 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 13 yards.
|FG||1:31||GARRETT HARTLEY 26 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 17 yards.
|TD||1:18||JAMAAL CHARLES 80 YD RUN (DAVID PINO KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||3:46||DAVID PINO 37 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 32 yards.
|TD||0:17||BILLY PITTMAN 64 YD PASS FROM VINCE YOUNG (DAVID PINO KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 70 yards.
|TD||5:26||BILLY PITTMAN 27 YD PASS FROM VINCE YOUNG (DAVID PINO KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 53 yards.
|TD||13:06||SELVIN YOUNG 5 YD RUN (DAVID PINO KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 64 yards.
|TD||11:35||JOE JOHN FINLEY 15 YD PASS FROM RHETT BOMAR (FAILED 2PT PASS)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 38 yards.
|TD||7:41||RODRIQUE WRIGHT 67 YD DEFENSIVE FUMBLE RETURN (DAVID PINO KICK)||12||45|