The quarterback pinned one behind his ear. The coach cradled an entire bouquet. The Texas Longhorns came out smelling like roses, with a...
HOUSTON — The quarterback pinned one behind his ear. The coach cradled an entire bouquet. The Texas Longhorns came out smelling like roses, with a resounding win that put them one victory away from the national title that has eluded the program for decades.
Led by four touchdowns from Vince Young, the second-ranked ‘Horns put a Texas-sized thumping on Colorado, 70-3 in the Big 12 championship game Saturday.
Next stop, the Rose Bowl, for the BCS title on Jan. 4 against top-ranked USC, a 66-19 winner over UCLA in a later game Saturday.
“This bunch, all year, has controlled their own destiny, and they did the same today,” coach Mack Brown said.
After their thorough dismantling of the Buffs — the eighth-largest margin of victory the program’s 113-year history — the ‘Horns (12-0) waited to see who their Rose Bowl opponent would be. That was about their only suspense for the day.
“USC has probably the second-best offense, compared to our offense, in the nation,” safety Michael Huff said. “It will be a great matchup for us. We just have to line up and play Texas defense, and we’ll be fine.”
Huff said nobody is better.
“Seeing us every day in practice, the chemistry and the way the team is, I feel we are [the best],” Huff said.
With the game well in hand in the third quarter, some ‘Horns fans clad in burnt orange could be seen sniffing yellow roses in the stands to celebrate. The Longhorns are going for their first undisputed national title since 1969, when Darrell Royal worked the sideline.
Saturday’s win gave Texas its first Big 12 title since 1996 and the first title of any kind for Brown, the veteran coach who built a reputation for his ability to recruit great teams, but never take them to the ultimate destination.
“To get him this victory, we love playing for a guy like that,” Young said.
Many felt there was no way Brown could have messed it up with this group. Against Colorado (7-5), it was never in doubt.
“It was a pretty numbing game. Actually, numb would be a good feeling right now,” Colorado coach Gary Barnett said.
But even though they were playing against a vastly overmatched opponent — a team they had already beaten 42-17 in the regular season — the Longhorns deserve credit.
In the two-plus quarters Young played, he was 14 for 17 for 193 yards with three TD passes.
“I’d just like to say, look at the year,” Brown said when asked about his quarterback’s Heisman bid. “Vince Young is a great football player and to me, the most valuable player on our football team for sure, and on any team in the country.”