Texas on its own 18
– Texas had better get points off this opening drive. A punt and a USC drive for a touchdown and all the momentum of the first half goes bye bye.
– Thanks you, Rose Bowl, for simply having the schools’ bands at halftime and not some sort of Janet Jackson wannabe spectacular.
– USC’s front four must have gotten a bit of a talking to at the half. It appears to have more spring in its step.
– Three and out. Why am I getting the sense the USC avalanche is about to start rolling.
– Don’t be dumb, Texas. Kick it out of bounds and take a 35-yard net. Don’t let Bush give it a try.
USC on its own 38
– I’ve been waiting for that call. With the USC WRs lined up one-on-one on the outside, I’m surprised Leinart hasn’t tried more quick-hitters to them.
– Deuce Lutui just destroyed a Texas lineman. He’s having a huge game.
– Oh yeah, USC has other weapons. It figured that out at halftime.
– Leinart has to be much, much quicker on his audibles.
– The holes have clogged up for White up the middle, but he powered over Michael Huff and bounced his way to the outside. I can’t believe he’s even considering coming back for another year. He’s a top 25 pick.
– White touchdown run. He has such a burst when he smells the goal line.
– If you’re keeping score at home, that’s the fourth shot of Matt Leinart’s dad, to only two of the USC cheerleaders. That’s not right.
– ABC immediately realizes this and gives us a shot of bouncing, celebrating cheerleaders.
– And then … Pa Leinart is back to a two-score lead.
– Where’s all that dancing and preening on the Texas sideline now? You just can’t get overconfident against USC.
USC 17 … Texas 16
Texas on its own 20
– Texas can’t start making this all about Vince Young. It has to keep using all the weapons, especially the backs.
– As I write that Jamaal Charles busts off a big run.
– I know I’ve ripped on this ad nauseum in past notes, but I really am disappointed by Keith Jackson. I can handle the bloopers and missed calls, chalk that up to the inevitability of age, and I certainly don’t want a screamer, but I need something more. Brent was awful in the Fiesta Bowl, but I’d much rather have him or Mike Tirico do a big game. It’s time for Brad Nessler to truly be ABC’s number one man for all of the really, really big games. He’s understated, but brings the right level of excitement.
– Sensational answer by Texas. Just when USC was looking to stop Charles, Young tears off a powerful, diving touchdown run.
Texas 23 …. USC 17
USC on its own 25
– Really. I’m REALLY not ripping on Reggie Bush and totally don’t mean to be negative about such a wonderful player. USC can’t go back to trying to make Bush win this game on his own. It has to keep spreading it around to all of its future NFLers, and then use Bush after the D forgets about him for a play.
– Leinart is humming. He’s doing a fantastic job of spreading it around.
– A missing persons alert has been sent out for the Texas defensive front four.
– Some might see this game as a bit of a disappointment for Bush because there hasn’t been anything spectacular, but he’s having a very effective, very solid game.
– 3rd an 1. Six bucks and the rest of my latte that Texas sells out to stop White.
– I’m right, and TE Fred Davis blows it by stepping out of bounds on the pass.
– Of course, USC goes for it on fourth down on the ten and lets White do his thing. He had a HUGE hole to run through for an easy score. The Texas defense had better figure out how to get to Leinart, and it had better start taking that Reggie Bush spy and putting him on White.
USC 24 … Texas 23
Texas on its own 20
– Keith pretending to care about reading promos for goofy ABC promos: priceless.
(NOTE: It took me years to remember this, but thanks to Twitter help, the show that had a gajillion promos during this was “Emily’s Reason’s Why Not,” which Keith kept awkwardly biffing over and over again.)
– He pronounced John Stamos, John Stah-mos.
– Oh what a catch by David Thomas to save the drive. He made a diving, reach-behind grab.
– Why is Texas sitting Jamaal Charles? He was dominant.
– And that’s why Young has to be considered the number one pick in the 2006 draft. Matt Leinart can’t change a game with 150 rushing yards.
– Assuming the Longhorns can punch it in, they had better start thinking about chasing that extra point. I hate, hate, hate going for two until you absolutely, desperately have to, but I sort of like it here with the way the USC offense is rolling.
– Why, why, why get cute? The ground game is running so well, and then Texas tries a cross-the-field pass that doesn’t work against a D with the speed of USC.
– Here comes Pino for a chip shot attempt … after the break.
Third Quarter Score: USC 24 … Texas 23