2005 Oklahoma vs. Texas football game
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Template:Use mdy dates Template:Infobox NCAA football single game The 2005 Oklahoma vs. Texas football game, played October 8, 2005, was the 100th meeting between the University of Oklahoma and The University of Texas at Austin in a college football game. The annual game between the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners is called the Red River Shootout. It is considered by college football coaches to be one of the three greatest rivalry games in college football, and Fox Sports says the rivalry includes some of the most unusual traditions in the sport. The game often has conference or national title significance (as this game did) and the series is unusual in that it is played at a neutral site instead of the home teams' stadium.
The 2005 Texas Longhorn football team (variously "Texas" or "UT" or the "Horns") was coached by head football coach Mack Brown and led on the field by quarterback Vince Young. The 2005 Oklahoma Sooners football team (variously "Oklahoma" or "OU") was coached by Bob Stoops with Rhett Bomar at quarterback. This was the fourth game of the 2005 season for both teams. Texas came into the game with a 4–0 record and a No.2 ranking. Oklahoma was 2–2 and unranked. Both teams were 1–0 in conference play. Since the two teams are both in the South Division of the Big 12 Conference, winning this game would be an important step towards winning the Division and possibly the Conference. For Texas, a loss would likely eliminate hope of them playing in the BCS National Championship Game.
Prior to the game, UT was favored by 14 points. They took an early 7-point lead and led for the rest of the game. Although the score was close for the first quarter, Texas eventually won the game by 33 points, tying the biggest margin of victory for the Longhorns (a 40–7 victory in 1941) in the 100-game history of the rivalry. For Mack Brown, beating Oklahoma for the first time in five years allowed him to "get the monkey off his back" and shed his reputation as a coach incapable of winning the most important games.
The stadium attendance was 75,452 people, and the game was televised over most of the United States on ABC. Texas' win kept them near the front of the national championship picture. They ultimately finished the season unbeaten, snaring the Big 12 Conference and NCAA championships. Oklahoma finished the season with eight wins and four losses and ranked No. 22 in the nation.
The Red River Shootout
Template:Main article The Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns are two of the most storied programs in college football. Prior to 2005 each school had participated in college football for more than 100 years. They are home to nationally-known traditions from the Sooner Schooner and the RUF/NEKS at Oklahoma to Bevo and the Hook 'em Horns of Texas. The annual OU/UT football game is considered to be one of the greatest rivalry games in all of college sports.
The 2005 matchup was officially called the Red River Rivalry, but the game is better known by its traditional name, the Red River Shootout. It is played at a neutral site, the Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas, Texas, amid the atmosphere of the Texas State Fair which is held adjacent to the Cotton Bowl. Dallas is approximately half the distance between the two school campuses, and the stadium is divided down the 50-yard line, with half of the stadium clad in the "crimson and cream" colors of Oklahoma, and the other half wearing the burnt orange and white of Texas. Three rivalry trophies are presented to the winning of each year's contest. The anticipation for the 2005 meeting was especially keen since it marked the 100th Red River Shootout.
The game typically has conference or even national significance. Since 1945, one or both of the two teams has been ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation coming into 60 out of 65 games. Prior to the 2005 game, Texas held an advantage in the all-time series 55–39–5, which included a 43–35–4 edge in Dallas, but Oklahoma had won five consecutive games, including the worst loss ever for a Texas team in the series. That was the longest losing streak for the Longhorns going back to the 1950s and during those five years the Sooners had 189 points to 59 points by UT. Those five straight losses had helped build a reputation for Mack Brown that he was not capable of winning in so-called "Big Games". Four times during those five years, Texas' loss to Oklahoma was what prevented them from playing in the Big 12 Conference Championship Game.
The 2005 game was the 100th meeting in the series and a special logo (above right) was created to commemorate the event. The game logo included both team logos as well as the logo of the sponsor for that game, SBC communications, as well as the number 100.
Prior to the game
Oklahoma is the winningest program in what is widely considered the modern era of college football. OU has the most victories and best winning percentage of any team since the end of World War II. The Sooners have earned seven AP National Championships (1950, 1955, 1956, 1974, 1975, 1985, 2000) in that span and are recognized by the NCAA for 16 titles. They have been ranked first in the AP and BCS polls more than any other team, have been ranked in the top 5 of the AP and BCS polls more than any other team, and have scored more points than any other team in the modern era. Naturally, Oklahoma had high expectations for the year. Their pre-season ranking of No. 7 in the nation and the fact they had made it to the national championship game in both 2003 and 2004 only served to support this assumption.
One of the three most victorious programs in college football history as judged by either number of wins or winning percentage, the University of Texas has traditionally been considered among the elite of college football. From 1936 to 2004, the team finished the season in the top ten 23 times, or one-third of the time, according to the Associated Press. The team that coach Mack Brown fielded in 2005 has been called one of the most memorable in college football history by College Football News.
The 2005 UT team was attempting to follow on the success of the 2004 season, in which quarterback Vince Young led the team to Mack Brown's first Bowl Championship Series (BCS) game in the 2005 Rose Bowl and a top-5 finish in the polls. However, even that successful season was marred by a loss to Oklahoma, the fifth straight loss for the Horns. With the exception of Cedric Benson, Derrick Johnson, and Bo Scaife, Texas returned most of their key players from 2004–2005, including redshirt junior quarterback Vince Young.
Texas was given a pre-season No. 2 ranking (behind defending National Champions University of Southern California) by Sports Illustrated magazine and was also ranked second in the pre-season Associated Press Poll and USA Today Coaches Poll. This created anticipation that Texas might play for the national championship if they could win their road game against the Ohio State Buckeyes and if they could snap their five-game losing streak against the Sooners.
For either team to play in the national title game, that team had to end up ranked No. 1 or No. 2 at the end of the regular season. Since the Bowl Championship Series was formed in 1998, 9 of the 14 teams were unbeaten going into the championship game. The only time the national champion has not been unbeaten during that stretch was in 2003 when LSU and USC claimed a share of the title as each finished with one loss. Ohio State tackle Kirk Barton would later say "There’ll probably be two undefeated teams at the end of the road and if you’re not one of them you’re probably not going to be playing for the championship. So you’ve got to treat every game like it’s the Super Bowl. You only get one opportunity." Template:Further information Template:Further information
Template:See also Oklahoma won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. Texas used 5:52 worth of game clock to score on their first possession (12 plays, 82 yards) with a touchdown by Ramonce Taylor. It marked the first time Texas had taken a lead in the Red River Rivalry since 2002. OU and UT traded punts and then OU's Garrett Hartley scored a 52-yard field goal to make the score Oklahoma-3, Texas-7. This was the longest field goal of Hartley's college career. OU kicked off for a touchback and Texas started on their own 20. On the first play, tailback Selvin Young rushed over the right guard to the UT22 where OU's D.J. Wolfe forced a fumble; the ball was recovered by OU's Zach Latimer at the UT26. The Sooners ran two rushing plays to acquire a first down at the fifteen. A short run-play, a short pass play, and an incomplete pass followed to set up fourth and four from the 9. OU elected for field goal making the score 6–7 in favor of the Horns. OU kicked off for another touchback so Texas again started at their 20. The first play was a hand off to Jamaal Charles and he ran it 80 yards for a touchdown. The Sooners punted on their next possession, and the first quarter ended with Texas on their own 23-yard-line and an eight-point lead.
Texas was not able to score on that drive and they punted the ball to Oklahoma, who began their drive on their 32-yard line. It was the first of four consecutive combined punts for the two teams and during this time the clock wound down to 6:54 remaining in the first half. Texas snapped the scoring drought with an eight play, 32-yard drive that culminated in a 38-yard field goal. The Sooners punted on their next possession, giving the ball to UT on their 30-yard line with 0:55 remaining. Vince Young rushed for eleven yards and a first down, but the next play was called back because of a Longhorn penalty. Young then completed a pass to Billy Pitman who ran 64 yards along the left sideline for a touchdown with 0:17 in the half. The extra point made the score OU-6, UT-24 and Oklahoma took a knee to end the half.
The Longhorns scored once in the third quarter as Young threw a 27-yard pass to Billy Pittman to increase the Longhorn lead to 25 points. As stated by the Associated Press, "the rout was on". The Sooners only got within UT territory once, and that drive ended abruptly when Michael Huff intercepted Rhett Bomar's pass at the UT36. This was the first interception for Bomar in 73 attempts. As the third quarter ended, UT had just gained a first down at the OU37.
UT did score a touchdown on that drive to go ahead 38–6. The kickoff by UT's Greg Johnson went 54 yards to the OU 11 where Lendy Holmes caught the ball and made a 21-yard return to the OU 32. UT committed two penalties on the play: a face mask penalty for 15 yards and a personal foul, also for 15 yards. This gave the Sooners their best starting field position of the day: 1st and 10, OU ball on the UT 38. From there, OU punched in the touchdown with a five-play series culminating in a 15-yard pass to Joe Jon Finley. Texas ended their next series by punting. OU drove to the Texas 23 when Brian Robison sacked Bomar and forced a fumble. The ball was picked up by UT's Rodrique Wright, who ran 67 yards for a touchdown with 7:41 left in the game. For the second time in a row, the Sooners combined a kick-off return with a penalty against Texas. This time, Lendy Holmes fielded the ball at the OU 17 and returned it 29 yards to the OU 46. The penalty was another personal foul against Texas, which move the ball to the UT 39. The Texas defense stopped Oklahoma and Garrett Hartley came in to attempt a 41-yard field goal but it went wide right and UT took over at its own 24 with 2:21 remaining and a 45–12 lead. Texas ran three running plays and then took a knee to run out the clock.
Prior to the game, the Longhorns were ranked second by the Associated Press, and the Sooners were unranked for the first time since 1999, which was also Texas's last victory over OU. Texas was favored by 14 points; they ended up winning the game by 33 points, tying the biggest margin of victory for the Longhorns (a 40–7 victory in 1941) in the 100-game history of the rivalry. The game also marked the sixth time the Longhorns have entered the contest ranked second nationally, and they have won all six times. With the win, Texas started their season 5–0 for the first time since 1983. That also happened to be the last time UT had legitimate national title hopes, ending the regular season 11–0 before losing to Georgia in the Cotton Bowl Classic game. For Mack Brown, beating Oklahoma for the first time in five years allowed him to "get the monkey off his back" and shed his reputation as a coach incapable of winning the most important games.
By breaking the string of five consecutive losses to Oklahoma, Longhorn coach Mack Brown preserved the Longhorns's National Championship hopes. UT Freshman running back Jamaal Charles set a record for rushing yards by a Texas freshman in the series. With his 80-yard scamper, Charles also had the longest touchdown from scrimmage by a Texas running back in the series. Vince Young completed 14 out of 27 passes for 241 yards and also ran for 45 yards.
After the game
As had occurred the two seasons prior when Oklahoma won the Red River Shootout en route to a national title game, the road to the 2005 National Championship game went through Dallas. This time it was Texas who eventually finished the season of 2005–2006 as the only undefeated team, winning both the Big 12 Conference championship and the National Championship.
The Longhorns' penultimate victory of the season, in the Big 12 Championship Game, featured the biggest margin of victory in the history of that contest. Their ultimate victory in the 2006 Rose Bowl against the University of Southern California Trojans for the national championship, as well as their overall season, have both been cited as standing among the greatest performances in college football history by publications such as College Football News, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Scout.com, and Sports Illustrated. The Longhorns and the Trojans were together awarded the 2006 ESPY Award by ESPN for the "Best Game" in any sport. The Longhorns finished the season as the only unbeaten team, with 13 wins and zero losses overall.
The season gave Texas its second Big 12 football championship (27 conference championships total, including 25 in the Southwest Conference), and fourth consensus national championship in football. It was the ninth perfect season in the history of Longhorn football.
UT set numerous school and NCAA records, including most points scored in a season (652). After the season ended, six Longhorns from this championship team were selected by professional football teams in the 2006 NFL Draft. With Texas going on to Pasadena to cap the 2005 season by playing for a national title, four of the last six Red River Shootouts have featured a team that went on to play in the Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game (2000, 2003–5).
Just prior to the start of Oklahoma's 2006 season, Rhett Bomar was kicked off the team for accepting improper cash contributions. On July 11, 2007, the NCAA announced a finding of "failure to monitor" the employment of student athletes and handed out penalties. These included a verdict that all wins from the 2005 OU season were vacated, changing the team's record from 8–4 to 0–4 for that year. The University of Oklahoma has announced that it will appeal the finding and the vacation of the wins from the 2005 season.
Notes and references
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