Back-to-Back -dlh

Tariq Engineer

The 2005 Orange Bowl was hyped as the undisputed game of the year. It had the two top ranked teams in the nation, both of them undefeated, both of them worthy of a national title. It was going to be a heavyweight battle, possibly one for the ages. Only somebody forgot to give the teams a copy of the script.
Led by Heisman winner Matt Leinart, USC rolled over Oklahoma 55-19. It was Oklahoma’s worst defeat under Coach Stoops. The game was effectively over at the half with USC up 38-10. Leinart was 18-35 in throwing for 332 yards and five touchdowns. The five touchdowns set a new Orange Bowl record, and ended any lingering doubts about his Heisman worthiness.
His performance was in sharp contrast to last year’s Heisman winner, Jason White. White looked in control during Oklahoma’s 92-yard opening drive, capped by a touchdown pass to Travis Wilson. It put the Sooners up 7-0, but once USC evened the score, White appeared to lose his composure. He seemed to want to make things happen, perhaps to overcome the memory of last year’s championship game. The result was two quick interceptions, one the result of throwing into quintuple coverage. It took the Trojans only 10 minutes and 10 seconds to go from being down 7-0 to being up 28-7. There was no way back for Sooners back after that.
The Trojans defense also did a marvelous job containing Adrian Peterson. Peterson struggled for every one of his 82 yards, which came from 25 attempts. More often than not he was stopped either at the line of scrimmage, or just beyond it, as the Trojan defense closed down the running lanes superbly. Peter’s inability to break into the open field put more pressure on the Sooners’ passing game, which simply wasn’t up to the task.
USC now has back-to-back national football titles. More importantly they don’t have to share this one. This time they proved they are the undisputed number one team in the country. Just ask Oklahoma.

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