Young, Horns blow out Buffs 70-3 for Big 12 title win

HOUSTON (AP) -- With a Texas-sized trouncing, the Longhorns got

their tuneup, sent a message and punched their ticket to the Rose

Bowl to play for the national title that has eluded the storied

program for decades.

Undefeated Texas in bowls








vs. USC




UGA 10, Texas 9




ND 38, Texas 10




ND 24, Texas 10




Texas 21, ND 17




Texas 28, Navy 6




LSU 13, Texas 0

* Undisputed national champions

Led by four touchdowns from Vince Young and two more from Jamaal

Charles, the second-ranked Longhorns embarrassed Colorado 70-3 in

the Big 12 championship game Saturday, a predictable result that

gave them a spot in the BCS title game, Jan. 4 in Pasadena.

After their resounding win -- 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. The nation's only

other undefeated team, No. 1 USC, played No. 11 UCLA later


"This bunch, all year, has controlled their own destiny, and

they did the same today," Texas coach Mack Brown said.

With the game well in hand, some 'Horns fans clad in burnt

orange could be seen sniffing yellow roses in the stands. The

Yellow Rose of Texas -- certainly it will be popular symbol in the

Lone Star State over the next few weeks. The Longhorns are going

for their first undisputed national title since 1969, when Darrell

Royal worked the sidelines.

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.

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.

Credit for taking care of business early -- the way great teams

do -- grabbing a 14-0 lead after 11 minutes and 35-3 midway through

the second quarter. And credit for playing relatively mistake-free

ball and looking like a true power in this, the week after many

questioned their focus in a 40-29 struggle against Texas A&M.

Young got criticized in that win, many wondering if he was

really Heisman material if he couldn't dominate against the 109th

ranked defense in the country. There were no questions this time.

In the two-plus quarters he played, he finished 14-for-17 for 193

yards with three touchdown 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."

His second touchdown throw, a 31-yarder to Limas Sweed (five

catches, 102 yards), was well covered but nearly impossible to

defend because of the way Sweed screened himself away from the

defender and the way Young threw the pass, so nobody but his

receiver could catch it.

Young's 8-yard TD to David Thomas was similarly brilliant,

thrown toward the sideline as Thomas laid out to make the catch --

again well covered, but in a spot where only he could make the


Maybe Young's best play, though, was his 2-yard touchdown run, a

play in which all four Texas receivers were covered, as were all

the outside running lanes for the mobile QB. So, Young simply

picked and poked and tiptoed his way through the inside, knocking

down his own teammate, guard Will Allen, to get to the end zone

standing up.

The blowout got even more ridiculous in the third quarter when

Texas scored on its first possession, scored again off a blocked

punt, then made it 63-3 on a run by Charles (seven carries, 62

yards) after CU lost a fumble at its 26.

That score, at the 9:59 mark of the third quarter, gave Young

the rest of the day off.

As for Colorado, well, what really is there to say?

Counting their 30-3 loss last week to Nebraska that -- sadly for

the Buffs -- wasn't enough to disqualify them from this game, they

have been outscored 100-6 the last two weeks. This debacle comes a

year after their 42-3 loss to Oklahoma in the title game. On

Saturday, CU trailed 42-3 at halftime.

"A pretty numbing game," coach Gary Barnett called it.

It would have been completely laughable had CU quarterback Joel

Klatt not taken a vicious, helmet-to-helmet hit from linebacker

Drew Kelson in the third quarter that left him lying motionless in

the end zone for a few, anxious moments.

Klatt (14-for-24, 100 yards) was able to stagger off the field,

though, and can consider himself lucky if he doesn't remember much

of this one.

The Longhorns, meanwhile, will enjoy this victory and feel good

about themselves for a few days.

Then, it's on to bigger business.

Unlike last season, when Brown practically had to beg for an

at-large BCS berth and a spot in the Rose Bowl, this Pasadena trip

is undeniably well deserved.

The Longhorns won their games by an average score of 41-14. They

scored 40 points 11 times, 50 seven times, 60 four times and hit 70

in this one for the first time since 1996.

Led by safety Michael Huff and lineman Rod Wright, the defense

stayed in the top 10 in the country through most of the season.

Special teams, meanwhile, was solid all year and never more so

than Saturday, when the Horns blocked a field goal, scored a

touchdown off a blocked punt and also got a 54-yard kickoff return

from Ramonce Taylor after Colorado's lone score.

The kicking game was supposed to be Colorado's single edge in

this game, but the Horns took that away, too -- one of many

indisputable signs that they are, at the least, one of the

country's two best teams, no argument about it.