Applewhite leads Longhorns to win at the tape

Major Applewhite threw for 473 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Texas Longhorns to an exciting 47-43 win at Qualcomm Stadium in the Holiday Bowl this evening. Applewhite was 37 of 55 and was able to overcome three interceptions. Texas scored four touchdowns in the final quarter against Washington.

The Huskies looked to be in fine shape when Willie Hurst took off through the left side of the Longhorn defense and scampered 34 yards for a touchdown to put the Huskies back on top 43-40 with just 1:49 remaining in the game.

It turned out to be more than enough time for Texas. Starting from their own 20, Applewhite found Bo Scaife for 12 yards. He then found B. J. Johnson open for 25 yards to move the ball into Husky territory quickly. Applewhite hit Scaife for six yards before launching a deep ball that Williams caught in front of Chris Massey for 32 yards to the Husky five. Longhorn running back Ivan Williams bolted in from three-yards out with 38 seconds remaining in the game to win it for Texas.

Longhorn receiver Roy Williams had 11 receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown while Johnson racked up 157 yards on just six catches. Both burned the Husky secondary for touchdowns. Scaife also had a score to go with his 84 yards on seven receptions.

For the Huskies, Cody Pickett completed 27 of 54 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions. Tight end Jerramy Stevens, perhaps playing his final game as a Husky, finished in grand style with 109 yards on nine receptions to lead the Huskies.

Senior tailback Willie Hurst ended his Husky career with a fine effort, rushing for 137 yards and two scores on 16 carries.

Washington's defense sold out to stop the run and was extremely successful in stuffing Texas in the first half when the Huskies raced to a 23-14 lead. They also held the Longhorns to just 119 total rushing yards for the game, but it came at a price as Applewhite sliced and diced the Husky secondary, particularly in the second half.

After a scoreless first quarter Washington went to work on offense. A 16-yard completion to Tight End Jerramy Stevens and a nifty seven-yard run by Hurst. Alexis picked up seven on a screen pass, setting up third and three from the Texas 27-yard line. Pickett was only able to pick up two yards and Anderson was summoned to kick a 43-yard field goal. The snap dribbled back to Pickett, who did an incredible job of getting the ball prone in time for Anderson to boom it through for the first points of the game.

Washington's defense, sporting a different look, created the first of several breaks on Texas' next possession. Major Applewhite dropped back and tried to force a ball to tight end Bo Scaife. Washington's flex defense confused the senior quarterback and he didn't see Husky linebacker Ben Mahdavi sitting in a zone. Mahdavi made the interception, the first of his career, giving the Dawgs the ball on the Texas 26-yard line. John Anderson converted it into points by knocking through a 44-yarder to up the Husky lead to 6-0.

Applewhite still was confused by the new wrinkle in the Husky defense, and would pay dearly on his next throw. With 6:54 remaining in the half the left-hander threw a flare pass to the right flat without realizing that 6-5 270-pound Husky nose tackle Terry Johnson had dropped into coverage. Johnson showed the world that why he was recruited as a tight end as he picked the ball off and sprinted 38 yards for the score to put the Huskies further on top at 13-0.

Just when the Texas fans began to look to their bench to see if Chris Simms was warming up, Applewhite made amends. A 30-yard completion to Scaife moved the ball to midfield. Then he lofted a ball deep for B. J. Johnson, who was covered tightly by Chris Massey. Massey turned late and was unable to get a hand on the ball and Johnson hauled it in for a 43-yard score to finally put the Longhorns on the board.

They would get a short field to work with on their next drive when safety Nathan Vasher intercepted Cody Pickett's throw intended for Todd Elstrom. Applewhite again picked on Massey, this time finding Roy Williams for a 25-yard score that pushed Texas ahead 14-13. Massey was again in perfect position but never looked back for the ball until Williams had already secured it.

Washington didn't panic. Cody Picket deftly led the Huskies back down the field, finding Stevens for eight, Williams for 14 on a slant and then Reddick again on a slant. After finding Stevens again for 13 more, Washington was sitting on the Texas 15-yard line. The Huskies went to Reggie Williams on an out that picked up seven, leaving third down and three yards to pick up. Texas then did the Huskies a huge favor by jumping offsides, setting up the Huskies first and goal on the four. On first down Washington lined up in a power running set. Instead of rushing the ball, Pickett faked to Hurst and rolled right, freezing the Texas linebackers. Tight End Joe Collier ran free across the back of the end zone and Pickett found him for the touchdown, putting the Huskies back on top 20-14.

Applewhite would throw his third interception of the half when Scaife had a ball go right through his hands and linebacker Marquis Cooper came down with the ball at the Texas 41-yard line with 33 seconds remaining in the half. A Pickett scramble netted six yards and a screen to Hurst went for 12 to put the ball on the Longhorn 23 with 13 seconds left. Pickett threw an out to Williams, who laid out for the ball but was unable to come up with the ball at the sideline. John Anderson once again came on to kick a 40-yard field goal to end the half with the Huskies on top 23-14.

Washington attempted to bury the Longhorns on their first drive of the second half. Taking over on their own nine, the Huskies went 91 yards in 15 plays, converting three third downs in a row. Pickett and Stevens hooked up for times on the drive, the final one being an 18-yard touchdown. Stevens got lost on the back side and Pickett lofted the ball to him at the 12, where he pulled it in and ran through Ahmad Brooks and into the end zone to make it 30-14.

Texas didn't roll over, however. A 15-yard late hit by Larry Tripplett on Applewhite put the ball at the Texas 45-yard line. BJ Johnson made a 25-yard reception and hung on despite taking a hard hit from Wondame Davis. A 15-yard reception by Scaife moved the ball to the Husky 15 where the drive stalled. On third down Applewhite was forced to airmail a ball through the endzone to avoid the sack. Mangum converted from 26-yards out to slice the lead to 13 points.

Washington struck right back again. A 16-yard completion to Stevens converted a third down. Two plays later Willie Hurst took a handoff headed off-tackle to the right. As he approached the line he cut back to the center of the field and split the Texas secondary for a 45-yard gain as Rod Babers caught him from behind at the Texas four-yard line. One play later Hurst raced into the end zone after Pickett pitched to him on the option. The two-point conversion failed but Washington now held a 19-point lead.

Again, Texas counter-punched with all their might. Applewhite sliced the Husky secondary, taking advantage of the aggressive Husky defense with shuttle passes and dump-offs to the backside for big yardage. From the Husky seven-yard line, Applewhite once again froze. He missed a wide-open Johnson for a sure touchdown on second down and then airmailed the ball into the cheap seats again when no Longhorn could get open on third down. Mangum's field goal closed the gap to 36-20 as the third quarter came to and end.

Then came the barrage of Longhorn points.

Ivan Williams ran for 10 yards and Applewhite found Scaife for 13 yards on third down to move the sticks. Roy Williams made an 8 yard reception and a seven yard run by Brett Robin moved the ball down to the Husky 10. A pass interference penalty on both Massey and Lowe put the ball on the two. Applewhite found running back Matt Trissel for a touchdown. Mahdavi knocked away the two-point conversion attempt, keeping the score 36-26 Washington with 11:54 remaining.

Applewhite lobbed a ball down the middle to Roy Williams. Despite tight coverage by Roc Alexander, Williams went high and brought the ball down for a 38-yard gain. An offsides penalty helped Texas move the ball further into Husky territory. Ivan Williams ran the ball twice, the second one going for a one-yard touchdown. The extra point made it a three-point game with eight minutes remaining.

Washington then blinked, and hard. Texas had been getting more and more pressure on Pickett, and it paid off when his pass intended for Stevens was deflected and intercepted by Derrick Johnson and returned to the Husky nine. Applewhite hit Scaife for a four-yard score and Texas had come all the way back to take the lead at 40-36 to set up the wild finish.
Washington 0 – 23 – 13 – 7 – 43
Texas      0 – 14 – 6 – 27 – 47

Husky Notebook:

Shot out of a cannon: Washington's Roc Alexander took the opening kickoff and raced 45 yards through the Longhorn coverage team before being tackled at midfield. An interesting note, as the opening kickoff traveled through the air, the Texas Longhorns fired a cannon. Obviously, the cannonball missed Alexander.

Just for kicks: John Anderson set a school record this evening when his second quarter 44-yard field goal sailed through the uprights. It marked his sixth bowl game field goal, breaking Travis Hanson's record of five. Anderson would add his seventh successful three-pointer as the first half ended. It was also his third successful field goal of the game, tying a Holiday Bowl record.

Quarter to remember: The 37 points scored by the Huskies and Longhorns in the second quarter tonight were a new Holiday Bowl record. The Huskies 23 second quarter points were the most ever for the school. Their three interceptions in the quarter were the most since the OSU game in 2000.

Even Stevens: Tight End Jerramy Stevens set a new career high in receptions with nine this evening. Top Stories