Texas Legend Vince Young on Game-Winning TD vs USC in 2006 Rose Bowl: ‘Run Forrest Run’

Rob Lep

Vince Young is a college football legend. He’s highly regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport and he’ll always hold a special place in the hearts of Texas Longhorns fans. He had his No. 10 jersey retired by the program on August 30, 2008.

Young was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame last month in New York City, along with a special 2019 induction class including Patrick Willis, Torry Holt, Darren McFadden, etc.

“Woah man, hard works pays off,” Young said. “To be recognized as one of the best players to ever play college football, I’m so blessed. When I’m dead and gone, my son, my kids get to experience this. It’s a blessing to be a part of the College Football Hall of Fame. That brotherhood.

Now we all remember Young’s accomplishments and accolades on the field. For him personally, that’s actually not his favorite memory from his time in Austin.

“Graduating. I was the first to graduate in my family. To walk across that stage, my son was three years old he ran up to me gave me a big hug and that was the best moment. To do what i went to school for, go to college, get an education and win a national title with it. It’s a dream come true.

He led the Longhorns to the 2005 BCS National Championship after defeating Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and the University of Southern California Trojans 41-38 in the 2006 Rose Bowl. It’s widely recognized as one of the greatest games in college football history.

“My god, the people that were at the game, Michael Jordan, Steve McNair, Tiger Woods, Ronnie Lott, Matthew McConaughey, Roger Clemens, all these people to see us play, we finished it the right way. A lot of legends will say ‘this is the greatest game ever played in college football history”.

Two weeks earlier, also in New York City just like Tuesday’s ceremony, Bush beat out Young for the 2006 Heisman Trophy. Bush won the award with blank percentage of the first place and Young coming in second.

“It was tough. Reggie is a good dude we text all the time when I lost that Heisman, I was pissed off. That was a little extra fuel to make sure we got the trophy.”

In that special 2006 Rose Bowl, Young accounted for 467 total yards of offense (200 rushing, 267 passing) and three rushing touchdowns to lead the Longhorns to college football immortality.

“I think so,” Young said when asked if that iconic ’06 Rose Bowl is the greatest game in college football history. But my favorite is the Michigan game. It set the tone for Texas football and people didn’t understand how big Texas football is. To have the opportunity to win national title and be part of that history with my teammates and history, that’s a dream come true.

The moment that everyone remembers: his 9-yard touchdown scramble on 4th down with 19 seconds left to seal the win.

“That’s min u 2. We had a post route flat, go route and crazy part about it, Coach Davis, my offensive coordinator and Coach Brown, if the play was on the line, what would you call? Quarterback sneak. ‘Nah that’s a good play but let’s pass to give you the run pass option.’ That’s why players play and coaches coach. My tackle made a hell of a block and everything was green from there and it was ‘Run Forrest Run!’.

Young had a 30–2 record as a starter, best all-time by a Texas quarterback for most wins, although his successor, Colt McCoy, would far surpass him with 45.

His .938 winning percentage as a starting quarterback ranks sixth best in Division-I history.

Young’s other Texas program achievements include:

  • Young's career passing completion percentage is the best in Texas history, 60.8%.
  • Young passed for 6,040 yards (No. 5 in Texas history) and 44 touchdowns (No. 4 in Texas history)
  • 3,127 rushing yards (No. 1 on Texas's all-time QB rushing list/No. 7 on Texas's all-time list)
  • 37 touchdowns (No. 5 on Texas's all-time rushing touchdowns list/ tied for No. 1 among quarterbacks)
  • Vince Young was the first player in NCAA I-A history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. The only other player to do so was Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan University.

Anyone that knows Texas football is well aware of actor Matthew McConaughey, who is a Texas football super fan.

McConaughey and Young have developed a good friendship over their years. It’s safe to say they have at least two things in common, their love for Longhorns football and steaks.

“That’s my guy,” Young said. “My wife and his wife hang out. He makes one of the best steaks you’ve ever had. It’s really good. Matt if you’re listening I haven’t had dinner with you in a while. Let’s make it happen.”

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