A Sweet Bruin Dream: Route 66

Don't believe any of you have linked this up or posted it already. Tim Griffin, ESPN's blogger covering the Big-12 put up a great post reliving Route 66:

Rebuilding UCLA came into the season unranked. And the Bruins' national perception took a hit after starting the season with losses to Washington State and Tennessee.

The No. 11 Longhorns met UCLA without starting quarterback James Brown, who was nursing a bruised left ankle. Texas still had many of weapons returning from a team that had notched an upset victory the previous season to claim the Big 12 championship over Nebraska.

But those factors didn't matter to UCLA quarterback Cade McNown, who blistered Texas' secondary for 202 passing yards and a school-record five touchdown passes to spark the stunning victory.

McNown blew the game open with a pair of touchdown throws 20 seconds apart early in the second quarter; he hit Skip Hicks on a 43-yard scoring pass and then hooked up with Mike Grieb on a 1-yard touchdown reception after a Texas turnover.

But he was just getting started. McNown hit Jim McElroy with a 4-yard touchdown pass and Grieb with another 1-yard scoring toss that boosted UCLA to an improbable 38-0 lead with 4:37 left in the first half.

Texas got a 35-yard field goal from Phil Dawson early in the third quarter to account for all of its scoring, but the landslide didn't stop when UCLA coach Bob Toledo pulled his starters and inserted his substitutes.

The Bruins erupted for 21 points in the fourth quarter, including a 10-yard scoring run from Keith Brown with 4:24 left and a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown from Damian Allen 23 seconds later.

The Longhorns struggled with eight turnovers and seven sacks in a humiliating performance that hasn't been matched in Texas' modern football history. It was the worst home defeat in Texas history and at the time was the worst loss for a ranked team in the 61-year history of the Associated Press poll.

The game was played before a crowd of 77,203 that shrank to a few thousand hardy souls before halftime.

There is lot more about that game including some very interesting quotes in Griffin's post.

Unfortunately for me I never got to see that game because I was stuck in the law library working on a huge assignment. All I can remember was hitting the refresh button on ESPN and looking in disbelief (especially after watching the first two games - back to back heartbrakers against WSU and Tennessee - that season). So I have to settle for clips like this:


Skip Hicks v. Texas (via theriles)

And this:

Freddie Mitchell tosses a TD v. Texas (via theriles)

I bet those clips look worn out because I probably myself am responsible for 200 something views (on each).

Of course that game was the start of that 20 game magic carpet ride. To date I still believe because of Tom Hansen's ineptness we were shut out of a BCS game that season (having to settle for the Cotton Bowl victory against Texas A&M). I knew in my heart after that game and what we did rest of the season, we were the best team in the country. We would have taken care of Michigan (the national champions of that season at the Rose Bowl.

I know it's a matter of time (and it will take a lot of patience) before we get back to that level again. We did it with Bob Toledo and we can now do it again with a head coach who I believe is much more prepared and experienced than Toledo ever was when he took over the program (as the fifth choice after Neuheisel (CU), Barnett (Northwestern), Synder (KSU), and Mason (KU)).


<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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