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'Horns vs. Trojans One-on-One Battles
PHIL TAYLOR
December 19, 2005
USC has won 34 straight, Texas 19 in a row. The two teams have been ranked first and second, respectively, since the first preseason polls came out. When the Trojans and the Longhorns meet in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4, these seven matchups will go a long way in determining the national champion. Which player will get the upper hand on the opponent lined up across from him?
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December 19, 2005

'horns Vs. Trojans One-on-one Battles

USC has won 34 straight, Texas 19 in a row. The two teams have been ranked first and second, respectively, since the first preseason polls came out. When the Trojans and the Longhorns meet in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4, these seven matchups will go a long way in determining the national champion. Which player will get the upper hand on the opponent lined up across from him?

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Vince Young
QUARTERBACK

VS.

Oscar Lua
MIDDLE LINEBACKER

YOUNG IS such a dangerous runner that most teams use a "spy" against him, a defensive player whose first priority is to track him all over the field. That duty could fall to Lua because of his position in the middle. But after ACL surgeries on both knees, Lua might not have the speed to be an effective shadow, in which case the Trojans could turn to free safety Scott Ware or replace a linebacker with a nickelback. If Lua can handle the job and USC can contain Young's running with its base defense, the Trojans will take away an important dimension of the Texas attack.

Michael Huff
SAFETY

VS.

Reggie Bush
TAILBACK

AT SOME point, perhaps at several points, Bush is going to break into the secondary, where his jukes and jump cuts have made many a defensive back stagger like a drunken frat boy. It will be largely up to Huff, the Thorpe Award winner as the nation's top defensive back, to corral him in the open field. Huff may be up to the task because he and his roommate, safety Michael Griffin, are the Longhorns' two leading tacklers. But if Bush makes them miss, he could take off on the kind of long, dazzling gallops that won him the Heisman Trophy.

David Thomas
TIGHT END

VS.

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