Washington Comes Up Short Against Texas, 47-43

Dec 29, 2001

AP Sports Writer

SAN DIEGO - Major Applewhite saved his greatest game for last as theTexas Longhorns won one of the wildest Holiday Bowls ever.

Starting his final college game after riding the bench for almost his entiresenior season, Applewhite rallied the No. 9 Longhorns to a 47-43 victory overNo. 21 Washington on Friday night in a game that'll add to this bowl's legacyof thrilling finishes.

The Longhorns (11-2) trailed by as many as 19 points and were down 36-20entering the fourth quarter. But Applewhite - who threw three interceptions inthe second quarter - was already in the process of leading Texas to scores onsix of its last seven possessions.

After Willie Hurst gave Washington a 43-40 lead on a 34-yard touchdown runwith 1:49 left, Applewhite moved the Longhorns 80 yards in seven plays, withrunning back Ivan Williams scoring on a 3-yard run with 38 seconds left.

Applewhite completed 37 of 55 passes for 473 yards, all career bests and allbreaking his own school records. His four touchdown passes tied his careerhigh.

'We all refused to quit,' Applewhite said. 'We did a great job as a team.The defense started off rough, I started off rough, but in the second half itwas another great Holiday Bowl.'

Applewhite, who holds 44 school records, got the start after replacing ChrisSimms in the second quarter of the Big 12 championship game on Dec. 1. In thatgame, Applewhite led a desperate rally that fell just short as Texas lost toColorado 39-37, blowing a shot at the national championship game.

Washington (8-4) fell to 0-3 in the Holiday Bowl despite holding a 36-17lead with 3:51 left in the third quarter.

The Longhorns, 12{-point favorites, finished with 11 victories for the fifthtime in school history.

Applewhite's 4-yard touchdown pass to Bo Scaife with six minutes left gaveTexas a 40-36 lead, three plays after linebacker Derrick Johnson interceptedCody Pickett's pass and returned it 16 yards to Washington's 9.

Applewhite was hit just as he released the TD pass, and he knew it was good.Laying on his back, he pointed both index fingers toward the sky as the Texasplayers on the field and the sideline went wild.

Still, it wasn't enough for Texas. Washington, which won five games withfourth-quarter rallies this season, appeared to have comeback win No. 6 afterHurst's run.

Texas started its winning drive with 1:49 to go, and Applewhite was 4-of-5for 75 yards before Williams got the last five yards on two carries. Applewhitehit Scaife for 12 yards before Brett Robin dropped a pass. Applewhite then hitthree straight - 25 yards to B.J. Johnson, 6 to Scaife, and 32 to Johnson.

In last year's 35-30 Holiday Bowl loss to Oregon, Johnson dropped a passfrom Simms in the end zone in the final minutes.

Pickett, who played most of the season with a separated throwing shoulder,was 27-of-54 for 293 yards and two touchdowns, with two interceptions.

After a scoreless first quarter, Applewhite's three second-quarterinterceptions led to 13 Washington points as the Huskies took a 23-14 lead inthe highest-scoring quarter in Holiday Bowl history.

Washington pushed it to 30-14 after tight end Jerramy Stevens caught a17-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter.

Applewhite then led Texas on five straight scoring drives. Dusty Mangum hadfield goals of 26 and 24 yards sandwiched around Hurst's 4-yard scoring run.Applewhite threw a 2-yard TD pass to Matt Trisell early in the fourth quarterand Ivan Williams' 1-yard run pulled the Longhorns to 36-33 with 8:01 to go.

Washington defensive tackle Terry Johnson returned an interception 38 yardsfor a touchdown and a 13-0 lead in the second quarter.

Applewhite came right back, though, and gave Texas a 14-13 lead withtouchdown passes of 43 yards to B.J. Johnson and 25 yards to Roy Williams onconsecutive drives.

Pickett ran the two-minute drill perfectly and threw a 4-yard TD pass totight end Joe Collier for a 20-14 lead with 47 seconds left in the half.

Applewhite's third pickoff, which bounced off Scaife's hands to linebackerMarquis Cooper, set up John Anderson's 40-yard field goal as time expired.Applewhite's first interception, by Ben Mahdavi, led to Anderson's 43-yardfield goal.

Texas tailback Cedric Benson, who set a school freshman record with 1,053yards, didn't play because of a stinger from the loss to Colorado.

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