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January 11, 2010
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January 11, 2010

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EXCERPT | Jan. 11, 1965

Good Night, Tide

In an epic Orange Bowl, Texas held off No. 1 Alabama

Bear Bryant's unbeaten Crimsom Tide had already been crowned national champion by the AP when it met the No. 5 Longhorns on Jan. 1 in the first bowl game played at night. John Underwood reported from Miami.

Twenty-one points, first of all, represents an entire season of scoring for opponents of an Alabama football team. A 69-yard touchdown pass against an Alabama secondary might happen, but only in the dreams of a Tennessee quarterback or an end from LSU. A 79-yard touchdown run—well, some dreams are more ridiculous than others. Since Paul Bryant went to coach at Alabama seven years ago, such occurrences ceased to occur.

On the other hand Texas's longest touchdown run of the season had consumed a breath-conserving 21 yards; its longest pass for a score had covered only four more yards. Texas under Darrell Royal has been expert in the art of conservative victory, but generally its victories have been about as thrilling as the cover of a telephone directory. Texas fans once applauded quarterback Marvin Kristynik for throwing a spiral. Yet there the Longhorns were, striking long range at Alabama in the first half with Ernie Koy's 79-yard run and Jimmy Hudson's 69-yard pass to George Sauer. "Not exactly characteristic," said Royal.

Texas never got past midfield in the second half and made only four first downs as Alabama overshifted to adjust to the power sweeps of Koy. But for all the momentum that the mid-game insertion of injured Tide quarterback Joe Namath provided, it was too late for Alabama. Texas had won the game in the first half.

Heading into this year's title game, Texas had beaten Alabama in their only two meetings since this matchup, most recently winning 14--12 in 1982.

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