National Championship moments: 1970 Football
Texas entered the 1970 season with a 20-game winning streak on the line as the defending National Champions. With all of their startling credentials, the Longhorns went into the campaign ranked No. 2 behind Ohio State in the polls.
Despite a rash of preseason injuries, UT stormed into the year with a pair of decisive victories against California (56-15) and at Texas Tech (35-13).
The win over the Golden Bears propelled the Longhorns into the No. 1 spot in the United Press International (UPI) poll and narrowed their gap on Ohio State for the top spot in The Associated Press (AP) poll. Despite the easy win against Tech, the Horns dropped back to No. 2 in the UPI poll with Ohio State claiming a unanimous No. 1, again.
With UTís winning streak standing at 22 games, it appeared that the string of success with the unstoppable ďWishboneĒ had finally run out. In the seasonís third week, No. 13 UCLA conceived a unique defense that stymied the Longhorns. The Bruins appeared ready to end the streak with a 17-13 lead, 25 seconds remaining and Texas 45 yards away from the end zone. It was then that UT quarterback Eddie Phillips hit Cotton Speyrer in stride at the 25-yard line. Speyrer shook a UCLA defender and crossed the goal line with only 12 seconds left as UT came away with a 20-17 victory.
After the come-from-behind home victory against UCLA, the Longhorns posted back-to-back victories against Oklahoma (41-9) and at Rice (45-21). Those wins vaulted the Longhorns ahead of Ohio State into the nationís top spot.
A 42-15 win against SMU helped the Longhorns maintain the top spot. In its second week at No. 1, UT was forced to hold off a stubborn Baylor team in Waco (21-14) to remain at No. 1.
The Longhorns continued to hold the top spot with decisive victories at TCU (58-0) and against archrival Texas A&M (52-14) to set up a battle with No. 4 Arkansas. For the second consecutive year, the meeting with the Razorbacks would decide the Southwest Conference crown.
After claiming their third consecutive SWC crown with a 42-7 win against Arkansas, the Longhorns were awarded the UPI National Championship.
UT entered its Cotton Bowl rematch with No. 6 Notre Dame as the nationís top team in both The AP and UPI polls.
After falling 24-11 to the Fighting Irish, which snapped UTís 30-game winning streak, the Longhorns dropped to No. 3 in The AP poll, but remained UPIís National Champion. The 30-game winning streak currently stands as the 12th-longest in NCAA history.
Defensive end Bill Atessis, fullback Steve Worster and offensive tackle Bobby Wuensch earned consensus All-America and All-SWC recognition. Running back Jim Bertelsen and offensive guard Bobby Mitchell also earned All-SWC accolades. Henderson, Worster, Wuensch and Bill Zapalac were the captains for the 10-1 (7-0, SWC Champion) Longhorns.