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The 2005 Trojans again had a perfect 12–0 regular season.
The title game was considered another "dream matchup." Leinart himself had a great game, going 29-of-40 for a touchdown and 365 yards, but was overshadowed by Young, who piled up 467 yards of total offense and rushed for three touchdowns, including a score with 19 seconds remaining and two-point conversion to put the Longhorns ahead, 41–38.After an incomplete pass and a sack led to a fourth-and-nine situation with left—at the Trojans' own 26-yard line, Leinart called an audible "slant and go" route at the line of scrimmage and threw deep against the Irish's man-to-man coverage, where Dwayne Jarrett caught the ball and raced to the Irish' 13-yard line, a 61-yard gain.Leinart moved the ball to the goal line as time dwindled and scored on a quarterback sneak that gave the Trojans a 34–31 lead with three seconds to go, giving the Trojans their 28th straight victory and one of the most memorable and dramatic finishes in the history of the Notre Dame–USC rivalry.Going into the season, Carroll and his coaching staff selected Leinart, not because he had set himself significantly ahead of the pack in practice, but because they needed a starting quarterback.When the coaching staff told Leinart he would be the starter, he replied, "You're never going to regret this." There was some thought in the press that Leinart would merely hold the starting position until highly touted true freshman John David Booty, who had bypassed his senior year in high school to attend USC, could learn the offense.Leinart and the Trojans bounced back the next week against Arizona State.
Leinart injured his knee in the second quarter and was not expected to play again that day, but he returned to the game and finished 12-of-23 for 289 yards in a 37–17 victory.
In what many had considered one of the more competitive Heisman races, Leinart became the sixth USC player to claim the Heisman Trophy. 1 in the polls and earned a bid to the BCS title game at the Orange Bowl against Oklahoma, which was also 12–0. Leinart, which was to be the first time two Heisman winners would play against each other), the Orange Bowl turned out to be a rout, as Leinart threw for five touchdown passes on 18-for-35 passing and 332 yards to lead the Trojans to a 55–19 victory.
Leinart received Orange Bowl MVP honors and the Trojans claimed their first BCS national championship and second straight No.
He was the starting quarterback for the Trojans in 2003, 2004, and 2005. Leinart played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the Arizona Cardinals (2006–2009), Houston Texans (2010–2011), Oakland Raiders (2012), and Buffalo Bills (2013).
Leinart signed a deal with the Pac-12 Network, making his official debut as a Studio Analyst on August 30, 2014.
The Trojans lost for the first time in 35 games, and Leinart for just the second time in his 39 career starts.