AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Freshman Jamaal Charles is starting to look as if he could be the next great Texas running back.
Charles ran for 189 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries in his first career start to lead the No. 2 Longhorns to a 51-10 win over Rice on Saturday night.
"I think he can be a special player," coach Mack Brown said. "He's three games into a career that could be really good."
Brown ought to know. He coached Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams in 1998 and spent the last four years with Cedric Benson, who finished his career as the fifth-leading rusher in major college history.
Throw in Heisman winner Earl Campbell and Roosevelt Leaks into mix and the Longhorns have a rich legacy of dominating ball carriers.
And while it's a bit early yet to put the freshman on their level, Charles' early season numbers are certainly impressive.
Charles had a pair of 25-yard scoring runs in the first quarter and added another 4-yard TD in the second as Texas (3-0) built a 42-0 lead by halftime. He had four runs of 20 or more yards in his first 10 carries.
He threatened Benson's Texas freshman record of 213 yards set against Kansas in 2001 but left the game in the third quarter.
"My goal every game is to run for 200 yards," Charles said. "I came close but I wasn't disappointed because another goal is to rush for three touchdowns and I hit that one."
Texas has won 38 of the last 39 meetings in a rivalry that dates back to 1914. Rice (0-2) managed just 209 total yards Saturday night and has been outscored by Texas 134-30 in the last three years.
After setting a UT freshman debut record with 135 yards in the season opener, Charles played a major role coming off the bench in Texas' win at Ohio State. He got his first start against Rice in place of the banged up Selvin Young, who has struggled to stay healthy in his return from a broken ankle last season.
Rice gave up 63 points in a season-opening loss at UCLA and Owls defenders looked lost when trying to stop the shifty Charles, who cut and weaved his way through tacklers. His first touchdown capped a 6-play drive that covered 80 yards.
"He has a lot of speed," Rice cornerback Ja'Corey Shepherd said. "What he killed us on was his cutback."
Even when Rice had Texas bottled up on its own 1, the Owls couldn't do anything to stop the Longhorns rushing attack. Quarterback Vince Young scrambled for 51 yards on third down before Charles finished the 99-yard scoring drive with his second 25-yard TD, breaking several tackles on his way to the end zone.
"I haven't seen anyone with a burst like that," Texas guard Will Allen said. "He makes his move and he's gone."
Charles then had runs of 26 and 20 yards before scoring his third TD that made it 21-0 in the second quarter.
About the only thing the Longhorns didn't do was pad Vince Young's stats to help his bid for the Heisman Trophy.
After passing for 270 yards and two scores against Ohio State, Young was 8-for-14 for 101 yards with one interception, no touchdowns and 77 yards rushing. He was 3-of-6 before completing three passes for 47 yards on the final drive of the first half that ended with Henry Melton's 1-yard touchdown. Young left the game midway through the third quarter.
"Tonight was just about being a leader and being a quarterback," Young said. "Each of us on the offensive side have to make plays. Today it was Jamaal Charles' turn."
Texas also scored a pair of defensive touchdowns in the first half.
Safety Michael Huff scored his fifth career TD with a 21-yard fumble return and Frank Okam fell on a fumble by Rice quarterback Chase Clement in the end zone.
Texas is off next week before opening Big 12 play Oct. 1 at Missouri.
Coming off the big win against Ohio State and the open weekend ahead of them, Brown was pleased his team put away an overmatched opponent early.
"It was a dominating win," Brown said.