UT doubles Houston, 53-26
HOUSTON, Texas -- Chris Simms tied his career high with three touchdown passes - including a 92-yard toss to sophomore WR B.J. Johnson in the first quarter - and junior RB Ivan Williams rushed for 103 yards and a pair of scores to lead No. 5 Texas to a 53-26 victory against the Houston Cougars at Robertson Stadium.
Texas improved to 3-0 for the first time since 1994 thanks largely to an offense that produced a season-high 534 total yards and an opportunistic defense that recorded three sacks, forced three turnovers - including senior LB D.D. Lewis' school-record tying ninth career fumble recovery - and twice stopped the Cougars on fourth-and-short.
After hitting Johnson with the fourth-longest pass and sixth-longest scoring play in UT history early in the first quarter, Simms and the Texas offense were held in check until the final moments of the first half. With Texas trailing 14-10, Simms shook off a sack and two late hits to deliver a 17-yard TD pass to redshirt freshman WR Tony Jeffery with eight seconds remaining in the half. Houston mishandled the ensuing squib kick, which was recovered by junior Brett Robin with four seconds left. Freshman Dusty Mangum took advantage, delivering a 47-yard field goal as time expired to give the Longhorns a 20-14 halftime lead.
UT began to wear down Houston in the third quarter and stretched the lead to 33-14 on a pair of 1-yard TD runs by Williams. After Williams got Texas down to the Houston 1-yard line again at the end of the third quarter, Simms began the fourth quarter by faking a handoff to his 6-foot-1, 235-pound back and finding sophomore TE Brock Edwards for the 1-yard scoring toss.
Simms finished the night 20-for-35 with 311 yards and three scores, while Williams set single-game career highs for carries (19), rushing yards (103) and touchdowns (two). Seventy-three of his yards (58.8%) came after contact.
The Longhorns receiving corps was paced by Johnson, who had four receptions for 124 yards and the early 92-yard touchdown. Scaife added five catches for 59 yards and a touchdown, all career highs, while sophomore wideout Roy Williams caught four passes for 49 yards. Jeffery added a pair of catches for 37 yards and also rushed for 17 yards on a first quarter end around.
On defense, UT was led by senior FS Ahmad Brooks' career-high 16 tackles (nine solo), the most by a Longhorns DB since Chris Carter recorded 18 stops against Notre Dame in 1996. Junior DE Cory Redding, who hails from Houston, registered seven stops and fellow DE Kalen Thornton, had a career-high three TFLs and two sacks and also posted the first blocked kick of his career when he batted down Jeff Patterson's 37-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter. Senior CB Quentin Jammer added a season-high six tackles and three pass breakups, while sophomore SS Nathan Vasher added his first career interception in the third quarter.
Houston QB Kelly Robertson completed 20-of-33 passes for 364 yards and three touchdowns and RB Joffery Reynolds added 56 rushing yards and a score. The Cougars receiving corps was led by Orlando Iglesias - six receptions for 100 yards - and Brandon Middleton - three catches for 117 yards and one score.