Longhorns keep rolling
AUSTIN, Texas -- For the second consecutive game, the Longhorns topped the 40-point mark by halftime, this time with 49, en route to a 63-18 win Saturday over Tulane in front of 83,120 fans, the ninth-largest crowd in UT history. The 49 points at halftime are the second-most in school history and the most since a 52-point performance against TCU in 1974. Six different players scored touchdowns, led by running back Cedric Benson's three scores, and the defense forced four Green Wave turnovers during the win.
"I am very excited about the way we played tonight," head coach Mack Brown said. "I think we played very well. Tulane is a scary team to face with their passing attack. I think their quarterback, (J.P.) Losman, played well, but I was very pleased with our four-man front. We put pressure on him, and made him run out of the pocket. Overall, I think it was a great win. Our offense rushed for over 300 yards for the second week in a row. Our kicking game was impressive, and we made some big plays on defense to force turnovers. The last two games are exactly what we needed to get back on track, and we dominated those games, so I think that gives us great confidence going into next week's game against Kansas State."
Texas got on the board first with a 59-yard drive as quarterback Chance Mock went over the top from the one-yard line for the first rushing touchdown of his career. Linebacker Derrick Johnson then recovered a fumble, for the second consecutive game, on Tulane's next possession at the Green Wave's 13 yard-line. Two plays later, Mock found wide receiver Roy Williams at the nine-yard line and Williams spun off a defender and raced to the right side of the end zone for a quick 14-0 lead.
Tulane scored its first touchdown on the strength of a 77-yard reception by wide receiver Roydell Williams from quarterback J.P. Losman down to the six. The drive was capped on the next play on a rush by running back Mewelde Moore. The extra point was blocked, one of two blocked on the night by the Longhorn special teams, to make the score 14-6.
Texas then began a 35-0 run to end the half with a drive lasting five plays and covering 69 yards in 1:33, highlighted by a 60-yard run by quarterback Vince Young on the second play, which set up the first passing touchdown of his career to tight end David Thomas for a two-yard score and 21-6 lead.
Later in the second quarter, Chance Mock threw the second of his three touchdown passes, this time to Bo Scaife, marking the second touchdown of Scaife's career and the first since 2001. During the drive, Brett Robin had a 21-yard rush, a career long and part of his career single-game high of 87 yards on 15 carries.
On Texas' next possession, Young was once again in at quarterback, leading the Longhorns on an eight-play, 66-yard drive, which he completed with a 13-yard scoring run, his fourth rushing touchdown of the season.
Derrick Johnson continued his impressive night with the first of two interceptions that accompanied his fumble recovery, setting the Longhorns up at the Green Wave's 29-yard line. Six plays later, Cedric Benson collected the first of his touchdowns from one-yard out.
"We really tried to stay focused tonight and not look to next week's game," Johnson said. "We were only worried about Tulane. I think it was a good game for me tonight as I was able to help the defense out. We are just trying to get better each game."
The final score of the half was Mock and Williams' second connection of the night, a 26-yard score that marked Williams' seventh career game with two or more touchdowns. It was also Williams' 35th total touchdown, putting him alone in fourth place on UT's career total touchdowns list. Williams finished with 84 yards on four catches, the 33rd time in 40 career games he has caught four passes.
"I told the team before the game instead of scoring only about 30 to 35 percent of the time, we need to try and score 100 percent of the time," Williams said. "We were almost able to do that tonight. I think we played well. The loss to Arkansas woke us up. We can't lose anymore. To win, you have to put points on the board, and we were able to do that tonight."
Mock completed the game 10-of-16 for 145 yards passing to go along with his three touchdowns, while Vince Young was 4-of-7 for 68 yards with 69 yards rushing.
Cedric Benson accounted for Texas' second half scoring with touchdown runs of five yards and one yard with the second following Johnson's second interception. Benson finished the night with 86 yards rushing.
Defensively, four Longhorns registered sacks including Marcus Tubbs, Rodrique Wright, Reed Boyd and Mike Williams, as the team limited Tulane's passing attack to 186 yards with Losman going 13-for-29 with a touchdown and two interceptions.
Texas will now prepare for its conference schedule as Kansas State comes to Austin on Oct. 4 for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff.