No. 3 Texas 49, Tulane 0
NEW ORLEANS -- Freshman RB Selvin Young scored three touchdowns -- including one on a 71-yard punt return -- and the NCAA's top-ranked Longhorns defense posted its second shutout of the season Saturday as No. 3 Texas rolled to a 49-0 victory against Tulane at the Louisiana Superdome. The second-largest crowd in Tulane history (46,678) witnessed the Longhorns dominate all facets of the game in what was UT's 20th consecutive victory against a non-ranked opponent.
Young's return was the longest by a Longhorn since Jim Moore took one back 94 yards for a score against SMU in 1973. Young also scored on runs of two and three yards in the fourth quarter, while senior QB Chris Simms threw for 176 yards and two touchdowns.
The win was the Longhorns' 10th straight on the road (excluding neutral-site contests).
The Longhorns built their 14-point first-half lead thanks to the arm of Simms, who had touchdown passes of 11 and two yards, and the legs of sophomore RB Cedric Benson (11 carries for 55 yards).
Junior WR Sloan Thomas was on the receiving end of Simms' first scoring pass as he took a screen pass and leaped over a pair of Tulane defenders for a touchdown. It was set up when a pass by J.P. Losman was tipped and intercepted by junior LB Reed Boyd at the Tulane 27-yard line.
In the final minute of the half, Simms play faked and rolled left before lofting a 2-yard pass to freshman TE David Thomas for his first career touchdown. The score was set up when Simms found junior WR B.J. Johnson for a 41-yard completion on a seam route.
The Green Wave had just one scoring chance in the first half after Lynar Elpheage returned a punt 26 yards to the Texas 27, but a Tulane penalty pushed the ball back 10 yards, and Seth Marler's 47-yard field-goal try sailed wide right.
Still trailing by 14 midway through the third quarter, the Green Wave appeared to catch a break. With the ball spotted at the Texas 15-yard line, Quentin Brown intercepted a Simms pass at the Tulane 42, but Brown was stripped by Johnson and senior WR Kyle Shanahan recovered the fumble for what turned out to be a 41-yard gain for the Longhorns. Five plays later, Benson punched the ball in with a 15-yard score, his eighth straight game with a touchdown, and Texas led 21-0.
Tulane had one more chance to avoid the shutout when it lined up for a 38-yard field goal try with nine minutes remaining. Instead, junior DT Marcus Tubbs blocked the kick and redshirt freshman SS Cedric Griffin picked up the ball and sprinted 56 yards for the touchdown.
Benson went over the 500-yard mark for the season with 88 yards on 17 carries, while Young had career highs in yards (66) and rushing attempts (12). Sloan Thomas led the Texas wideouts with five grabs for 42 yards, followed by junior TE Brock Edwards, who had a career-high four catches for a career-best 46 yards.
Texas held the Green Wave to a season-low 215 total yards and forced four Tulane turnovers. Tulane RB Mewelde Moore, who entered the afternoon averaging 103.5 rushing yards per game, was held in check to the tune of a season-low 52 yards on 15 carries (3.5 ypc). After his first rush of the game netted him 21 yards, Moore gained just 31 yards on his final 14 carries.
The Horns defense sacked Losman four times, he was lifted for several possessions in the second half and finished 13-of-29 passing for 127 yards and two interceptions.
Boyd led the Longhorns for the third consecutive game with 10 tackles, while Tubbs had a season-high eight stops, two TFLs and four QB pressures. Senior LB Lee Jackson and junior FS Dakarai Pearson added nine stops each and senior CB Rod Babers had a career-high four pass breakups.