Longhorns open Big 12 play with 42-7 victory over Texas Tech
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas fans waited as long as they could. Eventually, there was no holding back.
Chants of "Beat OU! Beat OU!" rained down as the fifth-ranked Longhorns left the field Saturday night after a 42-7 victory over Texas Tech in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
Up next: Third-ranked Oklahoma and the rematch in Dallas of last year's stunning 63-14 Sooners romp.
The preseason is over for the Longhorns faithful. They'd circled the Oklahoma game on calendars last October.
"Words just can't explain how long we've been looking forward to playing Oklahoma," linebacker D.D. Lewis said. "We've had all offseason, all spring and all season long to think about it."
"There was a lot of pressure on the guys this week with OU next week," said Texas coach Mack Brown, whose team is 4-0 for the first time since 1983. "This is what we really needed."
Texas Tech, with its big-numbers passing game under former Oklahoma assistant Mike Leach, was little more than a bump in the road to the rematch.
Texas' Ivan Williams rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Chris Simms added a pair of short scoring runs and a TD pass. The Longhorns have outscored Tech 100-14 in their last two meetings in Austin.
The Longhorns had worked hard against looking past Texas Tech (2-1, 0-1) to the Sooners, Simms said.
"We see OU on TV and things like that, but we haven't been a team to really discuss it," he said. "They're undefeated and we're undefeated and that makes it even better."
Williams plowed through Red Raiders tacklers almost at will. Simms completed his first 10 passes of the night, including a 40-yard TD strike to Roy Williams in the second quarter.
Leach preached loudly last week that Red Raiders quarterback Kliff Kingsbury, the Big 12's leading passer, should be considered among the best in the country.
"I've stood up for Kliff and I think tonight showed that Kliff is underexposed. Kliff's numbers speak for themselves," Leach said.
Kingsbury completed 40 of 57 passes for 260 yards but couldn't back up his coach's words with touchdowns.
Nor could he match Simms' efficiency in a furious attempt to bring his team from behind. Simms was laser sharp all night, completing 21 of 26 passes for 224 yards.
"I thought Chris Simms was as sharp tonight as I've ever seen him," Brown said.
Texas drove 80 yards on its first possession entirely on Simms' arm and Williams' legs.
Roy Williams caught five passes for 49 yards and Ivan Williams did the rest of the damage with four straight carries and a 2-yard touchdown run.
Ivan Williams carried the load again on the Longhorns' next drive. His 30-yard run and a 7-yard bull rush through three defenders to the goal line set up Simms' 1-yard dive to make it 14-0.
Tech, which answered Texas nearly yard-for-yard in the first half, couldn't answer each touchdown. Ricky Williams put the Red Raiders on the board with a 31-yard burst up the middle of the field on a misdirection handoff on fourth-and-2.
Roy Williams made it 21-7, Texas, on a 40-yard TD pass from Simms in the second. He slipped behind a defender in the middle of the field and his stop-and-go move near the 15 made four Red Raiders miss.
"We pretty much had our way," Simms said.
Tech, which converted two fourth downs in the first half, tried again but failed at a costly time.
The Red Raiders drove to the Texas 9 with under a minute left in the half. Instead of kicking a short field goal Kingsbury was stopped inches short on a quarterback draw on fourth-and-3.
Texas Tech unraveled further in the third.
Ivan Williams capped another 80-yard drive with a 1-yard run to make it 28-7. Tech then fumbled away the ensuing kickoff on their own 12 and Simms dove in from the 1 three plays later.