No. 2 Texas 17, Oklahoma State 15
AUSTIN, Texas -- Senior QB Chris Simms threw for one touchdown and ran for another, and the NCAA's second-ranked defense stopped a two-point conversion late in the game as No. 2 Texas held on for a 17-15 victory against Oklahoma State in both teamsí Big 12 opener.
The seventh-largest crowd in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium history (83,116) was on hand to witness the Longhorns improve to 5-0 for the first time since 1983. It was the 16th consecutive home win for UT, which won its conference opener for the 31st time in the last 34 years.
Oklahoma State rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit and had a chance to tie the game following a 33-yard TD pass from Josh Fields to John Lewis, but Fieldsí two-point conversion pass to Rashaun Woods was spoiled by senior CB Rod Babers, who took down Woods at the goal line. With less than three minutes to play and Oklahoma State at the UT 48-yard line, Babers sealed the victory by intercepting a Fields pass and the Longhorns ran out the clock.
Simms threw a 9-yard TD pass to junior WR B.J. Johnson in the second quarter and scored on a 1-yard TD run in the third. He completed 24-of-46 passes (both career highs) for 267 yards and an interception.
His primary targets on the afternoon were junior wideouts Sloan Thomas, Roy Williams and Johnson, as the trio accounted for 204 receiving yards on 19 receptions. Thomas established career highs in receptions (seven) and yards (130), while Johnson had a season-best seven grabs for 78 yards.
Sophomore RB Cedric Benson had his third 100-yard rushing game of the season with 117 yards on 27 carries.
Fields was 14-of-29 for 134 yards and one TD but was picked off twice. Texas held Oklahoma State WR Rashaun Woods in check, limiting him to a season-low 63 yards receiving on six receptions. Woods entered the game leading the Big 12 and ranking sixth nationally in receiving yards (134 ypg).
UT found itself trailing for the first time this season when Luke Phillips put the Cowboys on top 3-0 with a 39-yard field goal five minutes into the contest. The Longhorns knotted the score at three on sophomore PK Dusty Mangumís 27-yard field goal midway through the second quarter and Simms gave UT a 10-3 halftime lead when he hit Johnson with a 9-yard TD strike with 17 seconds to play in the half.
In the third quarter, Simms hooked up with Thomas for a 55-yard catch-and-run to the Oklahoma State 25-yard line, and seven plays later, Simms scored on a sneak to push the lead to 17-3 with 2:26 left in the quarter. With time running down in the third, RB Tatum Bell ran around the left end and sprinted 45 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was blocked and the Cowboys trailed 17-9.
Junior MLB Reed Boyd paced the Longhorns defense for the fourth consecutive game with 11 tackles, two QB pressures and a sack. Sophomore LB Derrick Johnson added 10 stops and an interception, while junior DT Marcus Tubbs posted seven tackles, a pair of QB pressures and one sack.