Longhorns dominate Colorado, 41-7
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Freshman Cedric Benson ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns and Chris Simms passed for three scores to lead Texas (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 AP) to a 41-7 victory over Colorado (No. 17 ESPN, No. 14 AP) on Saturday before a sold-out crowd of 83,156 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
The Longhorns (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) kept alive their hopes for a Bowl Championship Series bid with the victory and snapped a five-game winning streak by Colorado (5-2, 3-1). It marked UT's 12th straight home victory, the longest streak since 1962-64. Texas has scored at least 40 points in 11 consecutive home games while not allowing an opponent to score more than 20 points.
Benson, who got his first career start a week ago in a win over Oklahoma State, also caught three passes for 59 yards. He had 131 yards rushing last week and is the first freshman to run for over 100 yards in back-to-back games since Ricky Williams in 1995.
Simms started the scoring with a 3-yard TD pass to Roy Williams in the first quarter and added second-half scoring strikes of 24 and 29 yards to Sloan Thomas. Simms was 17-of-28 passing for 234 yards before leaving the game in the fourth quarter. He has eight touchdown passes in the last two games and 14 total on the season.
The Buffaloes started Bobby Pesavento at quarterback in place of Craig Ochs, who earlier in the week had recurring symptoms of a concussion suffered a month ago in a win over Kansas. Pesavento, who had attempted just 11 passes this season, was 15-of-27 for a 165 yards and an interception, but Colorado's true offensive strength lies in a rushing game that ranks second only to Nebraska in the Big 12 in yards per game.
However, the Longhorns held Colorado to 124 yards rushing -- 100 below its average -- and the Buffaloes couldn't overcome three early turnovers and a missed field goal that led to a 24-7 Longhorns lead at halftime.
Derek McCoy's fumble inside the Texas 20 stopped a first-quarter drive and Jeremy Flores hooked left a 29-yard field goal attempt, only his second miss in 13 attempts this season.
Cortle Johnson scored Colorado's only touchdown by breaking three tackles on a 9-yard run to the end zone to make it 10-7. The Buffaloes were unable to score again and finished with their lowest point total since a 27-3 loss to Michigan in 1997.
Texas kept pounding away with Benson to stretch its lead to 17 by halftime. Benson followed another Colorado fumble with a 12-yard TD run and he bailed out Texas when the Longhorns were backed up to their 5 with two minutes left in the half. The situation was similar to two weeks ago when Texas was backed up against its own end zone in the final minutes of a 14-3 loss to Oklahoma. But unlike that game when Simms was pressured into an interception by a blitzing defender, he beat the Colorado rush with a shuffle pass underneath to Benson, who took it 40 yards to near midfield and out of danger.
Simms found Williams on the sideline for a 29-yard gain and Benson capped the drive with his second touchdown on a 4-yard run.
Texas stretched the lead to 34-7 on Simms' first TD pass to Thomas. The two connected again in the fourth for the final touchdown.
It marked the second straight game Thomas hauled in a pair of TD passes.