No. 7 Texas 21, No. 17 Iowa State 10
AUSTIN, Texas -- Sophomore RB Cedric Benson ran for 199 yards and two touchdowns and the seventh-ranked Longhorns contained QB Seneca Wallace in a 21-10 win against No. 17 Iowa State. A sellout crowd of 83,071 ignored wet, soggy conditions and were on hand for UT's 17th consecutive home victory in the 400th game played in the history of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
The win assured head coach Mack Brown of his 13th consecutive winning season and qualified him for his 11th straight bowl game.
Benson and his backfield mates helped Texas pile up 245 rushing yards and were the main reason the Longhorns held the ball for 20:22 in the second half, including 11:30 in the fourth quarter.
Freshman RB Selvin Young's 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter capped a 19-play, 80-yard drive that chewed up nine minutes and four seconds and secured the Texas victory. It was the longest drive in terms of plays and time of possession in the Mack Brown era.
Wallace finished the game with 226 passing yards but was unable to produce big plays because he was harassed all afternoon by a Longhorns defensive unit that entered the game ranked third nationally. The Cyclones were held to 285 total yards and just five second-half first downs. Junior MLB Reed Boyd paced the defense for the fifth time this season with his 11 tackles, while sophomore LB Derrick Johnson added nine stops, two TFLs and a pair of pass breakups.
Benson erased Iowa State's 10-7 halftime advantage on UT's first drive of the second half. On first-and-15 from the UT 41-yard line, Benson swept left, cut back between a pair of defenders and raced 59 yards to the end zone to give the Longhorns a 14-10 lead.
Iowa State was unable to put points on the board following Nik Moser's blocked punt later in the third quarter. The Cyclones took over at the Texas 29 but picked up just one first down and Adam Benike missed a 32-yarder that would have cut the UT lead to 14-13. The Longhorns wasted no time getting the ball to Benson on their opening drive of the game. The second-year back opened the series with four carries for 44 yards as Texas marched 80 yards in 12 plays to take a 7-0 lead when Benson ran it in from one yard out. Benson had nine carries for 66 yards on the drive to set the tone for the afternoon.
Wallace was picked off by junior CB Nathan Vasher on Iowa State's ensuing possession, but the Longhorns gave the ball back when Benson fumbled for just the fifth time in his career. The Cyclones moved the ball to the Texas 2 before the drive stalled and Benike kicked a 19-yard field goal. However, ISU was flagged for an illegal formation and Benike's attempt from 24 yards sailed wide right.
On UT's next possession, senior QB Chris Simms was intercepted at the Texas 44-yard line. This time, the Cyclones capitalized on the opportunity as Benike was good from 40 yards to cut the lead to 7-3. Wallace put Iowa State on top 10-7 when he engineered a five-play, 65-yard drive that culminated with a 16-yard scoring strike in the closing minutes of the first half.