Longhorns shut out Kansas, 59-0
AUSTIN, Texas -- Freshman Cedric Benson ran for 213 and scored three touchdowns as fifth-ranked Texas coasted to its fifth straight win and spoiled the debut of Kansas coach Tom Hayes with a 59-0 victory Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Benson, whose 213 yards were a UT freshman record, has topped the 100-yard rushing mark in each of his first five starts, breaking Earl Campbell's school record for 100-yard games by a freshman.
"I gained quite a bit of confidence from my performance today," Benson said. "I had one of my best plays as a running back. I just let my ability take over and I moved where I saw open spaces."
Chris Simms had another strong game, completing 16-of-24 passes for 284 yards with two TDs, including a 60-yard TD pass to Benson that gave the Longhorns a 21-0 lead after the first quarter. Simms has 16 touchdown passes during the current winning streak and 22 this season, breaking the UT record of 21 set by Major Applewhite, his current backup, in 1999.
Simms, who was replaced shortly after halftime, also threw a 68-yard TD pass to Roy Williams in the first quarter.
Texas outgained Kanas by a whopping 606-67 margin to defeat the Jayhawks a fifth straight time and post its most lopsided win since a 62-0 triumph over Baylor in 1999.
The Longhorns (9-1, 6-1 Big 12 South) moved up to fourth in the Bowl Championship Series this week and remain in the national title picture with Saturday's lopsided win.
"I was happy with the way the guys responded today," coach Mack Brown said. "There was dominance early in the game and they were not complacent in the third quarter."
The Longhorns next play Texas A&M on the Friday after Thanksgiving and will need a win and a loss by Oklahoma to advance to the Big 12 Conference title game.
The Jayhawks (2-7, 1-6 North) fired Terry Allen following last week's loss to Nebraska and replaced him on an interim basis with Hayes, the defense coordinator.
"Today's game got out of hand quickly for a myriad of reasons," Hayes said."This week's goal for the defense was to step away from big plays, yet in the first half we gave up three 60-plus yard plays."
Benson, who also was replaced in the third quarter, scored on runs of three yards in the first quarter and 11 yards in the second to help the Longhorns to build a 33-0 halftime lead.
Kansas quarterback Zach Dyer completed just 1-of-10 passes for just three yards.
Instead of running straight to the bench, Applewhite threw the ball high into the student section of Royal-Memorial Stadium, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd of 83,111 and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from the officials.
"That was an awesome throw into the stands," said Simms. "I liked it. It's been a long, hard road for both of us. I was glad to see him dive into the end zone. I'm sure he was happy and sad at the same time."
Third-string quarterback Chance Mock threw a 21-yard TD pass to Brian Carter in the fourth quarter.