New Mexico St 7

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Texas 66

(1-0, 1-0 home)

7:00 PM ET, August 31, 2003

Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX

1 2 3 4 T
NMSU 0 7 0 07
TEX 0 31 14 2166

Young returns two kicks for TDs in rout

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Selvin Young started and ended the scoring for Texas. Just about everybody got into the act in between.

Young returned two kicks for touchdowns and DerrickJohnson and Michael Huff returned interceptions for two more Sunday night as No. 5 Texas overwhelmed New Mexico State 66-7 in the season opener for both teams.

Chance Mock passed for two touchdowns in his first career start. Both went to Roy Williams, who extended his school record with his sixth straight 100-yard receiving game.

Mock's backup, Vince Young added a pair of rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

It was an impressive debut for a team that expects to challenge for the Big 12 and national titles.

"Everybody in the country is seeing we can score in all phases of the game," Williams said. "Once we got rolling, it was hard to stop us."

Selvin Young's 97-yard kickoff return in the second wiped out New Mexico State's 7-0 lead and started the rout. He also had a 39-yard punt return for a TD in the fourth.

"It changed the entire momentum of the ball game," Texas coach MackBrown said. "It took the air out of them and sent a message they probably weren't going to win the ball game."

Sparked by Young's score, Texas ran up 31 points by halftime for its 20th straight win at Royal-Memorial Stadium, a streak that dates to 1999.

Johnson returned his fifth career interception for his first touchdown and Mock hit Williams with a 15-yard scoring toss in the second quarter.

The win wasn't without its warts for the Longhorns. The first quarter was downright ugly.

Mock was sacked on his first pass attempt, tailback Cedric Benson had a rare fumble and Selvin Young fell down behind the line of scrimmage on his first carry. The running game that was supposed to be revamped and more intimidating than last year slugged out a meager 35 yards in the first half.

"I think everybody was trying too hard,"Brown said. "They were trying to force things. It's amazing we got up 31-7 the way we started."

Chalk it up to first-game jitters. None of it mattered once Texas' big playmakers took over.

New Mexico State scored when Paul Dombrowski turned the corner on the option and went 18 yards for the Aggies' first TD of the season in the second quarter.

The lead lasted all of 14 seconds.

Sensing that his teammates were down, Williams poked his head into the Texas huddle before the kickoff return.

"I said, `Hey, if the offense can't do it, somebody in this huddle needs to make a play," Williams said.

'I told him, `I'm the man that's gonna provide the spark," Young said.

He caught the ensuing kickoff at the 3-yard line and went straight up the middle before breaking toward the left sideline near midfield. He shook a tackle, danced two steps near the chalk and cut up field with a burst of speed to the end zone.

After Benson's 2-yard TD run made it 14-7, New Mexico State quarterback Buck Pierce dropped back but had to throw off his back foot as rushers closed in. The ball floated toJohnson, who grabbed it, spun around and dashed up the right sideline before breaking a tackle inside the 5 to fall in for a 21-7 lead.

"It was a great interception. I knew it was coming,"Johnson said. "I didn't know I was going to score. This time I got in the end zone and I'm looking for more."

Texas jumped on another turnover when Dombrowski, splitting time with Pierce, fumbled the snap at the Aggies' 15. Mock hit Williams in the left corner of the end zone on the next play.

Mock and Williams hooked up again in the third, this time on a 53-yard TD on the fourth play of the second half. Williams finished with four catches for 104 yards.

Huff then picked off another bad pass from Pierce, taking the Longhorns' third interception of the game 55 yards for another score. His third career interception return for a touchdown tied the Texas school record.

Mock finished with 156 yards on 7-of-15 passing. Vince Young led the Longhorns with 61 yards on five carries.